Bruce Kent

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Person.png Bruce Kent  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(priest, activist)
Bruce Kent.jpg
Born22 June 1929
Alma materStonyhurst College, Brasenose College (Oxford)
Member ofKönigswinter/Speakers
Interestsnuclear weapons
British political activist, anti-nuclear campaigner and former Roman Catholic priest.

Bruce Kent is a British political activist, anti-nuclear campaigner and former Roman Catholic priest.

Active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), he was the organisation's general secretary from 1980 to 1985 and its chair from 1987 to 1990. He now holds the honorary title of vice-president.[1]

In February 2017, Bruce Kent was invited by Huntingdon Constituency Labour Party to speak against the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme. Nik Johnson, chairman of Huntingdon CLP, said:

“Recent revelations show that the Government and Theresa May were fully aware that a test fired Trident missile had veered off in the wrong direction — ironically, towards our allies, the Americans — but that this fact was concealed from Parliament just before a crucial vote on whether funding should be agreed. It’s therefore even more important now that this huge expenditure be critically scrutinised.
“The Labour Party’s official position is that we support Trident, but this is always a subject that provokes huge disagreements between both sides in any debate. As a CLP we encourage open debate and discussion. We have previously invited speakers to explain the arguments for a nuclear deterrent so now we are looking to consider the counter arguments."[2]

Early life

Kent is the son of Molly (Marion) and Kenneth Kent.[3] He was educated in Canada before attending Stonyhurst College. He was an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment from 1947 to 1949 and afterwards read jurisprudence at Brasenose College, Oxford, from 1949 to 1952.

Campaigning priest

In 1958 Bruce Kent was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and became involved with the International peace movement through his work with Pax Christi in Britain. He was a chaplain to the University of London from 1966 to 1974, and chaired the charity War on Want from 1974 to 1976. From 1985 to 1992 Kent succeeded Seán MacBride as President of the International Peace Bureau.[4]

In 1987, Kent left the priesthood rather than comply with an instruction from the late Cardinal Basil Hume to desist from involvement in that year's UK General Election in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church.[5]

During his time as a priest Kent attained the status of Monsignor.[6]


In 1992 Bruce Kent was a candidate for the Labour Party in the constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon, where he came third. Had he been elected, he would at the time have been prevented, as an ordained priest, from taking his seat in the House of Commons.[7] Sitting Member of Parliament and former Conservative Party minister John Patten, also a Catholic, retained his seat.[8]

Bruce Kent is also a member of Amnesty International, Compassion in World Farming, the Campaign to Free Vanunu, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many other organisations.

Publications include "Building the Global Village" (Harper Collins 1991) and "Undiscovered Ends" (Harper Collins 1992).

Personal life

Bruce Kent married Valerie Flessati on 4 July 1988 and now lives in Harringay, North London.


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Jeremy Corbyn's Acceptance Speech 2013 Gandhi International Peace AwardSpeech9 January 2014Jeremy CorbynGandhi Award to a Man of Peace: Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn


External links

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