New President and Vice-President Designate elected

The Revd Lionel Osborn has been elected President Designate ofthe Methodist Conference for 2010-2011 and Ruth Pickles has beenelected Vice-President Designate. The elections were announced atthe annual Methodist Conference in Portsmouth.

Lionel - called Leo by his many friends - has been Chair of theNewcastle-upon-Tyne District for the past nine years and recentlybeen nominated to serve on The World Methodist Council. He alsoserves as Convenor of The Stationing Action Group, Chairs theEcumenical Committee for North East Christian Churches Together andthe Oversight Committee at The Wesley Study Centre Durham.

"It is a great honour as well as a great shock to be elected asPresident Designate," said Leo. "But I am looking forward to allthat lies ahead. In my year of presidency, it will be a delight anda privilege to encourage signs of the kingdom and Christians intheir discipleship, especially in their care for others. I amexcited about being a Methodist today as I see all that God isstill doing among us."

Leo seeks to enable both Fresh and Refreshed Expressions of Churchfrom a personal faith rooted in worship Word and Sacrament.

Ruth has been a teacher, residential social worker, alcoholcounsellor and District Training and Development officer. As alocal preacher in the Mow Cop, Biddulph and Congleton Circuit sheenjoys leading participatory worship. She has served on theMethodist Council and as a former Memorials Secretary to theConference. She is currently Synod Secretary of the Chester andStoke-on-Trent District.

"I feel it's a real privilege to be elected Vice-PresidentDesignate," said Ruth. "It's very exciting to have this opportunityto play a part in the life of a changing Church. I would hope to beable to build on the work of the current Vice-President. I ampassionate about there being a learning Church and the differencethat new insights can bring."

Leo and Ruth will be inducted as President and Vice-President asthe first items of business at the 2011 Methodist Conference inSouthport.