He was born in Penshaw, Co. Durham and entered the UM ministry in 1924. During his years in the London Mission, he became an alderman in the Borough of Bermondsey. After serving as Chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District, he was appointed to the Home Mission Department in 1957 and in 1962 was President of the Conference, making history by being the first President to be granted a papal audience. In 1965 he became General Secretary of the Home Mission Department.Kenneth Greet wrote that he 'brought to the Conference a vision of how evangelism could keep company with sound scholarship'. He wrote extensively on mission and evangelism, notably in Sender and Sent (1969). He was active in promoting closer relations between Methodist and Anglicans and also in seeking to understand the charismatic movement. He died on 13 January 1972.