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
(This biographical statement provided by Martin