He was born on 18 February 1878 in Bristol, where he was converted under the ministry of S.E. Keeble, a significant influence in his formative years. After training at Didsbury College, he spent most of his ministry in the East London Mission. From 1906 to 1911 he worked with Peter Thompson at St. George's, Stepney. After five years in the South London Mission, he returned to the East End as minister of Lycett Memorial Church, Stepney, then as Superintendent of Stepney Central Hall from 1919 until 1932. He had considerable musical gifts and showed much practical concern for the slum children of the neighbourhood. His pioneering Sunday evening film services drew crowds to the Central Hall. He died in Stepney on 22 February 1932. Fifteen thousand poor people lined the streets for his funeral and a street was named after him.
'The story of his career in East London … is a wonderful romance of devotion to an ideal. The Mission is his supreme preoccupation. Nothing comes second to it. He is never happy away from it. Repudiating all suggestion of sacrifice, he declares that he finds in it not monotony but adventure, not trial but joy, not irksome tasks but glorious opportunities. A bachelor of simple tastes, he lives among the people in his flat which looks out upon Commercial Road East. He is always accessible, always finds time to listen to the tales of woe poured into his ears by innumerable sufferers under real or imagined misfortunes, always seems able to draw upon resources of good humour and forbearance.'
R.G. Burnett, Christ Down East (n.d.) pp.24-25