British Methodists have declared that “the age of apathy seems to be over” after a Youth Assembly with almost twice as many participants as last year.
The event had a distinctly political edge, with young people aged 11 to 23 from across Britain, exploring issues such as equality, youth violence, sexuality and self-esteem. The decisions taken by the Youth Assembly are intended to influence policy-making at the annual Methodist Conference next year.
The Assembly elected Pete Brady as Youth President, a full-time, salaried position for a one-year term.
Brady, 23, from Bradford, is only the second person to hold the role. Last year, the Methodists became the first denomination in Britain to employ a full-time, elected Youth President.
“Ensuring the voices of young people are heard within our Church is something that I have felt passionately about for a long time,” said Brady, “It’s amazing to be given the opportunity to be that voice for young people across the country”.
He declared that his aims for the year were “to be easily accessible to young people across the Connexion, to voice their opinions and represent them to the very best of my ability in everything I do.”
Jude Levermore, the Methodist Church's Youth Participation Officer expressed his delight with the Youth Assembly.
“Maybe it’s the economic times we’re living in, or maybe it’s the attention given to global climate change, or Afghanistan,” he said, “But the age of apathy seems to be over. Young people want to see the world in which they live transformed. And they seem to see the Church as being a place where that change can start.”