(This is a biography of theworking life of Barry Taylor - written in 2015)
I was born into a middle-class family on 20 August 1927 and lived the early part of my life in North London. I went to a number of private schools, the last one being King's College in Taunton.
My adolescent years were spent during the second war and no thought was then given to eventual careers – the only thought being which service to enter. I volunteered for the Navy and in 1945 went on a Naval short course at Exeter College, Oxford.
After four years in the Navy I was demobilized in 1948 – I was appalled at the idea of taking an office job and so decided to go back to Oxford – I was accepted by my old college
and in due course obtained an MA degree in Engineering.
Once again loomed the spectre of an office job ! In those days there seemed to be plenty of jobs for graduates and I was offered a number of engineering jobs – all of these involved time on the shop floor and I thought I was getting too old for this – I was now approaching 25.
I was eventually offered a job with a City of London firm – an unusual organization called a Confirming House that specialised in financing exports. I knew nothing about the firm’s business, but I was intrigued that everybody interviewing me was well over 60 and there seemed to be no 45 or 50 year olds around – perhaps this could be an opportunity for an up-and-coming lad !
I was with this company for 17 years and during this time travelled widely visiting the company’s overseas offices and setting up new offices, particularly in Japan and Europe. Apart from the traveling, the business itself was useful experience in that its activities were the provision of finance to overseas importers - an essential part of this was assessing the financial viability of the client and the level of credit that was advisable with this client.
The company went through a period of major change. Most of our clients were importers of cars and other vehicles but this trade diminished as vehicles were assembled locally and banks began providing export credit. We started to diversify, becoming involved in financing in Europe and in modest amounts of investment in companies. This lead to an increasing difference of opinion on future policy between the operating companies, one of which I was running, and the holding company. After a period of uncertainty, I left and started my own company.
I started in 1970 as a management and financial consultant and as an investor in small and medium-size companies. The timing was not ideal in that we were soon plunged into the ‘three-day week’ and all the economic chaos of the 1970s. One of my companies was thriving but two others were in difficulties and I decided that the best thing was to sell the successful company and wind up the other two. I did this and then found myself with no income and a family to support. This was a worrying time as I had three sons at private schools and the costs of supporting a conventional professional person’s life style in a nice house in South Kensington.
I had been employing a number of people in my consulting company but decided to continue on my own without any staff. This worked out surprisingly well and in fact I have traded as a sole consultant ever since.
But things with me were not as conventional as they seemed. During my extensive traveling I saw every type of sacred site and temple. I saw that each of these faiths believed themselves to be the one and only - but were in fact sincere and different ways of approaching the one Spirit. This led me to read widely, explore contemporary depth psychology and to read many of the mystics.
I had also been trained as a marriage guidance counsellor and had spent some five years as a counsellor and treasurer of London Marriage Guidance Counsel - now better known as Relate.
The combination of my reading and counselling experience meant that I was open to something new.
The new was sparked by my reading a book by Ann Petrie - now better known as Tara Livingstone or Isis – ‘Your Psychic World A-Z’. I was intrigued by this book and arranged to meet Tara in Glastonbury. I knew nothing about the place but was interested in everything I learned about it and thought maybe this was where I could move away from my business activities and start to concentrate upon my spiritual interests. That was not to be. Tara told me that there was no shortage of spiritual healers and teachers locally, but did I know anything about business ? – oh dear ! I mentioned that I did know something about businesses, charities and particularly projects going through difficult times. She said that this was exactly what was needed.
Tara introduced me to Helene Koppejan who was having problems with the Glastonbury Experiencecomplex of shops. Helene and I had an instant rapport and found that we had been born on the same day of the same year – a matter that Helene, as an astrologer, thought of particular significance.
started to work with Helene and from then on continued living in London but started to visit Glastonbury once a week - in 1995 I moved to Glastonbury.
On one of my early visits I went into the Abbey grounds. I felt as if I had been there before in an earlier life and received a very clear message that I was to work with others to help Glastonbury reach its full potential as a place of transformation and spiritual awareness – in effect to rebuild what had been the great Abbey of Glastonbury, but in a manner appropriate to the 21st century. This voice, or guidance, has been with me all my time in Glastonbury and I simply go and respond to what I appear to be being asked to do.
Since then my role has emerged as a ‘Business Healer’, using my business experience but with spiritually inspired projects. I have been led to become involved in a number of projects including:
Sorting out the Glastonbury Experience with Helene Koppejan. Then, with Mike Jones, setting up Glastonbury Courtyard Ltd, which now owns the Glastonbury Experience complex, and the GlastonburyTrust.
Starting with Kathy Jones and others the Library of Avalon and the Isle of Avalon Foundation.
Working with Richard Northcott on Glastonbury.co.uk and then with Hazel Pegg in setting up Glastonbury Online Ltd.
Working in the executive committee of the Assembly Rooms.
Trustee and Treasurer of Chalice Well.
On the executive committee in the early days of Glastonbury Community Development Trust – which now runs the Op Shop.
Working with Elisabeth Tham and Morgana West in setting up Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre - which is now the Glastonbury Reception Centre.
Setting up Glaston Centre Ltd to take over the Reception Centre and to start two new projects - TheResearch Project and Glastopedia.
Business and Financial consultant specialising in Community projects
A Pilgrim in Glastonbury
Creating Spiritually Inspired Projects
Married Mary Millbourn – 1953
Married Elisabeth Tham – 1997
Boating of every kind !