I know that many people can point to individuals who have influenced them, and there are particular people who have shaped my life and understanding. However, I think that the three biggest influences on my ministry and understanding of my call, are all contexts rather than individuals. There are three which spring to mind straight away;
Family: I was blessed with a wonderfully supportive and faith-filled family. The influence of faith spreads far beyond my immediate family. Faith and church-going were part and parcel of being part of the family. My father was a priest, and my mother's father was a priest so I am the third generation. I am grateful for the way that they passed the faith on to me in a natural way. There has never been a time I have not identified myself as a Christian. It has always been part of who I am and a natural part of belonging in the family.
Oxford: I studied Theology at Oriel College in Oxford. This gave me a superb introduction to the study of theology in the context of a worshipping community. Oriel is the college of Cardinal Newman, and the Oxford Movement had its root there. The college chapel maintains the tradition of superb music and well-ordered liturgy. I began every day of my student life in the chapel (before enjoying a hearty full English breakfast) so it naturally had a very significant impact on my faith.
London Diocese: I have spent all of my ordained life in the London Diocese, working in three of its different areas. During that time the diocese has experienced significant growth. It has maintained an average increase in numbers of over 10%. At at time when every other diocese in Britain is declining in membership, London continues to be on the rise. Churches that have been closed (like my own) are re- opening and flourishing. There are many reasons for this, but what I would mention here is that I have always ministered in a positive church culture, which is confident and expecting things to grow and develop.