Born in the Scottish Borders, I received my primary education in North Yorkshire and Tyneside. At the age of 11, after one year in Gosforth Grammar School, we moved back to the Borders, where my education continued at Galashiels Academy. I was amongst the first pupils to learn to play a brass instrument under the leadership of Jim Main, an inspirational Mathematics teacher, who founded the school band. I then returned to Tyneside where I gained an Honours Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In my final year I undertook a research project on ‘EMFs and resistivity of human skin’ effectively related to the prevention of electrocution. On graduation I moved to East Kilbride, and worked for Barr and Stroud, a long established optical and electronic instrument manufacturer in Glasgow. I was a junior engineer working on infra-red and thermal imaging technology.
After 3 years in industry I returned to academic study. Having been accepted as a candidate for ministry, I attended the Scottish Congregational College in Edinburgh. After 3 years I was awarded the College Certificate with Distinction. In 1976 I was Ordained and Inducted to Bathgate E.U. Congregational Church, and accepted as a Ministerial Member of the Congregational Union of Scotland. I then served churches in Greenock, Stonehouse and Cumbernauld, before undertaking a one year course at the Jordanhill Campus of the University of Strathclyde gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education qualifying me to teach Mathematics and Religious and Moral Education. I was appointed as the first subject specialist in RME to Balfron High School, where I was subsequently appointed Assistant Principal Teacher of RME, and remained the sole teacher of the subject until 2010. During my 16 years teaching I was undertaking regular pulpit supply to a number of churches in the central belt of Scotland.
In the summer of 2010 I took early retirement from teaching and was Inducted as Minister of Hamilton United Reformed Church on a part-time basis. In April 2000 the Scottish Congregational Church [formerly the Congregational Union of Scotland] had merged with the United Reformed Church. A major attraction of this Church was its direct links with David Livingstone, the missionary explorer. [see Link to Hamilton URC on title page]. Balfron High School has a partnership link with Robert Laws Secondary School in Embangweni, Malawi. David Livingstone is one of their community heroes. During my time at Hamilton I developed a Church Website [see useful links].
I retired from active Church Ministry on 9th March 2014.