Richard is the Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) for the Leeds Diocese. He is a qualified teacher, having taught RE in secondary schools in Middlesbrough in the 1980s to the mid-90s. He worked for over 20 years at York St John University in teacher education (QTS and PGCE Programmes) and theology and religious studies (BA, MA and research degree supervision). From 2004 he was Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of the Centre for Church School Education. He became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2012. In 2014 he was seconded to work for the new Diocese of Leeds to help shape education policy. In January 2015 he was appointed as Director of Education.
Richard has published research in the diaspora experiences of UK Sikhs and in Public Theology. He is a Visiting Fellow of York St John University. He was Chair of Governors of Ripon Cathedral CE Primary School taking up the post after the school was placed in Special Measures and remaining as Chair until he took up post as DDE in January 2015.