Born at Bangor, N. Wales on 19 April 1957, he was educated at Kingswood School, Trinity Hall, Cambridge and Bristol University and Wesley College, Bristol. His first circuit appointment was to Hinde Street church, London. He was chaplain at Kingswood School 1966-1973, tutor in Philosophy and Ethics at Wesley College, Bristol, 1973-1980, and Principal of Westminster College, Oxford 1980-1996. He gave the Fernley-Hartley lecture in 1973, on Making Sense of it All: an essay in Philosophical Theology. In 1996 he established the Research Centre at The Queen's Foundation, Birmingham.
In retirement he was deputy chair of a research programme in 'Character Education', based at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he is also Senior Research Fellow. He was a member of the research project on 'Authority and Governance in the Roman Catholic Church', which led to the current programme 'Receptive Ecumenism' and was a member of 'Ecclesiological Investigations', an International Research Network. From 2004 he was Visiting Fellow at the University of Chichester and chair of the Ammerdown Trust. In addition to his Bristol PhD he received two honorary doctorates from American Universities.
He ded on 12 January 2017.