He was educated at Keighley Boys Grammar School and Trinity College Cambridge. After national service, he studied at Wesley House and the University of Gottingen, then became a missionary in the Southern Rhodesia District, 1952-63, where he was a circuit minister, a tutor at Epworth Theological College and then Principal of the Waddilove Training Institution. During a circuit appointment in his native Keighley he obtained his Leeds PhD, and in 1969 he became the Principal of Kingsmead College, Selly Oak, hosting and tutoring students from abroad as well as those preparing for mission overseas. After eight years he moved to the Overseas Division, briefly as Africa Secretary and then as General Secretary 1978-1987, where his support for the World Council of Churches' Programme to Combat Racism was unwavering though controversial. After another circuit appointment in Walsall he embarked on an active retirement, which was noteworthy especially for the production of a Missionary Register comprising details of those who served overseas from the 18th century to the present.