Quakers pay tribute to Bruce Kent

‘It was his Christian faith that brought him to reject nuclear weapons as fundamentally immoral.'

Quakers have paid tribute to the veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent who died last week.

Paul Parker tweeted: ‘Here @BritishQuakers we are sorry to learn of the death of Bruce Kent. He stood firm in his opposition to nuclear weapons throughout his long life. His contribution to the UK peace movement was immense.’

The former Catholic priest and vice-president of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) died on 8 June at the age of ninety-two.

At the time of his death Bruce was also a vice-president of Pax Christi, and emeritus president of the Movement for the Abolition of War.

Tim Gee, general secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation, described the London-born peace campaigner as: ‘always down to earth and encouraging, he never gave up the cause, joined the dots between related struggles, and was active as long as he could. A Christian who lived his vocation’.

In a statement the family said: ‘It was his Christian faith that brought him to reject nuclear weapons as fundamentally immoral because, even without their use, nuclear deterrence itself depends on a willingness to commit mass murder.’

Bruce Kent’s legendary commitment to peace and human rights campaigns spanned many decades and included the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, the reform of the United Nations, and the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into force in 2021. He also spoke at many Quaker Meetings.

Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND, said that he had ‘transformed the scope and confidence of the anti-nuclear movement beyond all recognition. His leadership of CND in the 1980s was the embodiment of integrity, creativity and sheer determination’.

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