As a son of the manse Noel was born in Dowlais and then moved to Gellan in Cardiganshire and Pontycymer near Bridgend. His school years took him from Cellan primary to Lampeter Secondary and then Garw Grammar school. He graduated in Chemisty and Biochemistry at Bangor before preparing for the ministry at Mansfield College, Oxford. He was ordained at Glanaman. Between 1977 and 1998 he was the General Secretary of the Church Council for Wales and then Cytun. He has served as President of the Welsh Congregationalist in 1998-1999 and ministered in Clydach, Swansea; lecturer in Trinity College and Cardiff University and Training Officer for the Welsh Congregationlists. He is now retired but remains fully active including stem cell research at the Swansea medical school.