CareerTownend, son of a Church of England vicar in Halifax, West Yorkshire, was the youngest of four children. He studied literature at the University of Sussex. Townend started learning to play the piano at age 7. At the age of 13, he made a Christian commitment, and began songwriting at age 22.At university, he met Caroline, whom he married in 1988. They now have three children; Joseph, Emma and Eden. He has attended and regularly leads worship at the Church of Christ the King (CCK) in Brighton, one of the Newfrontiers network of churches headed by Terry Virgo.Townend has led worship and performed events across the world at many conferences and festivals, including the Stoneleigh Bible Week in the early 90s to the early 2000s, Together On A Mission, Mandate, Mission:Worship, Keswick Convention, Spring Harvest and many more. He has also featured on Songs of Praise and worked alongside other high profile Christian musicians including Keith Getty, Lou Fellingham and Phatfish.In 2005, Cross Rhythms magazine described Townend as "one of the most significant songwriters in the whole international Christian music field". The Christian website Crosswalk.com commented that, "the uniqueness of Townend’s writing lies partly in its lyrical content. There is both a theological depth and poetic expression that some say is rare in today’s worship writing".