Ronald Edwin Mann was born in Fleetwood, Lancs. Brought up in a Christian family he was educated at Fleetwood Grammar School and attended the local Methodist church. After leaving school Ron got a job in the accounts department of the County Council but the Second World War intervened and Ron volunteered for the army. He trained in the North-East – Northumberland Hussars – and was posted to North Africa. He was taken prisoner by the Italians after his truck broke down but later escaped from prison camp in northern Italy and made his way south to where the allies were advancing up.
After the war he felt guided to work with The Oxford Group (Moral Re-Armament) instead of returning to his job at the County Council. It was through this he met his wife Mary who he married in June 1953. After travelling in many countries with MRA he eventually returned to live in England with Mary Evans and their son, John, and settled in Wimbledon.
Back in London Ron became much involved with the work of MRA at the Westminster Theatre and later with the Christian theatre company, Aldersgate Productions, which he founded with other prominent Methodists.