Bruce Kent

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Bruce Kent in February 2016

Bruce Kent (born 22 June 1929) is a British political activist and a retired 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 1960 he joined the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,[2] a specialist section of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kent is the son of Molly (Marion) and Kenneth Kent.[4] He was educated in Canada before attending Stonyhurst College. He served as an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment from 1947 to 1949 and afterwards read jurisprudence at Brasenose College, Oxford, from 1949 to 1952.


In 1958 Kent was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and was a chaplain to the University of London from 1966 to 1974. He was chairman of the charity War on Want from 1974 to 1976.

In 1987, Kent left the priesthood rather than comply with an instruction from the Cardinal Basil Hume to desist from involvement in the 1987 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 a monsignor.[6]


From 1985 to 1992, Kent succeeded Sean MacBride as President of the International Peace Bureau.[7]

In 1992, 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.[8] Sitting Member of Parliament and former Conservative minister John Patten, also a Catholic, retained his seat.[9] Kent is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

In a ceremony held on 19 October 2019, Kent was honoured with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) Sean MacBride Peace Award.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Kent married Valerie Flessati on 4 July 1988 and now lives in Harringay, North London. His great nephew is the actor Joe Alwyn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Veteran anti-nuclear campaigner gives city peace talk Yorkshire Post, 1 July 2009
  2. ^ Kent, Bruce. "BRUCE KENT – Biographical information". Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Christian CND". Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  4. ^ Kent, Bruce (1992). Undiscovered ends. ISBN 9780002159968.
  5. ^ ARC Patrons Biographies[failed verification] Arms Reduction Coalition
  6. ^ [1] Sale, J. (1999). "Passed/Failed: Bruce Kent". The Independent, Thursday, 28 January 1999 (Online: Accessed 7 November 2010).
  7. ^ Kent, Bruce. "BRUCE KENT – PEACE WORK FOR OVER SIX DECADES". Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  8. ^ Hansard – 16 June 1999, col 394
  9. ^ English Counties United Kingdom Election Results 1983–97
  10. ^ Teague, Ellen (15 October 2019). "Bruce Kent honoured with peace award". The Tablet. Retrieved 31 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Chair of CND
Succeeded by
Preceded by General Secretary of CND
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of CND
Succeeded by