Methodist Council accepts nomination of new senior church officers

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

The Methodist Council yesterday accepted the nomination of MrsAnthea Cox, the Rev David Gamble and the Rev Ken Howcroft as newCo-ordinating Secretaries in the Methodist Church in Britain. Thesenominations will need to be formally agreed by the MethodistConference in July.

The three appointments will make up half of the sixCo-ordinating Secretary posts that will assist Methodism's newGeneral Secretary of the Methodist Church in the management andmission of the Methodist Church in Britain alongside the 33Methodist District Chairs.

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

Mrs Anthea Cox willtake on the Methodist Church's responsibilities for political,social and economic and cultural issues in Britain andinternationally, including the Methodist Relief and DevelopmentFund, chaplaincy services, and links with Methodism's social careand educational institutions. She currently works with the Workers'Educational Association as well as being leader of the oppositionLabour group on Peterborough City Council. A local preacher in thePeterborough Methodist Circuit, she is also a non-executivedirector of an NHS Trust. Mrs Cox replaces the Rev David Deeks, whois currently Co-ordinating Secretary for Church & Society untilhe becomes the first General Secretary of the Methodist Church inSeptember. 

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

From 1 September 2004

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

Co-ordinating Secretary for Legal and ConstitutionalPractice
From 1 September 2003

The Rev David Gamble is the firstappointment to this new post that was created as a result of the2002 Methodist Conference report 'Leadership in the Church'. Hewill have particular responsibility for all matters related to thediscipline procedures of the Church. Mr Gamble, who taught law andEnglish at Rochdale College and Oldham College of Technology beforejoining the Methodist ministry, is currently Methodist Secretaryfor Pastoral Care and Personal Relationships. His responsibilitieshave included developing the Church's work in family relationshipsincluding marriage, domestic violence and the safeguarding ofchildren. He was Chair of Barnardo's Council between 1997-2002 andis a Vice Chair of the National Family and Parenting Institute.