Leading Methodist appointed as Labour peer

By staff writers
4 May 2004

Leading Methodist appointed as Labour peer

-4/5/04

Downing Street has announced that an ex-President of the Methodist Conference is to be made a working peer in the House of Lords.

However, Revd Dr Leslie Griffiths will not sit with the 189 independents in the House of Lords, but sit instead with the Labour Party.

The appointment comes amid widespread criticism that the Government has been boosting the number of Labour Peers in the Second Chamber, at the expense of other parties and "cross-benchers" who choose not to have a party allegiance.

In the current round of appointments the Prime Minister created 23 new Labour peers in comparison to five Conservative peers, eight Liberal Democrats, one Ulster Unionist and seven independents.

Though "somewhat overawed" the superintendent minister of Wesley's Chapel said he was "very excited at the prospect of being able to play some part in the affairs of the nation."

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

Born in 1942, Leslie has come a long way from the small picturesque town of Burrey Port, situated on the south-west coast of Wales. But he is keen to point out his indebtedness to home: "The people of South Wales, my home town in particular, have made me the person I am, so if they take any vicarious pleasure from 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 in contemporary British Methodism. As a preacher and public speaker, writer and broadcaster, he has made his mark not only on church life but also on public and national life. The British Methodist church warmly congratulates him and wishes him well in the new sphere of ministry that this honour will make possible. He will, I am sure, make a valuable and distinguished contribution to The House of Lords."

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

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

Downing Street has announced that an ex-President of the Methodist Conference is to be made a working peer in the House of Lords.

However, Revd Dr Leslie Griffiths will not sit with the 189 independents in the House of Lords, but sit instead with the Labour Party.

The appointment comes amid widespread criticism that the Government has been boosting the number of Labour Peers in the Second Chamber, at the expense of other parties and "cross-benchers" who choose not to have a party allegiance.

In the current round of appointments the Prime Minister created 23 new Labour peers in comparison to five Conservative peers, eight Liberal Democrats, one Ulster Unionist and seven independents.

Though "somewhat overawed" the superintendent minister of Wesley's Chapel said he was "very excited at the prospect of being able to play some part in the affairs of the nation."

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

Born in 1942, Leslie has come a long way from the small picturesque town of Burrey Port, situated on the south-west coast of Wales. But he is keen to point out his indebtedness to home: "The people of South Wales, my home town in particular, have made me the person I am, so if they take any vicarious pleasure from 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 in contemporary British Methodism. As a preacher and public speaker, writer and broadcaster, he has made his mark not only on church life but also on public and national life. The British Methodist church warmly congratulates him and wishes him well in the new sphere of ministry that this honour will make possible. He will, I am sure, make a valuable and distinguished contribution to The House of Lords."

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

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

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.