01 September 2003

Welcome for Liverpool's new District Chairman

The Rev James Booth has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Liverpool Methodist District. A welcome service was held for Mr Booth at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral last Saturday afternoon.

The British Methodist Conference appointed Mr Booth to be Chairman of the Liverpool Methodist District for a period of six years from today. He succeeds the Rev Dr John Taylor, a former President of the British Methodist Conference, who has retired to the West Midlands.

Mr Booth becomes the most senior Methodist minister in a region that covers Merseyside and Wirral, and the area including St Helens, Warrington, Widnes and Southport. In his role as District Chair he will work closely alongside Anglican Bishop James Jones, Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Kelly, and other Church leaders in the region.

The Rev James Booth was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, and read law at Leeds University and the London College of Law before becoming a solicitor.

He practised law in Yorkshire until 1977 when he responded to a call to serve in the Methodist Church overseas. He served as a Youth Worker in the Ivory Coast for three years. He studied for the Methodist ministry at Queen's College, Birmingham, whilst working as Free Church Chaplain at Lanchester Polytechnic and Warwick University in the Coventry Methodist Circuit.

In 1984, Mr Booth returned to the Ivory Coast to train evangelists at Dabou Ecole Biblique. He served as Synod Secretary of the Dabou District and ministered to a multi-cultural community in Abidjan. A serious illness for his youngest child forced his return to the UK in 1987.

After a brief stay in the Croydon Methodist Circuit, Mr Booth served in Windsor between 1988-1998. There he participated in a major property project, in local radio, prison chaplaincy, ecumenical work as secretary of the Churches Together in Windsor and as a school governor.

He was Synod Secretary of the London South West Methodist District in 1997-98. In 1998, he was appointed Superintendent Minister of the Reading and Silchester Circuit. This large circuit called for sensitive leadership qualities and management skills in a time of ministerial shortage.

Mr Booth has served on a number of national Methodist bodies, including the Law and Polity Committee since 1997, as Methodist Conference Assistant Record Secretary since 1998 and as deputy convenor of the Connexional Discipline Committee since 2001.

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