He was a member of the 'Holy Club' and fellow of Corpus Christi, Oxford. In 1735 he became rector of Dummer, Hants, where, according to George Whitefield, the inhabitants were 'poor and illiterate'. He visited from house to house, catechized the children, held public prayers twice a day and endeared himself to his parishioners. When he was elected Dean of the college at the end of that year, he appointed James Hervey as his curate. He accompanied John Wesley on his visits to Manchester both before and after the Georgia mission, and in March 1739 invited him to preach at Dummer at a time when many pulpits were denied him. Under Moravian influence he resigned his living and his Oxford posts, intending to becoming an itinerant preacher, but died on 4 January 1742. His widow Esther, a sister of James Hutton, became a Moravian.