Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Jeremy Marshall (1963-2023): Elder statesman of the evangelical movement

Editor’s note: Jeremy Marshall was one of the principal leaders of the conservative Evangelical movement in England and closely linked to Premier Christianianity Magazine, the Church of England Evangelical Council and other groups. His death creates a significant vacuum amongst English lay evangelical leaders just as the battle over same-sex blessings is being joined at General Synod. His obituary from Premier Christianity is printed below:

Today, I am grieving the loss of my friend and mentor, Jeremy Marshall, who died peacefully on Sunday morning at 8am at home surrounded by his family, after almost ten years battling with cancer. 

Jeremy was an inspirational figure who lived a remarkable life. He was talented, brilliant, and successful. He attended Cambridge and became the CEO of Hoare’s Bank, the UK’s oldest private wealth fund. He never let his achievements overshadow his humility, kindness, and generosity. He made those he met feel cared for and inspired to be the best version of themselves. 

Jeremy was a faithful servant of God who used his gifts and resources to advance his kingdom. When he was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer in 2013, he did not succumb to self-pity or despair. Instead, he launched a second career as a senior statesman of the UK’s evangelical movement. He wrote a book, Beyond the big C: Hope in the face of death (10publishing) and had a vision to unite and empower Christians from different backgrounds and denominations to share the gospel with passion and courage. 

He was involved in many initiatives and projects that aimed to make Jesus known across the nation and beyond. He helped purchase a Christian bank, helped restructure the old Brethren property services company, Stewardship, supported organisations like Christianity Explored, invested in training of ministers across the world and acted as a bridge builder between White British Evangelicals and Black African Pentecostals. He achieved much more in his ten years of illness than most of us will in our entire lives. 

Jeremy inherited his zeal for God from his father, who smuggled Bibles behind the iron curtain on family holidays and preached the gospel in the town centre using a sign board. Jeremy was initially cynical about his father’s faith, but when he encountered the Lord himself, he embraced his faith wholeheartedly. He was a man who was all in for Jesus. He had various passions in his life; family, Watford, Tolkien and political history were amongst his great loves. 

He loved to read the gospel with anyone who was willing to listen, using his favourite ‘Word One to One’ materials. He led many people to faith in Jesus Christ through his gracious persistence. He also created wider networks of community and friendship among believers, encouraging them to look after one another. His legacy is an enormous community of gospel-empowered, Jesus-focused partnerships. 

Our nation has become increasingly polarised, but Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). I pray that we will see more peacemakers like Jeremy, who will put down the weapons of the culture war and stand in the public square declaring Jesus Christ as Lord in the face of difficulty and even death. 

I am honoured to have known Jeremy. He taught me so much about life, faith, and leadership. I will miss him dearly, but I will also celebrate his life and legacy by preaching Jesus near and far. 

Jeremy could truly say with Paul, “To die is gain but to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). He has achieved his goal. He is now with his saviour, whom he loved more than anything. He is survived by Jeanette and three children, but also an enormous crowd of friends who will take forward his work of making Jesus known without let up. 

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