The Secretary of the Conference

The Secretary is the executive officer of the Conference, which is the supreme governing body of the Methodist Church. They are therefore responsible to the Conference for the implementation of the Conference’s decisions. To do that, the Secretary works with the President and Vice-President and District Chairs to maintain an holistic approach to the mission of the Church and with the Connexional Team to resource the work of the whole Church. They are also the Secretary of the Methodist Council which oversees the work of the Team and which acts on behalf of the Conference between Conferences.

Jonathan Hustler looking at the camera, during the Methodist Conference 2023.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler is the current Secretary of the Conference.

Jonathan Hustler was born and brought up in Norwich. His parents were Methodist and he was involved in the life of the church from an early age. During his first year reading History at Durham University, he heard a call to presbyteral ministry. He was trained at Wesley House Cambridge.

Before his first circuit appointment, Jonathan spent a year in Rome, studying at the Gregorian University. He then served in circuit appointments in Buckinghamshire, Teesside and Lincolnshire before returning to Wesley House as Vice-Principal in 2011.

In 2014, Jonathan joined the Connexional Team as Ministerial Coordinator for Oversight of Ordained Ministries. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Conference in 2017 and Secretary in 2019.

Jonathan is married to Lesley and has two adult children.

A side-on shot of Jonathan Hustler speaking at the Methodist Conference from a podium at the front of the hall.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler speaking at the 2023 meeting of the Methodist Conference.

The Assistant Secretary of the Conference

The office of Assistant Secretary of the Conference has become a significant part of the official three-person senior leadership structure, alongside the Connexional Secretary, reporting to the Secretary of the Conference as the senior leader and deputising for them in a wide range of activities.

The Revd Michaela Youngson smiling at the camera at Conference.
The Revd Michaela Youngson is the current Assistant Secretary of the Conference.

Michaela Youngson is a Methodist presbyter. She served as Chair in the London District of the Methodist Church before taking up her role as Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference and Connexional Ecumenical Officer for the Methodist Church in 2021. Michaela was President of the Methodist Conference 2018-19.

She trained at Queen’s College, Birmingham, and her previous roles in the church include circuit ministry in Lancashire, and Ealing, as well as serving in the Connexional Team as Secretary for Spirituality and Pastoral Care. She has an MA in Spirituality, and is the author of two books, Making the Colours Sing (2005) and The Weaver, the Word and Wisdom: worshipping the triune God (2007). ​

Michaela can often be heard on BBC Radio 2, when she offers a Pause for Thought on the Early Breakfast Show, or on BBC Radio 4, leading the Daily Service. In her spare time, she works with glass, fusing it to very high temperatures to make jewellery and art pieces.

The Revd Michaela Youngson speaking at Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
The Revd Michaela Youngson speaking at Methodist Central Hall Westminster.