I was born in a small country town about 300 miles north west of Sydney in Australia. I was raised to be a sceptic cum agnostic cum atheist with the words "Churches are dangerous places" and this is like 30 years before Dawkins and his ilk uttered the words! So coming into my teenage years in the eighties, I decided if they are so dangerous, let's go for a bit of danger! So I rebelled, became a Christian and started attending a local Christian youth group. After a bit, it was thought by my family that I was being brainwashed, so I was stopped from going for a couple of years, until I met somebody who I used to go to school with who invited me to her church, and I restarted from there...
As to how I came to the UK! Well, I came here from Australia for 6 months travel around Europe! Or so I thought! That was in 1990! I view it as God having a sense of humour. He knows I don't like rain, cold and in particular - together! He has even given me the most beautiful of women as a wife but she doesn't like hot weather! God sure has a sense of humour! In 2003, I had a minor stroke and I view that as God giving me a clip round the ear to stop being stubborn and to listen to Him for direction. So instead of moving north with my job at Royal Mail, I took redundancy and went off to Moorlands college where I graduated in 2007.
I set up Partakers in 2007. I had recorded some audio files as part of a block placement during my 3rd year at Moorlands. 6 months later I looked back on the site and discovered that the 16 audio files had been downloaded several thousand times, mainly in a country where evangelical Christians are persecuted. It was also part of my dissertation investigating if a Virtual Church could be part of the universal church. I based my study on the old maxim: one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
I still took the normal route post-bible college and applied for pastor jobs around the UK. I often was interviewed but the 2 main reasons given for not being successful was that I was too radical (as in application and use of internet/digital space etc), too much of a teacher or both! It was like "You can't seriously use the internet to evangelize and disciple others!" It was a bit like when the printing press came out and the church's collective bellybutton puckered and said "You cant give the bible to people, they may actually read it!"
As for the name Partakers itself, I got the idea straight from Matthew 5:6, which I paraphrase it "Blessed are those who partake after righteousness for they will be filled." I have an accountability team set up by the church we attend, for mentoring, prayer, guidance, advice and accountability. I also have people on Facebook & Twitter to keep an eye on what I say and do, in order to see that those things are within biblical confines. I set up PulpTheology as a branch of Partakers in order that the books are cheap to purchase, quickly published to a great standard and hopefully written simply & clearly in order to help people engage with theology by using both words and image.
I currently reside in Bournemouth, travel frequently to speak in about places including the USA and Australia. I have a podcasting site and we have had about 1,500,000 unique visitors so far and about 4,000,000 downloads. I also engage with church online using Facebook, and we are able to go an experience of church primarily to those who are unable to get to church, usually because of health and disability issues.