He was born at Ironbridge, Shropshire and educated at Kingswood School, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (where he was organ scholar) and Didsbury College. From 1930 to 1953 he was a tutor at Headingley College, specializing in church history and theology. He wrote two important books on the Holy Spirit, including The Holy Spirit from Arminius to Wesley (1929) for which he gained a Cambridge DD in 1928. He was Conference Precentor, 1918-1929, Chairman of the Leeds District during the wartime closure of the College (1942-1946), Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, 1934, and President of the Conference, 1951. He was much involved in the structures of the ecumenical movement. He was appointed Principal of the college in 1953, but died in Leeds on 23 October that year.