Young Methodists debate sexuality and gender at sell-out 3Generate

Young people aired their views on conflict and peace, exam stress, bullying, sexuality and gender orientation at the sell-out 3Generate event this month. More than 250 children and young people met at Whitemoor Lakes in Lichfield for the annual gathering, which drew delegates from as far away as Gibraltar, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. A report on the assembly will be presented to the Methodist Conference next summer.

Tamara Wray was elected to the role of Youth President for 2013/2014. The 21-year-old university student from London said: "I was shocked when I found out that I had been elected - I was so excited that people felt I would be able to do this role. I hope to get more to know more young people in the Church and empower them to do something with their lives."

Abby Waterson, Roxanne Bainbridge  and Tom Williamson were elected to support Tamara as representatives to Conference in 2013/2014, and Rebecca Belshaw was elected to the role of Council Representative. Samuel Hutchinson was elected to the role of Ecumenical representative for 14 to 17-year-olds and Emma Johnson was elected to the same role for the 18 to 23-year-old age group. Rachel Allison was voted in as the British Youth Council representative.

Hayley Moss, Methodist Youth President, hosted the event. "'It was a fantastic event," she said. "The young people I spoke to were really enjoying themselves. They talked about their faith and their connection to the Church which they felt was being re-invigorated as a result of their experience of the weekend. It was a time full of vitality, challenge and hope as we explored who we are and what God is saying to us as part of the Methodist Church of today." 

The young people also made a pilgrimage around the National Memorial Arboretum and held a collection for the final communion service for Street Child World Cup. A film of the weekend will be released to District Synods in December.  

The Lichfield venue is provisionally booked for next year, but organisers will reassess whether they need to book a bigger venue closer to the time. People eager to attend next year's event are being encouraged to register their interest  now, although doing so will not guarantee a place.

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