President of the Conference in 2000, the first Asian to hold that office. He was born into a Sikh family in Nairobi on 17 January 1953 and came with them in 1964 to live in Britain. Despite their Sikh background, they joined the Methodist Church in Dudley, where he became a member of Bert Bissell's Bible class at Vicar Street. He trained for the ministry at Hartley Victoria College. He took his first Degree in Manchester and has received honorary doctorates from the universities of Oxford Brookes (2001) and Sheffield Hallam (2002). He lived in Wolverhampton for eight years, where he helped to establish one of the first interfaith groups in UK, and was Co-ordinator of the Group 1984–1987. In Sheffield, where he has worked in multi-faith inner city contexts, he established a Christian–Muslim group out of which has grown the Sheffield Interfaith Group. He has also organized Christian–Muslim Peace walks in the City. He helped to start Sheffield’s Homeless and Rootless at Christmas Project, involving several hundred volunteers. He is the founder and Chair of the City of Sanctuary movement. In 1994 he became director of studies in the Urban Theology Unit of the Sheffield Inner City Ecumenical Mission, succeeding John Vincent as Director in 1997. He has also worked as Consultant Theologian for Christian Aid and.is involved in the Black Theology movement and the Corymeela Community, of which he was appointed leader in 2011. He is currently the executive director of the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths.
He has been a member of the Home Office’s Race Equality Advisory Panel, and is a Trustee of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby where he is also a member of the Governing Council. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 2005 for his commitment to inter-faith relations. He has four publications: A Table for All (2000); On the Hoof (2001); Unlocking the Doors (2002) and Pluralism and mission today (2007).