Gillian was born and educated in Cork, Ireland. She has been interim Vice President of the World Methodist Council during the last quinquennium. She served on the International Commission for Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council from 1986-2006 and was Chair of the Program Committee for the World Methodist Conference in Seoul, South Korea in 2006.
The first lay person to serve as Convenor of the Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church in Ireland, she was also the first person to appointed Lay Leader of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland (2010-2013). She is a former President of the Irish Council of Churches and of Irish-Inter Church Meeting; she is also a former President of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Moderator of CTBI’s Church Representatives Meeting. She is a member of the chaplaincy team at University College, Dublin, and leads a walking team from that university on the Camino de Santiago every year.