10 April 2003

Methodist Council accepts nomination of new senior church officers

A City Council opposition leader, a former chair of children's charity Barnardo's and the minister responsible for the training of students for ordination have been nominated to three senior national Methodist posts this week.

The Methodist Council yesterday accepted the nomination of Mrs Anthea Cox, the Rev David Gamble and the Rev Ken Howcroft as new Co-ordinating Secretaries in the Methodist Church in Britain. These nominations will need to be formally agreed by the Methodist Conference in July.

The three appointments will make up half of the six Co-ordinating Secretary posts that will assist Methodism's new General Secretary of the Methodist Church in the management and mission of the Methodist Church in Britain alongside the 33 Methodist District Chairs.

Co-ordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice
From 1 September 2003

Mrs Anthea Cox will take on the Methodist Church's responsibilities for political, social and economic and cultural issues in Britain and internationally, including the Methodist Relief and Development Fund, chaplaincy services, and links with Methodism's social care and educational institutions. She currently works with the Workers' Educational Association as well as being leader of the opposition Labour group on Peterborough City Council. A local preacher in the Peterborough Methodist Circuit, she is also a non-executive director of an NHS Trust. Mrs Cox replaces the Rev David Deeks, who is currently Co-ordinating Secretary for Church & Society until he becomes the first General Secretary of the Methodist Church in September. 

Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference
and Co-ordinating Secretary for Conference and Communication

From 1 September 2004

The Rev Ken Howcroft will next year take on this role which will see him responsible for supporting the President and Vice President in servicing the Methodist Conference and during their year of office. He will develop communication across and beyond the Church, as well as being Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference. He is currently Methodist Secretary for Presbyteral Ministry in which role he has developed the church's understanding on patterns of ordained and lay ministry. He is a former tutor and New Testament Studies lecturer at the Lincoln Theological College. In taking on his new role, Mr Howcroft will replace the Rev Keith Reed, who retires as Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference in August 2004.

Co-ordinating Secretary for Legal and Constitutional Practice
From 1 September 2003

The Rev David Gamble is the first appointment to this new post that was created as a result of the 2002 Methodist Conference report 'Leadership in the Church'. He will have particular responsibility for all matters related to the discipline procedures of the Church. Mr Gamble, who taught law and English at Rochdale College and Oldham College of Technology before joining the Methodist ministry, is currently Methodist Secretary for Pastoral Care and Personal Relationships. His responsibilities have included developing the Church's work in family relationships including marriage, domestic violence and the safeguarding of children. He was Chair of Barnardo's Council between 1997-2002 and is a Vice Chair of the National Family and Parenting Institute.

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