Islands pastor to lead Methodist Church

The most senior Methodist minister fromthe Channel Islands is to be the next leader of the MethodistChurch in Britain.

Rev Ian White, who is currently Chairman of the Channel IslandsMethodist District, will become President of the MethodistConference for 2002/3. He will be joined by Leeds professor PeterHowdle, who becomes the next Methodist Vice President for2002/3.

Rev Ian White has been Superintendent Minister for Jerseyas well as being Channel Islands District Chairman since 1998.Before then, he was Chairman in the Bristol District for 11 years,giving him the rare distinction of having been Chairman in twoseparate districts. He was Secretary of the Bristol District Synodbetween 1978-87. His early ministry was spent in Hull and Retford,before he moved to Bristol. He is currently 'chair of chairs',looking after the joint meetings of the Methodist DistrictChairmen.

Ian has been a regular media contributor on radio stationsaround the Bristol region and more recently on Radio Jersey andChannel Television. He relaxes by walking, going to the theatre,candle making and rug making. He is 61 and is married with twodaughters.

Professor Peter Howdle is a member and local preacher atRoundhay Methodist church in Leeds. He is ConsultantGastroenterologist at 'Jimmy's', St James's Hospital, Leeds, andProfessor of Clinical Education at Leeds Medical School. He hasbeen based at St James's for his whole career. He has undertakenresearch into immunology and is medical advisor to the UK CoeliacSociety. A native of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, he is 53.

Peter completes an unusual partnership in Methodism, his wifeSusan having also been Vice President in 1993/4. They are the firstmarried couple to have both held the most senior office open to laypeople in the Methodist Church. His hobbies include playing celloand piano and he has handmade a clavichord.

Ian and Peter carry the official title of President-Designateand Vice President-Designate until the start of the MethodistConference of 2002 to take place in Wolverhampton. They will eachtake on their year of office from June 2002.

The Methodist Conference is the annual decision-making body forthe 330,000 Methodists in England, Scotland, Wales, the ChannelIslands and the Isle of Man.

The MethodistConference 2001 is at Ipswich Town Hall from 23-29 June.