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The Revd Dr Roger Walton, President of the Conference in 2016/17, and Ms Rachel Lampard, Vice-President both started their year of office at the start of the Methodist Conference in London on 2 July 2016. They succeed the Revd Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber, as the first item of the Conference's business.

For ten years Roger was the Director of the Open Learning Centre, and for eleven years the Director of the Wesley Study Centre in Durham. He is currently the Chair of the West Yorkshire Methodist District and the Methodist representative to the General Synod of the Church of England.

"This is a wonderful gift from the Church and I am deeply honoured," said Roger. "I owe so much to the Methodist people and have learned the way of Jesus in this church. I hope to encourage us to continue be a learning, loving and outward looking community for transformation of the world."

Rachel is the leader of the Joint Public Issues Team, which has for many years been at the forefront of campaigns about UK poverty, nuclear weapons and climate change. She has been a Commissioner with the Gambling Commission since 2006 and is an active member of Winchester Road Methodist church in Walthamstow.

"I feel humbled and very excited," she said. "I am looking forward to meeting with Methodist people around the Connexion, celebrating together our shared Christian commitment to justice as we explore what it means to follow Jesus today. I would ask you to pray for Roger and me as we take on this responsibility."

The role of President of the Methodist Conference is reserved for presbyters, and that of Vice-President for lay people or deacons.

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