Peerage for Revd Dr Leslie Griffiths:

'An eloquent witness to the Christian Gospel and a doughtyfighter for truth and justice'

It has been announced by Downing Street that Revd Dr LeslieGriffiths, ex-President of the Methodist Conference and nowsuperintendent minister of Wesley's Chapel, is to be made a workingpeer.

Though "somewhat overawed" Dr Griffiths is "very excited at theprospect of being able to play some part in the affairs of thenation."

He continued: "I hope my fellow Methodists feel that this is atribute to them. Our long and committed contribution to 'servingthe present age' is one of the reasons I became a Methodist in thefirst place. I shall want to honour the Methodist people by playingmy part in this new arena to which I've been invited."

Born in 1942, Leslie has come a long way from the smallpicturesque town of Burrey Port, situated on the south-west coastof Wales. But he is keen to point out his indebtedness to home: "The people of South Wales, my home town in particular, havemade me the person I am, so if they take any vicarious pleasurefrom this development then I shall be more than delighted."

Current President of Conference, Revd Dr Neil Richardson, said:"Leslie Griffiths has become one of the best known ministers incontemporary British Methodism. As a preacher and public speaker,writer and broadcaster, he has made his mark not only on churchlife but also on public and national life. The British Methodistchurch warmly congratulates him and wishes him well in the newsphere of ministry that this honour will make possible. He will, Iam sure, make a valuable and distinguished contribution to TheHouse of Lords."

Revd David Deeks, The General Secretary and Secretary of theConference for the Methodist Church, delivered a tribute of equallyhigh praise: "Leslie Griffiths is a doughty fighter for truth andjustice, an eloquent witness to the Christian Gospel and awarm-hearted human being. He will grace the House of Lords."

Leslie began as a local preacher in 1963, and was a minister inHaiti during most of the 1970s, before returning to England toserve in several very testing urban ministries. He has beenSuperintendent minister at Wesley's Chapel since 1996, and is apopular and respected leader there.