09 July 2008

Methodist Conference elects new President and Vice President Designate

The Revd David Gamble has been elected President Designate of the Methodist Conference for 2009-2010, and Dr Richard Vautrey has been elected Vice President Designate.

David is currently Coordinating Secretary for Legal and Constitutional Practice handling issues ranging from discipline to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. He served as a minister in two North Yorkshire Circuits, Tadcaster and York (South), before becoming Children's Secretary for the Division of Education and Youth and then General Secretary for the Division. He has also been the Church's Secretary for Pastoral Care and Personal Relationships addressing family concerns such as divorce and domestic violence.

David's vision is of a church that is outward looking, engaged in wider society, willing to challenge injustice wherever it occurs, passionately committed to those who are or feel excluded. David says; 'I feel honoured to be elected for this role and hope to help the Church to answer the questions the people are asking about issues that matter to them in all areas of life. The Church has to respond to peoples needs and concerns if we are ever to speak truth in a mixed-up world'.

Richard Vautrey is a GP in Leeds and the Deputy Chair of the British Medical Association's GP committee with extensive media experience. He is a medical advisor for the Connexional Team and has served as a mission partner in Nigeria. He believes that there is a need for the church to get better at communicating the gospel message in ways that all can understand.

Richard says; 'It is a great privilege to be elected by the Conference to serve the Church in this way. I believe the Church has a key role in publicly challenging matters of injustice and inequality, as well as leading the debate on modern ethical questions. I am also passionate about the vital role that volunteers and lay people play in the Church and as Vice President I will be seeking to address how we can better empower and equip lay people for leadership roles in the Church'

David and Richard will be inducted as President and Vice President as the first items of business at the 2009 Methodist Conference, which will meet in Wolverhampton from July 2-9.

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