I’m a Southerner by birth, but I came North for my first degree and stayed. Everything I have done since has been about communicating the gospel in contemporary culture. I see myself as a journeyman missionary. I worked in a number of urban churches as a youth worker, then had a spell working for Scripture Union. Then I accidentally joined the BBC as a producer in the Religion and Ethics department, and went on to become a Development Executive responsible for programmes across BBC radio and TV.
Since leaving the BBC I have mostly worked freelance with churches, charities and companies, especially focusing on change-management and communications strategy.with their communications. I’ve also taught first year courses at NTC on Christianity, Culture and Communication. I love helping new undergraduate students to reflect on what has shaped them and what they, as Christians, want to say to their world. More recently I’ve been teaching Christian ethics to third year students, which is challenging for all of us.
I see myself as a journeyman missionary.
I still work in radio, appearing regularly as a commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live and leading BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service, which is broadcast from Emmanuel Church, Didsbury, just half a mile from the college.
I did a part-time MA in Missiology at NTC during the mid-2000s. I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the work I had been doing, and to put some theoretical structure into my disparate calling. It was the flexibility of the course that made it possible for me. I live reasonably locally so I was able to fit in classes and even intensive weeks fairly easily. But the workload outside classes was tough. I eventually graduated in 2012. It took me a long time to complete the degree, but it was well worth it.
I know everybody will say this, but the great thing about NTC is the friendly atmosphere. Staff and students genuinely care for each other and take an interest in each others’ lives. That means that you are not simply studying theology as an abstract discipline, but also working it out in a Christian community. Even as a part-time student I was able to be part of that.
I enjoyed the MA so much that I’ve started reading for a doctorate in theology, this time at Durham University. I am looking at the way that digital culture is changing our understanding of what it is to be human, and particularly the significance of having a body. I have a particular interest in the ways that the internet is changing sex. That may sound obscure (like all the best PhD topics!) But I’m convinced that it is going to be one of the major issues in the mission of the church over the coming decades.
Having plenty of flexibility means I’m asked to get involved in lots of wonderful Christian projects. So I’m chair of The Charnwood Trust, an educational charity based in Stockport, and am on the Advisory Board of Diverse Church. I’m on the Board at my church in Longsight. Oh, and now I am vice-chair of the Governors at NTC!