Howard Wilson was born a 'son of the manse' - the first born of a Methodist Minister and his wife, just over a year into their marriage.
Having been brought up in the Methodist Church, Howard became a Christian at age 15 following a youth group holiday in Scarborough with Rev Will Morrey (who later went on to become President of the Methodist Conference). He was received into membership of the Methodist Church the same year.
As well as Sunday School, the other significant influence on Howard's childhood was membership of The Boys' Brigade which instilled a commitment to "the advancement of Christ's kingdom... and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, discipline and all that tends toward true Christian manliness". He rose through the Brigade gaining both the President's and Queen's awards before training as an officer at the Brigade's national college at Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead on the King George VI (KGVI) training course.
Shortly after starting on the KGVI course, Howard began helping at the Sheffield YMCA where he made some good friends who introduced him to the Church of the Nazarene - at that time in Victoria Street Sheffield. There was a strong youth fellowship where he could find support and so began 6 years as a 'Nazarene'.
The contact with the YMCA in Sheffield lead to employment as a part-time hostel receptionist (and occasional duty officer cover) as well as voluntary work running the Saturday morning junior youth club and the Holiday Adventure Weeks programme for children 10-13. This latter work continued throughout four years professional training in Lancaster.
Convinced of a calling to work with young people, Howard went to train at St Martin's College, Lancaster. The course was unusual as a triple honours comprising twin professional qualifications as a teacher and a youth & community worker with a main teaching subject of religious studies. While training Howard taught in Morecambe, Preston, Blackpool, Darwen Vale and Crosshills.
Youth work placements included Lancaster Boys' Club, Barton Road Youth Centre Lancaster and South Craven Youth Wing Crosshills. He also set up and developed the children and young people's work at the Church of the Nazarene in Lancaster.
Since qualifying Howard has worked for and with young people in a variety of settings as well as giving time voluntarily to a wide range of organisations - details of which are shown opposite.