The Revd Michaela Youngson

Michaela was born on Christmas Day 1965 in Cornwall, one of twin girls. Her twin sister is Stephanie, and her kid brother Glen is 9 years younger.

Michaela moved with her family to Hull when still a baby and grew up in Hull and Brough in the East Riding of Yorkshire. She joined the local Methodist Sunday School when 11 years old, after a visit to the village by a Cliff College mission team. She attended the MAYC (Methodist Association of Youth Clubs) group at the church from the age of 13, taking part in London Weekend shows at the Royal Albert Hall and finding a vibrant and challenging faith through the worship there and through the unconditional love and acceptance of her local church.

Michaela left school at 16 to take up an apprenticeship in the aircraft industry but at 18 felt the call to go and work for MAYC in its London offices, where she served as PA to the MAYC Director of Music and the London Weekend Co-ordinator. She then spent a year working for the Methodist Division of Social Responsibility, supporting its relief and development work and taking up the role of trustee for MRDF (Methodist Relief and Development Fund).

On becoming engaged to Sandy who was working as Youth Worker at Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle, Michaela looked for work in the North East of England and, after a short stay with the Prescription Pricing Authority, found the job of her dreams working as a graphic typesetter for Traidcraft Plc. Working for this fair trade organisation was a natural development of her growing commitment to international justice and development, which continues to be a core part of Michaela’s theology and thinking.

From the age of 16 Michaela knew that she was called to be a Methodist Minister and following marriage and the completion of her Local Preacher’s studies, she offered as a candidate for the presbyteral ministry. She trained at Queen’s College and, whilst there, had Robert, the first of her two children. Tamsin came along 5 years later whilst the Michaela was serving in her first appointment in the Burnley Circuit, in East Lancashire.

Michaela served a further circuit in the Lancashire District – working in Oswaldtwistle and at that time beginning to developer her radio work, guesting on BBC Radio Lancashire early on a Sunday morning. She also began to play with stained glass, which has developed over the years into working with fused glass using kilns to create jewellery, craft pieces and art pieces.

After 9 years in the North West Michaela took on the role of Connexional Secretary for Pastoral Care and Spirituality based at Methodist Church House in London. During that time she co-ordinated ‘Pray Without Ceasing’ a year of non-stop prayer within the life of the Methodist Church. The role involved the development of resources and networks to support good pastoral practice across the church and the encouragement of people to deepen their spiritual life in connection with God and with the world. She gained an MA in Spirituality and wrote two books during this time and continues to be called upon as a writer of reflections, liturgy and poetry.

Michaela is Chair of the London District of the Methodist Church, the only District in the Connexion to have three Chairs – sharing strategic leadership across the diverse, complex and exciting context of London. She is committed to the ‘Moving Stories’ project which the District is running for the next two years, working to change the narrative about migration to one of celebration rather than threat.

Michaela is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought on the Early Breakfast show. She is Chair of Trustees for Methodist Central Hall, Westminster; a trustee for ‘Making HerStory’ an organisation working to end violence against women, and a trustee of Southlands College. She is looking forward to helping the Methodist Church consider the radical nature of God’s grace and the ethic of hospitality and love-centred mission which flows from that grace.

 

Some of the committees Michaela has served on throughout her years in Ministry:

  • Chair of Churches Together in South London

  • Chair of the Connexional Trustees of Methodist Central Hall, Westminster

  • Trustee of Southlands College, Roehampton University

  • Trustee of Making Her Story

  • Chair of London District Safeguarding Group

  • Chair of London District Council

  • Member of Faiths Forum London

  • Member of the Exec of London Churches Social Action

  • Methodist Council

  • Methodist Medical Committee

  • Working Group on Supervision in the Methodist Church

  • Churches Together in England Spirituality Group

  • Churches Together in England Family & Pastoral Care Group

  • Editor for Integrity and Skill (Methodist Conference Report on good practice in pastoral care).

  • Methodist Gender Justice Committee

  • Prayer Handbook Editorial Committee

  • Methodist Church Committee to review Methodist Conference (1993-95)

  • Chair of Governors – Wheatley Lane Methodist Primary School

  • Governor and Chaplain – Hippings Methodist Primary School

Accurate, as at April 2018.

In June 2018, Michaela was inducted as the President of the Methodist Conference in Britain. Read her Presidential Address here.

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