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Rev. Martin Preston

Remembrances

Martin took me for Divinity and Russian at St. Dunstan's. He never knew I was gender dysphoric and I never knew he was gay,...Read More

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Martin Preston was one of the founding members of the Gay Christian Movement (now Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement) in the U.K. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Regent's Park College, Oxford, followed by a year at the Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal) through a scholarship from the World Council of Churches. He was ordained as a Baptist clergyman in 1959. He worked briefly for the Education Commission of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Martin spent most of his career working in churches as the head of Religious Studies at St. Dunstan's College, Catford, London.

At the time of his initial involvement with the Gay Christian Movement, Martin was working as Assistant Minister to Brighton (Sussex) Central Free Church. Martin served on GCM's leadership committee as the person responsible for arranging central meetings. He notes that he was responsible for getting Harry Williams to deliver his (innocently) controversial  address one year for the Michael Harding Lecture.

Martin continued in this leadership position until Private Eye chose to 'out' him and name the school where he was chaplain. He had already come out at school and so the impact of the article was considerably blunted. The headmaster (who somehow was unaware of what all the rest of the school and common room knew) forbade Preston to have any further dealing with gay organisations on pain of dismissal. Consequently, Martin had to withdraw from active participation in GCM.    

During these years, Preston worked with the counselling service of the Campaign for Homosexuality Equality (CHE) in Brighton. He also helped organise the first Metropolitan Community Church in the town and served as its pastor until he moved to London in 1982. Furthermore, he was able to get Brighton Central Free Church to recognise the presence of the annual gay conference in town and to invite them to join it officially for the Sunday morning service.

Preston became an Anglican priest in 1988. After his retirement, he worked as Joint Director of the Lovemore Trust, a project to provide education for AIDS' orphans and destitute children in Zimbabwe. This project, along with all other non-governmental organisations, was closed down by President Mugabe in 2004. Preston is currently assistant priest at St. Nicholas Old Parish Church in Brighton, Sussex.

(This biographical statement provided by Martin Preston.)

Created: 6/14/2005 3:33:12 PM

Modified: 11/16/2005 5:52:55 PM

Biography: June, 2005