THE Christian peace-campaigner Bruce Kent died on Wednesday, aged 92, after a short illness, his family has announced.
Mr Kent, a former Roman Catholic priest, was for a long time general secretary and chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). At the time of his death he was a vice-president of CND, a vice-president of Pax Christi, and emeritus president of the Movement for the Abolition of War.
He was awarded the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism last year (News, 9 April 2021).
The present general secretary of CND, Kate Hudson, paid tribute to Mr Kent on Thursday, saying that he had “transformed the scope and confidence of the anti-nuclear movement beyond all recognition”.
She continued: “His leadership of CND in the 1980s was the embodiment of integrity, creativity, and sheer determination. Bruce’s razor-sharp intellect, together with his humour, tireless work, intolerance of flannel, and total commitment to his faith and principles, made him a leader of our movement beyond compare. He will be much missed.”
Baroness Kennedy QC said that she had known Mr Kent since the 1970s, when he was an RC chaplain at London University. “He was a huge influence on my life and his commitment to peace and human rights was inspirational,” she said. “He wanted a more compassionate and inclusive Church and a more decent and just society. He lived out his faith in everything he did — for the marginalised and the poor — and he gave his all with such a great sense of fun. He was one of the finest human beings I have ever met.”
Mr Kent is survived by his wife, Valerie Flessati, whom he married in 1988, a year after resigning his priesthood. Dr Flessati was joint-recipient of the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism last year.
Read his obituary here, plus a tribute from Paul Vallely