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Cindy Kent from Sheppey gets MBE for religious broadcasting

By John Nurden

Sheppey’s the Rev Cindy Kent has been awarded an MBE for services to religious broadcasting in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List.

The ordained priest, who had a Top 40 hit with The Lightning Tree as part of British folk group The Settlers in 1971, moved to the Island at the start of the year and now lives in Minster.

After quitting the pop world she turned to religion and became the first presenter to be signed to Christian radio station Premier, where she still works.

The Rev Cindy Kent celebrating her MBE
The Rev Cindy Kent celebrating her MBE

She said: “I am really chuffed. It’s been the hardest thing to keep secret. I’ve known since April. But when the letter arrived with HMS stamped on the front I thought it was a tax demand! Once I’d read the opening words I had to sit down with shock.

“I am thrilled. It could not have been a nicer surprise. And the news was announced on Friday on the 21 birthday of Premier when I was on air presenting drive-time. I still can’t believe it. I feel very humble.”

The Lightning tree by The Settlers featuring Cindy Kent
The Lightning tree by The Settlers featuring Cindy Kent

She celebrated in London with her son and his partner, who presented her with the hand-drawn letters MBE.

After performing with The Settlers, Cindy went on to host religious programmes on BBC Radio Four, Radio Two and Radio One before venturing into commercial radio with pioneering religious broadcasting at LBC in London and Radio Hallam in Sheffield.

During that time she presented programmes on Tyne Tees TV and ran the Media Awareness Project for the Mothers' Union offering media training to would-be broadcasters.

When Premier Christian Radio launched in London in 1995, Cindy was the first presenter to sign up and has since presented a variety of programmes including Premier Tonight, This is My Story and This is My Song.

The Rev Cindy Kent on the Isle of Sheppey
The Rev Cindy Kent on the Isle of Sheppey

She trained to become a priest-in-charge at St. John the Apostle, Whetstone in London and recently retired from full-time ministry.

Premier’s chief executive Peter Kerridge said: “Cindy is the ultimate professional. Her dedication, faithfulness and irrepressible enthusiasm have been recognised in this award. It is a fitting accolade to a lifetime of broadcasting excellence.”

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