Next Methodist leader hopes to encourage others with disability

With appropriate symmetry ina year that Methodism is holding its annual conference in Wales,one of Wales's Methodist leaders has been elected President of theChurch's governing body for 2004.

The Rev Will Morrey, who isChairman of the South Wales Methodist District, will becomePresident of the British Methodist Conference in Loughborough nextyear. He will continue to lead the Church across Britain over thefollowing 12 months.

Mr Morrey became deaf at the age of 19. After beingelected as President-designate, he said that this experience"enriches both my ministry and the church. Serving as Presidentwould encourage others with disability". He wrote the book "Seeingis Hearing", which included a theological reflection on hearingloss, and was published in 1996.

Will Morrey was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1953. After studyingtheology at Birmingham University, he undertook ministerialtraining at Queen's College, Birmingham, and was ordained in 1979.He has served at churches in Bideford, Devon (1976-79), SheffieldEcclesall (1979-84), Halifax (1984-87), and Bangor (asSuperintendent Minister, 1987-94).

While in Sheffield, he was chaplain to the city's Children'sHospital, and during his time in north Wales, he was chaplain toBangor University as well as to RAF Valley, Anglesey. He becameSouth Wales District Chair in 1997. He is chair of the MethodistResourcing Mission Grants Committee and also serves on the Church'sPastoral Care Advisory Group.

Experienced in Methodist relations with other churches, MrMorrey was involved in the recent working party that proposed toestablish an ecumenical bishop in Wales. He worked alongside RowanWilliams when he was Archbishop in Wales. He helped to establishthe Welsh Methodist Council, Y Gymanfa, in 1997.

He lives in Cardiff with his wife Vicki. They have two sons,Adam (24) and Peter (22).

Lancashire Deacon to be next Vice President

Deacon Myrtle Poxon is to be the next Vice President ofthe Methodist Conference, at the same time as the Rev Will Morreybecomes President. The pair have known each other since theirstudies coincided at Queen's College, Birmingham.

Mrs Poxon now forms aformidable partnership for the Methodist Church in Lancashire. Sheis married to the Chair of the North Lancashire Methodist District,the Rev Stephen Poxon. The couple have worked in the same placesthroughout their ministries.

Born in Durham 49 years ago,Myrtle Poxon went to theological college aged 20 before beingordained as a deacon. She spent seven years working as a MethodistMission Partner in Jamaica (1979-85), before serving at churches inCardiff (1985-96) and Preston (1996-present).

She says that she hope to bring to the Church "a commitment toworld church and global issues. These are concerns that came alivefor me during my time working in the Caribbean".

Mrs Poxon was President of the Methodist Women's Network in1991-2. She is a member of the Methodist Council and the Council'sStrategy and Resources Committee. She is also part of theMethodism's Connexional Candidates Committee.

She and Stephen live in Preston and they have four children -Matthew (21), Tamara (19), Daniel (16) and Joseph (8).

The Vice PresidentDesignate for Conference 2004, Deacon Myrtle Poxon and thePresident Designate for Conference 2004, the Rev Will Morrey, onthe seafront at Llandudno, during Conference 2003.

Clickon photos to download a hi-res version of each photo. These hi-resversions are large files and may take some minutes todownload.

Photos can be used in other printed and onlinepublications so long as a credit is given to 'Methodist ChurchCommunication Office'.