Martin Burrell was born in England in 1951 to an English father and a Swiss mother and was the second of six children. His first career as a professional clarinettist began with studies in London and Berlin and was followed by positions in Malmö, Sweden, and Glasgow, Scotland. Aged 40, he was called to ordination in the Church of England. Following studies at Trinity College, Bristol, he served his curacy at St Mary Bredin, Canterbury. In 1999 he was appointed vicar of Cranbrook, Kent. It was here that his ministry to the local Romani community began; the story is recorded in Martin’s first book, “The Pure in Heart, An Epistle to the Romanies” - 2009.
Following a call to serve as vicar of Christchurch, Bushmead, his ministry then widened to include the Romanian Roma community of Luton. In recognition of his work with GTR communities, the Diocese of St Alban’s appointed Martin in 2009 as their “Chaplain to the Gypsies, Travellers and Roma.” Following the planting of the first Roma church in Luton in 2011, the holistic ministry to a rapidly growing Roma community was consolidated in the creation of Luton Roma Trust in 2015.
Martin and his wife now live in retirement in Kent. Martin continues to play an active role in the CNGTR - Churches Network for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma - and as UK representative for RomaNetworks.