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Career history 

Education: earned degrees from University of Wales, Cambridge and SOAS (London). Honorary doctorates from Evansville (USA), Oxford Brookes, University of Wales. Fellowships of Harris Manchester College, Oxford, Sarum College, Saint David’s College Lampeter, Cardiff University. I am a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. 

Work: Lecturer, University of Wales; Methodist Minister in Haiti (Petit Goâve, Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien); Reading; Loughton; West London; Golders Green; Wesley’s Chapel (London). President of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. 

Extra-curricular: governor of various schools; Roehampton University, Chair of the Board of Central Foundation Schools of London. Broadcasting with the BBC and others (mainly radio). Advocacy for Haiti. Member of the Christian Aid Board. Chair of CACLB, the College of Preachers. British patron of Waldensian Church, the Llanelli branch of the WEA, various charities. Lead Religion Trustee for the Sir Halley Stewart Trust. Trustee of the Addiction Recovery charity. President of the Boys’ Brigade. 

Authorship: eight books (theology, world affairs, Haiti, devotional, contemporary culture) and too many lectures, articles, chapters, sermons, reviews to number. 

Parliament: a member of the House of Lords, front bench spokesperson for the Labour Party on Wales and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 

Tell us something about yourself we wouldn’t expect? 

Until her death, I was a good friend of Maya Angelou. 

Why did you decide to become a trustee for Premier? 

My admiration for the pioneering work done by Premier; my practical involvement in its programming (10 years presenting Taking the Tablet, regular appearances on the Rob Frost programme); and my desire to direct some of my broadcasting experience towards a more overt evangelical outlet. 

Why this is important to you?

There has never been a time when our nation and the world has greater need for the humanising values of the Christian gospel to be heard, marked, digested, and turned into action. Premier is uniquely placed to do all this and I want to be part of the action. 

What would you want with you if stranded on a desert island? 

One of those kits that requires you to hit a ball on a piece of string around a pole before it comes back spitefully at you begging to be hit again – a competitive game for one person. 

If you could invite anyone (past/present) to be at your dinner party, who would you choose and why? 

My mother and all my teachers (in Sunday School and at the Grammar School) without whom I’d never have built the life that became mine. I’d claim the right to make the only after dinner speech; it would be an opportunity to say thank you to all of them. 

“I have to choose two favourite Bible verses. One from Mark’s gospel: ‘What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world at the cost of his true self? What can he give to buy that self back again.’ The other, from 2 Corinthians 6: ‘You have received the grace of God, do not let it go for nothing.’ The verses that led to me surrender my life to the call of Christ.”