26 August 2004

Methodist Church adds Spirituality post

The Revd Michaela Youngson will start work on September 1 as Methodist Secretary for Pastoral Care and Spirituality. This new post will ensure that the Church responds to the growing interest in spirituality in all its forms in Britain.

Michaela, who was born on Christmas Day in Cornwall, has worked as a minister in Lancashire since 1995. Prior to that she worked for Traidcraft, British Aerospace and the civil service before ministerial training in Birmingham.

Michaela will report to the Revd Jonathan Kerry, Coordinating Secretary for Worship and Learning. Jonathan says "It seems that everyone is interested in 'spirituality' these days, with no end of options to chose from - books, videos, courses and cures of every imaginable kind! It's a big business and not all of it is well-founded or beneficial. This appointment is an attempt by the Methodist Church to help people discover a form of spirituality that is genuinely Christian. We believe that people need to develop spiritually if they are to be fully human as God intended."

Michaela will work as part of the Pastoral Care and Christian Education (PCCE) office. She will be in touch with many different parts of the Church, including groups working with women, children, young people, creative arts and adult learning. Michaela says that she is excited by the challenge of the new role. "I am committed to helping people make sense of their spiritual journeys in the context of their everyday experiences," she says, "and to deepen their relationship with God through reflection and action. It is a very exciting time to be exploring spirituality and I am looking forward to being part of the PCCE team."

Jonathan Kerry adds: "We have added the Spirituality work to Pastoral Care to emphasise the need to integrate body, mind and spirit, caring for the whole person. Michaela Youngson is a minister who is very much in tune with developments in society and also well grounded in the Church. She will bring a rich experience of pastoral caring for people in all kinds of situation together with a freshness and vitality in the ways she can guide and accompany others on their Christian journey."

Michaela is married with two children. Her hobbies include making items with stained glass, writing poetry and walking. A book of her poetry, prayers and reflections is due to be published in 2005.


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