Alan Smith is the Bishop of St Albans. He first came to Lee Abbey in 1984 as a Chaplain following his curacy in Pudsey. After this he became Diocesan Missioner and Vicar in the Walsall Team Ministry in the Diocese of Lichfield. In 1997 he became the Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent and five years later was consecrated Bishop of Shrewsbury. He was chair of the Shropshire Strategic Partnership from 2006-2009 and was a member of the Rural Bishops’ Panel from 2006-2009. He was translated to the See of St Albans in April 2009. Since entering the House of Lords in 2013 he has spoken on a wide range of subjects including rural affairs, housing, welfare and the economy. He is President of the Rural Coalition, a grouping of twelve rural organisations all of which are committed to a living and working countryside. He is a vice president of the Local Government Association. His books and writings include: Growing up in Multi-faith Britain: Explorations in Youth, Ethnicity and Religion (2007), God-Shaped Mission: A Perspective from the Rural Church (2008), and Saints and Pilgrims (2013). He co-authored The Reflective Leader (2011) and was joint editor of Faith and the Future of the Countryside (2012). From 2009 to 2011 he was joint chairman of the Anglican Methodist Working Party which produced the report Fresh Expressions in the Mission of the Church (2012). Among his hobbies are theatre, gardening, walking and skiing. He has recently become the Episcopal Visitor of the Lee Abbey Movement.