Today the Wallis Family lives on the eastern shores of the beautiful island-continent of Australia. An Australian by choice, my heritage is English, Welsh and Ghanaian – with deep ancestry in Benin, France, Switzerland, and Sweden. My amazing wife, Ruth, is a passionate educator and coach, and the founder of AfroShe. Ruth is of Ghanaian heritage. We are the parents of three awesome kids, Evie, Ben and Caleb, and our two cats Hugo and Skye.
Filming in the Yarrh River Valley, New South Wales in 2021
Since a young age I have always been fascinated by questions about our place in the universe.
- My discovery of Erich Von Daniken in 1976 led to a life-changing spiritual encounter in 1982. Theological education in North-east Brazil and Amazonia, via northern England, sent me on a global learning journey, from the UK to Australia.
- Thirty-three years as a church doctor, theological educator and Archdeacon for the Anglican church in Australia kept me engaged with the spiritual and mystical layer of life, and continually stretched by the themes of our ancient texts, while the work of community healing kept my feet firmly on the ground.
- Since the 1990’s my books and broadcasts have brought Christian mysticism and spirituality to a mainstream audience.
- Today my work focuses on ancestral narratives, our origins as a species, and our potential as human beings. I also coach a few individuals each year.
I am continually inspired by the world of our spiritual ancestors – the “great cloud of witnesses.” In particular I owe a great debt to:
- the empowering holism of educators like Paolo Freire
- contemporary investigators who teach me to pursue truth and to share the journey
- campaigners like the late Tony Benn whose oratory inspires and persuades
- curators like Shelby Foote and Credo Mutwa whose storytelling embodies cultural memory
- Vladimir Lossky, and others of the “Apophatic Way” (the way of unknowing – I Corinthians 8:1)
- the community of soul friendship modelled by proto-monastics like Francis and Clare of Assisi, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Hilda of Whitby and Benedict of Norcia
- The Hesychast prayer-people of Eastern Orthodoxy – Seraphim of Sarov, Theophan the Recluse, and Dmitri of Rostov – alongisde Western mystics like John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart. All teach me to breathe and to develop a peaceful spirit.
At leisure with my kids in NSW, 2021 (photo by Evie)
If you browse my website, thinking, “OMG, Paul was hardly a fount of grace and wisdom when I met him!’ then please allow me to ask sincerely for your grace and forgiveness. In our youth we are are often clumsy, myopic and unaware. In our adulthood too! We are all people in process. For every one of us, life is an unfolding journey of change and growth. I am certainly thankful that this is true for me – because I still aspire to being a late bloomer!!