Tim Annan: Youth President 2016-2017
Tim Annan: new Youth President
Last month Tim Annan was inducted as the new Youth President during a special service at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church in Grantham. It was streamed live over the internet to churches and to youth groups across the country. Tim begins 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 of the Conference, the Revd Roger Walton, 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 response, Tim thanked 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 to 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.”
It seems that all I’ve been doing for the last few weeks has been introducing myself to everyone, so you would have thought that I would have managed to work out what to say about myself!
Well, I’m a 22-year-old from Lincolnshire, the oldest of four and recently graduated with a Community and Youth Work degree. I’ve been volunteering at churches in different ways since I was 14, but started working for churches full time as part of my degree when I was 18, as a Youth Worker. I’m an avid tea drinker, comic book reader and gamer, in addition to being a Methodist!
I’m inspired to see the passion and enthusiasm of young people as they grapple both with their faith, and with issues that affect them in their daily lives. Struggling is good! It’s through struggling that we develop a greater understanding. And we develop this in all manner of ways, from conversations in schools and youth groups, by reading books and watching YouTube clips, through listening to music to time in prayer.
I have lots of ideas of what I want to do during my year as Youth President, such as building up interfaith relationships to developing our social media platforms.
Yet, above it all, I want to represent the values and opinions of the young people of this Church. I’m not representing myself, but young people. If you feel that I should be speaking on an issue you feel strongly about, I’d be more than happy to be that mouthpiece!
I am more than happy to have open, honest conversations with young people and the Church about issues and causes that you feel passionate about! If you want to get in touch with me over my year, please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com. And you can follow me on Twitter: @YouthPresident.
Tim Annan, Methodist Youth President 2016/2017