Youth Assembly appoints new full time Youth President

Last weekend, the Methodist Youth Assembly appointed Pete Bradyfrom Bradford, aged 23, as its President.

Pete will be the Methodist Youth President, working full-time forone year to serve the young people of the Methodist Church inBritain, making their voices heard and helping them to get moreinvolved in every aspect of Church life. The Youth President is apaid post as part of the Children and Youth Team of the MethodistChurch in Britain.

"It's a real honour being appointed to this role" said Pete"Ensuring the voices of young people are heard within our church issomething that I have felt passionately about for a long time andit's amazing to be given the opportunity to be that voice for youngpeople across the country. My aim for the year is to be easilyaccessible to young people across the Connexion, to voice theiropinions and represent them to the very best of my ability ineverything I do."

Attendance at the Youth Assembly increased by 75% from last year.Over 200 11 - 23 year-olds gathered at the Ushaw Conference Centrein Durham to take part in a programme designed by young people foryoung people. They came from as far afield as the Channel Islands,the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales, from churches in the innercities to rural chapels in the Cotswolds. The issues they exploredranged from youth violence to equality and diversity, humansexuality and self-esteem.

"Maybe it's the economic times we're living in," said JudeLevermore, Youth Participation Development Officer for theMethodist Church. "Or maybe it's the attention given to globalclimate change, or Afghanistan. But the age of apathy seems to beover. Young people want to see the world in which they livetransformed. And they seem to see the church as being a place wherethat change can start."

The decisions taken and commitments made by the Youth Assembly willinfluence policy-making at the annual Methodist Conference nextyear and will be input into the work of the Connexional Team, aswell as impacting immediately on the work of the Children and YouthTeam.

"These are exciting times for the Methodist Church and for youngpeople," said Jude. "Anyone who was at Youth Assembly cannot failto have been impressed by the level of engagement and passion anddesire on the part of young people there to get involved and to bethe change they want to see - in the world and in theirchurch."