Born in Isfahan, Iran, Guli’s family was among those forced to leave the country in the wake of the Iranian Revolution in 1980, when she was just 14. She attended Nottingham and Bristol Universities and was ordained in 1998, serving in Southwark diocese. Among other positions, Guli was Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music in London for 2 years.
‘I had quite an unusual upbringing, I think it’s fair to say,’ she says in a video recorded by the church. ‘I grew up very much between and betwixt a number of different worlds I think. Obviously Iran is primarily a Muslim country and that was our wider context.’ At school she was the only Christian in an entirely Muslim environment, but at home she was immersed in the church.