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Methodist Church
Methodist Church
Methodist Church
Methodist Church
UK News

Methodist Church announces new president and vice president

by Tola Mbakwe

The Methodist Church inducted its new leaders online on Saturday.  

Rev Richard Teal has been elected and inducted as the new President of the Methodist Conference, and Carolyn Lawrence is the new vice president.

The induction took place at Cliff College in Derbyshire, as part of the Methodist Conference which, due to the coronavirus pandemic, took place online. 

In his speech Rev Teal focused on how the last few months of coronavirus and lockdown had affected the Church:

"Who would ever have thought a few months ago we would have had to close our doors and lock them, even at Easter! Many of our congregations are feeling totally disorientated, fearful and cut off from the fellowship we enjoy with each other."

Rev Richard Teal
Rev Richard Teal

Looking ahead at how the world can adapt to the impact of the pandemic, the new president said:

"Not a return to the same old same old but a church which has the reputation for transformation, for recreation and for empowerment of what we are living through in the present in response to a faithful God who redeems history and promises the brightest of futures."

Rev Teal has spent the majority of his ministry in rural areas, including 11 years as Chair of the Cumbria District for the Methodist Church. He is now Superintendent of the Beverley Circuit in East Yorkshire.

He chose the final words of John Wesley as the Church's theme for the year: 'The best of all is, God is with us'.

Rev Teal takes over from Rev Dr Barbara Glasson.

Meanwhile, the new vice president spoke of her passion for the world church in her address to the Conference:

Carolyn Lawrence
Carolyn Lawrence

"One thing that I find awe inspiring about the church is that you can be anywhere in the country or the world and know that you can find family," Lawrence said.

"I have had the experience of worshipping with Christians in lots of different places in the world, most recently on my visit to the Methodist Church in Brazil.  Here the church is growing at an amazing rate and I was blown away by their passion for God's word, their commitment to prayer, their systematic and strategic approach to evangelism, theological training and pastoral care and the exuberance and joy of their worship.  

"During the year to come I hope to share some of the key principles of church growth that I have learned from the church in Brazil as I believe they can also be applied to our church here in Britain."

Lawrence, trained to be a teacher and was an educational mission partner in Guyana. She has also worked in a voluntary capacity within the Methodist Church as a preacher and leader. 

More recently she has worked with the Global Relationships team of the Methodist Church helping to engage people with their worldwide network of partner churches. She is also part of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. 

Lawrence replaces Clive Marsh.

The Methodist Conference elects a new president and vice president annually.

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