Born at Black Cross, North Cornwall, his forebears being long associated with Methodism and the Church of England there and in the Isles of Scilly, he grew up in Essex and Devon. After national service, he trained as a solicitor, qualifying in 1952 and becoming a partner in Messrs. Burchells, solicitors, 1955-1965. He served under the MMS in the Caribbean 1965-1966, preparing the constitutional documents and property arrangements for the autonomy of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, and continues to afford constitutional advice and support to that church. In 1966 he was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple, becoming a Recorder on the Western Circuit in 1978 and a QC in 1980. In 1988 he became a Circuit Judge and from 1993 until his retirement in 2000 he was a Judge of the Technology and Construction Court (formerly the Official Referees' Courts) as well as sitting on the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
He has given long and distinguished service to the Methodist Church, as an adviser and friend to many throughout the connexion. In connection with the *restructuring of the church at all level, completed in 1974, he prepared, in a different format, a completely new edition of *Constitutional Practice and Discipline, which continues to form the basis of the current text. He was involved in the devising and preparation of the bill leading to the *Methodist Church Act 1976 and has been involved in the drafting of every constitutional scheme for *autonomous churches overseas since 1961. A member of the *Law and Polity Committee since 1969, he served the *Conference (including as its first lay Journal Secretary) from 1974 to 1997, in both capacities being held in great regard for his wise and expert advice.
A longstanding member and holder of many offices at *Hinde Street (West London Mission), he is particularly noted for his constant and devoted service as a class leader.