18 November 2009

Youth Assembly appoints new full time Youth President

Last weekend, the Methodist Youth Assembly appointed Pete Brady from Bradford, aged 23, as its President.

Pete will be the Methodist Youth President, working full-time for one year to serve the young people of the Methodist Church in Britain, making their voices heard and helping them to get more involved in every aspect of Church life. The Youth President is a paid post as part of the Children and Youth Team of the Methodist Church in Britain.

"It's a real honour being appointed to this role" said Pete "Ensuring the voices of young people are heard within our church is something that I have felt passionately about for a long time and it's amazing to be given the opportunity to be that voice for young people across the country. My aim for the year is to be easily accessible to young people across the Connexion, to voice their opinions and represent them to the very best of my ability in everything I do."

Attendance at the Youth Assembly increased by 75% from last year. Over 200 11 - 23 year-olds gathered at the Ushaw Conference Centre in Durham to take part in a programme designed by young people for young people. They came from as far afield as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales, from churches in the inner cities to rural chapels in the Cotswolds. The issues they explored ranged from youth violence to equality and diversity, human sexuality and self-esteem.

"Maybe it's the economic times we're living in," said Jude Levermore, Youth Participation Development Officer for the Methodist Church. "Or maybe it's the attention given to global climate change, or Afghanistan. But the age of apathy seems to be over. Young people want to see the world in which they live transformed. And they seem to see the church as being a place where that change can start."

The decisions taken and commitments made by the Youth Assembly will influence policy-making at the annual Methodist Conference next year and will be input into the work of the Connexional Team, as well as impacting immediately on the work of the Children and Youth Team.

"These are exciting times for the Methodist Church and for young people," said Jude. "Anyone who was at Youth Assembly cannot fail to have been impressed by the level of engagement and passion and desire on the part of young people there to get involved and to be the change they want to see - in the world and in their church."

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