Tim Annan, 22, was inducted as the new Youth President of the Methodist Church on Sunday at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church, Grantham.
This important role will see Grantham man Tim represent thousands of young people across the UK, both at home and abroad.
The service, presided over by the Rev Dr Roger Walton, president of the Methodist Conference, and the Rev Helen Cameron, assistant secretary of the conference, was streamed live over the internet, broadcast in churches and to youth groups across the country.
Tim takes up his new role following an election that took place at last year’s 3Generate, the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly, taking over from the previous Youth President, Craig Gaffney.
As well as hymns, prayers and Bible readings, part of the induction ceremony saw the president anoint Tim with oil, a practice that has “a long tradition in the scriptures of anointing people for special service in God’s world”.
Speaking at the service, former Youth President Craig Gaffney said to Tim: “You are coming into a role that is hugely exciting and hugely daunting at the same time – this will be an amazing year. God has put you in this place to be a voice for the young people of the Methodist Church, but you can’t do that on your own. You need to rely on God and His strength in that journey.”
In his inaugural address, Tim began by thanking Craig for his inspiration to the church over the past year before moving on to his own priorities for the year ahead.
“I quickly learned that if you want to effect change, you need to be part of the conversation about change in the first place,” Tim said, going on to emphasise that this can only be done through “encouraging debate, but making it balanced”.
“I won’t pull any punches about what the young people have to say. I’m willing put it all out there, and channel the voices of young people. Together, let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s raise our voices and make it clear what change we want to see. I’ll gladly put my reputation on the line, if it means giving power to the powerless.”
Tim is a youth worker from Grantham and has spent four years completing a Youth Studies degree.
He said he knows today’s challenges for both young people and youth workers – including care for youth workers, bullying and global issues – and hopes to better speak for the young people of the Church as a result.