Bala, though born into an Anglican family, was brought up in the Methodist Church in Colombo. He is a member of the British Methodist Church in London and served for six years as the first Synod secretary of the newly formed London District in 2004.
Bala has around 20 years' professional experience in the international telecommunications sector, much of this at executive level at British Telecom, ECI Telecom, CTell Inc. and Interoute Telecommunications Ltd. Until 2010 he was Chairman of University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust, a post which he held for eight years.
He has served on many public and charitable bodies. These include Ecumenical Aids Trust, Age Exchange, Applecart, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, Lewisham Borough Council and the Inner London Education Authority.
Bala's first engagement with Christian Aid was in the 1970s, as the local volunteer organiser for the London Borough of Southwark.