Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston
Cecilia Eggleston has been passionately involved in MCC for 30 years, starting as a young LGBT activist who helped to plant a local church. She has served as European District Co-ordinator and as Regional Elder, working with our churches in Western Europe and Africa. She is one of the few MCC leaders who has served at a denominational level with both Rev. Troy Perry and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson as Moderators, learning from them both about what it means to lead a global movement and international denomination.
During her time as local church pastor at Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, she was featured in a photography exhibition, “Inspirational Women of the North East”, commissioned by Newcastle University, in recognition of her ministry. She led the Newcastle Pride parade twice and spoke at the Pride festival to over 32,000 people. During her tenure as Pastor, Northern Lights MCC was presented with the Moderator’s Award for the church’s work with LGBT asylum seekers. She has spoken at public events to mark IDAHOT, International Women’s Day and World AIDS Day.
Reverend Elder Eggleston delights in building up people and seeing them grow. She has worked as a teacher, a trainer, a community development worker and a community facilitator. Mentoring leaders is a particular passion and she recently served on the faculty of the European Readiness to Enter Vocational Ministry Retreat. She is a trained Spiritual Director and loves “holy listening” – holding that sacred space, so that individuals can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit within their own lives. She is trained in consensus building and has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a common vision and then develop a strategic plan, which works towards that vision.
Whilst undeniably English, Reverend Elder Eggleston loves travelling and experiencing other cultures. She speaks some French and German. After serving for nine years as Pastor at Northern Lights MCC, she spent a year travelling and fulfilling her wish list, including volunteering for three months in Swaziland, Southern Africa. She was so inspired by her experience there that she looked for opportunities to continue this justice work. She currently works for an international development charity, Send A Cow, which trains and equips farmers in Eastern Africa to overcome poverty. This forms her AAA ministry.
Reverend Elder Eggleston has been interviewed many times over the years by the media in the UK, South Africa and Germany, including on BBC radio. She was featured in the grounding breaking Channel 4 programme “Out on Tuesday” in the UK when it was still very challenging to be “out” and there was little protection in law. She is an engaging preacher and public speaker, as well as enjoying writing for pleasure and for work. She loves learning and returned to further study at Durham University, which has one of the leading theological departments in the UK. She gained a distinction for her dissertation on “Gay Men and Disenfranchised Grief”. Although she is extrovert and has plenty of energy, she is spiritually a contemplative, needing silence and stillness to feed her soul. Quiet time every morning and time set aside for retreat are important ways for her to keep spiritually healthy.
Family is important to Reverend Elder Eggleston. She was born in Sheffield, in the north of England, the sixth child of seven. She has an enormous number of relatives and enjoys spending time with all the different generations. She currently lives in Somerset, in SW England, where she enjoys watching the birds in the garden and learning to ballroom dance.
(Updated: 1 March 2019)
(Updated: 1 March 2019)