Richard Kirker trained for ministry in the Church of England but following his ordination as deacon, his path to priesthood was blocked as a result of his openness about his sexuality. He became LGCM’s first General Secretary and later Chief Executive, a role he filled for almost 30 years. Richard continues to live in the East End, close to LGCM’s birthplace at St Botolph’s Aldgate, and its subsequent home at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. He remains active in a number of voluntary roles, including at the LGBT archives at the Bishopsgate Institute.
“GCM was only 18 months old when it employed me. And I applied for a job which thankfully I was given, for the grand salary of £1,500 per annum. In those days it was a half time job and I was told ‘Well if you want to make this a full time job, it’s yours to do what you will with because you’ll only ever receive a wage which was (even in those days ) far below what was necessary to live on. ‘Go out there and raise the funds and make the organization grow.’ So there was a selfish incentive to make the organization successful and to lead it and to enable it to grow, which it did exponentially. LGCM became a phenomenon. We were driving the news agenda when it came to Christian issues.”
“What we were trying to say, and what I hope we still try to say is, If you want to look at a Christian community of the future and what it might look like, look at us.”
You can hear Richard’s story here.