Gerald West was born in 1931 into a family of committed Christians. His father, Frederick West worked in the construction industry and went on to become the Managing Director of an important construction company in London. Gerald's parents were involved in the formation of Addiscombe Hall in Croydon which opened in 1933 and was where Frederick became an elder and trustee.
Gerald studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and on completion of his training, moved in to private practice. Gerald and Eileen were married and together they worshipped at Mitchley Hill Chapel in South Croydon. The 1960s and 1970s saw Gerald involved in many projects in Milton Keynes and in 1968 the Wests moved to Bedford where they attended fellowship at Rutland Gospel Hall (later known as Rutland Road Evangelical Church) where Gerald served as a trustee into the 1990s. As his career progressed, Gerald became a partner with Fitzroy Robinson, a London firm of architects and also took on responsibility for overseeing the finances of the company.
On the family's return to London in the 1980s, they attended Cholmeley Evangelical Church in Highgate, and after retiring in 1995 Gerald was able to devote more time to church activities and was involved in redeveloping the site. In 2006 Gerald and Eileen moved to Warwick and became members of Myton Church.
As well as being an active member of his local church, Gerald joined the Christian Brethren Research Fellowship (C.B.R.F.) Committee in the 1980s and shortly after became their chairman, a role he stayed in until 1999. He also joined the United Kingdom Evangelisation Trust (UKET) Council and became chairman of the Church Planting Initiative (C.P.I.). In his professional life, Gerald was a Freeman of the City of London.