Stephen has lived in Stockport since he was eight years old. He grew up in Heaton Moor and went first to Didsbury Road Primary School, then to Manchester Grammar School. From there he went to Cambridge University and studied classics and theology. He came back to Stockport, lived in Edgeley and worked for a while as a schoolteacher before becoming a full-time preacher.
His wife Anne is a musician. She taught piano at the junior department of the Royal Northern College of Music and for several years accompanied a local choir. They have four children, Jesse, John, Vicky and David. The family lives on the Larkhill estate, just fifteen minutes walk from the church building.
As well as his work at Grace Baptist Church, Stephen has traveled widely, preaching and speaking at conferences in many countries.