Norman was born in Stotfold, Bedfordshire in 1947. After completing secondary school he was apprenticed to auto-transmission maker Borg-Warner Ltd in Letchworth, Herts., and went on to spend 27years in industry.
A move to Essex came in 1977 when he joined Ford Tractor Division in Basildon as a design engineer and later in 1986 became part of their Product Management team.
The move to Essex also led to him becoming a Christian in 1979 and then some years later being asked to lead a small independent Christian fellowship called “the Vine”. Around this time he was baptised by a close friend in the river Blackwater.
While pastoring “the Vine” Norman continued to work in Product Management convinced that it kept him in touch with the pressures and stresses of “normal everyday life”, but also of the potential of Business and Mission together.
However, the baptism experience had ignited a real passion for World Mission, which eventually resulted in the giant step to join World Horizons in 1991 and respond to the call to Cambodia. But first came two years of humbling and breaking preparation before Cambodia could happen.
At last, the relocation to Phnom Penh occurred on 5th November 1993 and with it the discovery that nothing is ever wasted in God’s Kingdom. Old engineering and business experience became invaluable in discipling young people as he worked, sometimes with a bible in one hand and a hacksaw in the other, passing on skills and establishing projects and small companies to empower the poor. Several of these continue today and in particular, the craft exporting business eventually transformed to become “Care for Cambodia” a fully registered charity, caring for children and young people.
Norman retains close links with Cambodia and his adopted family although he returned to Essex in 2017.