I was brought up in London in an ecumenical Protestant family environment which emphasised practical
moral action over spirituality under the stern influence of my paternal grandparents who had been Baptist
missionaries in Cuttack, India. Our unusually liberal Presbyterian church became increasingly important to
me as I trained for Confirmation which I underwent at the age of fourteen. Sunday school themes included
comparative religion (which I found riveting, feeling especially drawn towards Buddhism) and criticism of the
materialism dominating our culture.
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