Born in Manchester, but coming from an Irish Roman Catholic background I experienced a significant conversion at 18, which resulted in a major fall out with my family. I therefore sympathise and understand something of the cost in losing family, home and community for converts coming from other religious backgrounds. I taught in the classroom for 12 years before leaving for full-time Christian ministry. Since 1992 I have been a Representative of The Navigators, an international, interdenominational, Christian missionary organisation. From 1988 to 2015 I lived in Sparkhill, Birmingham an increasingly Muslim part of the city. It was here that the journey to understand Islam and knowing and loving Muslims at a practical level began. In 2005 I completed my MA in Mission with a dissertation entitled “Voices from Christians in Britain with a Muslim Background: Stories for the British Church on Evangelism, Conversion, Integration and Discipleship.” It is that work and focus that I am carrying on to PhD level. I have been at Queens as a part-time research student since September 2011. Since 2015 my wife and I have moved and settled in Glasgow. I love sports of all types but walking, especially mountain walking, and swimming are the two I can do regularly.
- PhD Studies
“What are some of the factors in Muslims from a South Asian background becoming Christians within the UK and what are some of the issues that arise from their experiences of engaging in and with their Christian Community and the implications for the understanding and practice of these communities with particular reference to pastoral care and mission?”
Prof. Dirk Martin Grube, Prof. Nicola Slee, Prof. Bernhard Reitsma
The aim of the research is to investigate, primarily by conducting semi structured interviews with Christians from a South Asian Islamic background, the relationship between those converts and their new theological community. I will seek to uncover the experiences the converts have had, suggesting how well they have been able to integrate and belong to their new family. I will investigate the problems and difficulties that have arisen in this new relationship, concluding whether the process has been an easy and or difficult one and giving reasons for this. I will reflect theologically, ecclesiologically and missionally on the consequences and implications for the British Christian community in general suggesting ways forward for the understanding and practice of the church. Although no hypothesis is proposed a suspicion exists that the traditional Christian Community is an uncomfortable place for believers from a Muslim background to be. (Walsh, 2005, pp.43 – 48) The research aims to find out if this is the case and to suggest creative ways forward.
As the research has unfolded it has clarified into becoming a piece primarily focused on ecclesiology. The role of the church at all stages of the interviewees’ experiences is to be evaluated and examined. This will raise questions regarding the very nature of the church itself, its purpose and role in society.
- Research Activity
Practical Theology relating to culture, conversion, discipleship, Christian growth and development, Christian community and mission praxis; Theologies of Religion.
Research into the relationship of Christians with a South Asian Muslim Background to Traditional Christian Communities in Britain; Progress to date! Queen’s Research Seminar Paper. March 2017.
Christ Transforming Religion or Christianity Overcoming Religions? The Insider Approach as One Challenging Perspective. Queen’s Research Seminar Paper. June 2013.
The Relationship of Christians in Britain with a Muslim Background to the British Church. Post Graduate Research Seminar, University of Gloucester. 2012.