Sarah Malik has been named as the first salaried Methodist Youth President. This is the first appointment of its kind in any mainstream UK church.
This new role is the first to be appointed in the Church’s new £4million Youth Participation Strategy, launched at the Youth Conference in Northampton last weekend. This is the first time salaried positions have been specifically targeted at the 16 to 23-year-olds in order that young people help guide the direction of the church.
Sarah, who is 20, said; ‘I’m really excited about this new role. In my year of presidency I hope to spend time travelling Britain and listening to what young people in the Church have to say and what they want to see changing. I find it easy to motivate myself when I am working towards something I love.’
Mike Seaton, Children and Youth team Director, said; ‘This new role is about encouraging and empowering the Church’s young people. During Sarah’s travels she will be able to challenge Methodists of all ages to welcome the participation of children and young people in all aspects of the Church’s work and life.’
Sarah is a carer at a residential care home in Eyam, Derbyshire. She enjoys cooking and watching films and is passionate about helping people to participate in worship through the creation of prayer labyrinths.
The Youth Participation Strategy will also see 32 young people employed in new, part-time salaried posts as District Youth Enablers across the Methodist Church in Britain.
Youth Presidents will be appointed to work full-time in the Church annually from September 2009.
I’m excited about this. I’m delighted that the church is putting real resources into this strategy and invite you to pray for Sarah as she prepares to take up this work. In Wales we have already appointed our Youth Enabler (ahead of the game, as ever!) and while I’m not under any illusions about this being a panacea it is a very encouraging move.