I have been a Bahá’í since February 1966 and have served on various institutions, including Local Spiritual Assemblies, the Auxiliary Board (for Protection), and the National Spiritual Assembly of the UK. In the early 1970s, I trained as a high school teacher of history and English and taught in state schools (public schools in US terminology), selective and non-selective, for ten years.
In 1974, my wife and I (with our first child) pioneered to the Shetland Isles, the most northerly part of the United Kingdom. Here I taught in a junior high school and in the islands’ only high school. After deciding I needed a change, I left the classroom in the early 1980s to set up and run an alcoholism counseling and education center in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. Our two youngest children were born in Lerwick. In 1984, we returned to the south of England and I went back to university. I was invited to manage George Ronald, the well-known publisher of Bahá’í books, in Oxford. Thereafter, I worked as project officer in the UK Bahá’í National Office, and then as the editor of the UK Bahá’í Journal. I was first elected to the UK National Spiritual Assembly in 1993 and was elected to serve as Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly in 1998. From 2005 to 2007 I served as Secretary of External Affairs. I retired from the National Assembly in 2021, but the Assembly is kind enough to ask me to serve in various “backroom” roles.
Over the years I have been deeply involved in interfaith and multi-faith activity, including chairing a number of national organizations. I also served on various UK government advisory bodies, particularly with respect to equality, diversity and human rights. I’m still a Trustee of the World Congress of Faiths. In 2011 I was honored for my services to interfaith relations and to the Bahá’í Faith by being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
When I retired from full-time employment, I joined the University of the Third Age (U3A) and participate in groups devoted to poetry and to philosophy. Needless to say, I’m also involved in the life of the Bahá’í community in the Hertfordshire cluster (just north of London). My wife has been managing George Ronald for many years and will soon retire. We have five lovely grandchildren, aged from 9 to 23. They bring great joy to our lives!