Canon Alan John Deboo was born in 1945. He gained a degree in Engineering from the University of Birmingham in 1968 before studying Theology at the University of Cambridge, gaining a Batchelor of Arts in 1973 and a Master of Arts in 1977. Between 1974 and 1977 he served as a Curate in the Church of England's Diocese of Peterborough. He then joined the Engineering Industry Training Board as a Training Advisor from 1977 to 1980. In 1980 he became the Personnel Director for the Independent Broadcasting Authority, serving in this capacity until 1989. He then began working at British Rail Headquarters as Personnel Manager from 1989 to 1992. He was then the British Railways Board's Director of Group Personnel Services between 1992 and 1997. He then joined the Ministry of Defence in Germany as Director Personnel for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes from 1997 to 1999. He served as the Canon at Salisbury Cathedral between 2005 and 2017.