New Vice-President reflects on Transforming Hope

News release

30 June 2018

New Vice-President reflects on Transforming Hope

In his address made earlier today
, Bala Gnanapragasam, the newly elected and inducted Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, reflected on ‘Transforming Hope’.

At the Methodist Conference, taking place at the University of Nottingham until 5 July, Bala Gnanapragasam, a Trustee at Christian Aid and former Labour Councillor, shared emotive stories that looked at the importance of inspiring hope and challenging injustice.

Reflecting on hope, Bala said: “Hope is vital, and it is right at the heart of our faith. I want to engage in the sort of listening and conversation that makes friendships, builds communities, and encourages hope.”

Bala spoke of his passion for social justice: “We face poverty and injustice at every point of our lives and in every place. So I ask myself constantly: ‘Can this be what God wants for his people?’

“A church that abandons the poor is no longer the church of Jesus Christ and we do abandon the poor if we don’t challenge these ideas.

“But in the middle of this apparent hopelessness, I know that God must be doing something – changing things, calling us to new journeys so we have to be ready!”

Mr Gnanapragasam gave his address to an audience at the Conference which included friends from Sri Lanka celebrating the first Sri Lankan Methodist to be made Vice-President of the British Conference.

• The videos of Bala Gnanapragasam’s address is available here
• The text of the Vice-President address is available here


  1. The Conference is the body that agrees policy for the Methodist Church. It meets annually as a group of 306 representatives, along with a number of ecumenical and World Church associate members. This year’s Conference is being held at the University of Nottingham from 28 June to 5 July. For more information, visit the Methodist website.
  2. You can watch the Conference live here.
  3. Follow the Conference conversation on Twitter via the #methodistconf hastag. Please note that comments and opinions on Twitter and the blog do not necessarily represent the Methodist Church’s position.

About the Methodist Church

The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian churches serving Great Britain, with around 188,000 members and regular contact with nearly 500,000 people. It has 4,650 churches in Great Britain, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches with a worldwide total membership of over 80 million. Its activities, both alone and with ecumenical and secular partners, are based on four aims known as Our Calling:
•   To increase awareness of God’s presence and to celebrate God’s love
   To help people to grow and learn as Christians through mutual support and care
   To be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice
   To make more followers of Jesus Christ.

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For more information contact:

Michael Ivatt
Lead Media Officer
Methodist Church House
25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
T 0207 467 5208
M 07881 783812


Rosie Winn
Media Officer
Methodist Church House
25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
T 0207 467 5277
M 07969 985376

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