Cuthbert was born in Wolverhampton as the son of an Anglican vicar, and raised in Oxford. While he was still young his family were received into the Catholic Church. Through his education and childhood parishes he encountered Salesians, Capuchins and Jesuits as well as the secular priesthood to which his father was ordained. During 6th form he took up debating and through this was invited to a youth discussion group at Blackfriars. From then on he regularly attended Mass and vespers at the priory.
He went to St Chad’s College, Durham University to study geoscience and it was while here that he developed a devotion to St Cuthbert his religious patron. Having already been an altar server for over 10 years he joined the chaplaincy serving team, then became social secretary of the Catholic society before being elected president for his final year. He helped welcome the Dominicans to Durham and after finishing his degree became parish secretary. He moved back to Oxford to work full time for a local pub but felt his calling to preach and serve others pointed to a vocation to the religious life. He applied to join the Dominicans and spent a year of discernment on the team at Soli House, the Archdiocese of Birmingham’s youth retreat centre. This year of volunteering and community life taught him about the pastoral needs of young people and the rich variety of gifts in the Catholic Church.