Our Trustees

Revd. Martin Burrell

Chair of Trustees - Chaplain to the Gypsies, Travellers & Roma for the Diocese of St Alban's

Until August 2018 Martin was living in Luton and leading the team.  From 2009 until 2018 he was Chaplain to the Gyspies, Travellers and Roma from the Diocese of St Alban's.  Martin has now retired and moved to Reading to be with his wife Margareta, who is originally from Switzerland. They have three children, Rebecca, Naomi and Leo.  Martin continues to chair the Churches Network for Gyspies, Travellers and Roma - a UK based group of Christians who seek to help these communities in any they can.  Martin is also UK representative for RomaNetworks - an international Christian group of Roma and non-Roma pastors who are working with the Roma across Europse and beyond.  

Martin Burrell's first vocation was as a professional clarinettist - a career which began in Sweden and ended in Scotland. Called then to serve in the Church of England, Martin’s first post was as curate of St Mary's Bredin, Canterbury.  He then became vicar of St Dunstan's, Cranbrook in Kent. It was there that he was first drawn to the English Romanies living in the parish.  Their ancestors had migrated to England at the time of Henry VIII. Aware of how deeply they were changing his outlook on life and faith, in 2009 he wrote up his experiences in “The Pure in Heart - An Epistle from the Romanies.” 

Moving on to become vicar of Christchurch, Bushmead in Luton, he became aware of the growing number of Roma families from Eastern Europe who were arriving in town in search of work. Clearly, these people were “chips of the same block” as his Romani friends in Kent! Martin embarked on learning the Romani language, sensing that this would be the route to the soul of this most marginalised group in Europe. As he got to know more Roma families, Luton Roma Church began to take shape and Martin was appointed Chaplain to the Gypsies, Travellers and Roma for the Diocese of St Alban's. With the encouragement of the Diocese St Alban’s, Luton Roma Trust was born in 2015 with the specific aim of giving the Roma people a future and a hope such that they had never dreamt of.

As the work of the Trust took off, Martin was provided with a 'house for duty' by the Diocese of St Alban's in return for his work with the Luton Roma community.  This made it possible for him to focus his energies on the work of the Trust.  

Click below to order a copy of Martin's book, "The Pure in Heart - An Epistle from the Romanies" 2009.  This tells the story of Martin's work with the English Romanies in Cranbrook, Kent...

Martin's Book

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Bishop Richard Atkinson O.B.E

Bishop of Bedford

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John Barr

John is an English Romani by background.

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Stephanie Sayers

LRT - Minutes Secretary

Stephanie worked with the Roma for several years in Romania together with her husband Paul, our Roma Education Champion. 

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Liz Hughes

Liz is Senior Chaplain at Luton Airport - where our Roma clients arrive!

Liz started her ministry as a Deaconess in 1983 and made deacon in 1987.
Then privileged to be one of the first women priests in the Diocese in 1994.
Has worked largely in Chaplaincy roles - Hemel Hempstead Hospital 1993-1999, St Francis Hospice 1999-2013 and Senior Chaplain at London Luton Airport since 2013.
During this time worked as NSM curate in the Parishes of Dunstable and Boxmoor and as honorary Chaplain to police and local youth groups.
Since being at the Airport has worked closely with voluntary and statutory organisations supporting people from Romania and other parts of Eastern Europe as they first arrive in this country
Married to Paul (Archdeacon of Bedford) with two grown up children living away from home. 

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Pauline Neilson

LRT - Charity Secretary (not a trustee)