John Ellis becomes new lay moderator of United Reformed Church

John Ellis

John Ellis has been inducted as lay moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (URC).

He has been the URC's treasurer since 2007 and succeeds Val Morrison as lay moderator.

Unusually, the URC has two moderators serving alongside each other, one lay and one ministerial. Mr Ellis will serve as lay moderator until July 2016 alongside ministerial moderator Dr Michael Jagessar.

Mr Ellis's induction service was held on Wednesday at the end of the May meeting of the Mission Council, the URC's executive body.

"I am honoured and humbled that the General Assembly chose to elect me," he said.

"The moderator of the General Assembly is a key leader and representative for the whole United Reformed Church in all its diversity. I'm looking forward to both the privileges and challenges of the role."

Mr Ellis can trace his nonconformist Christian roots back to his great-grandfather who was converted to Christianity as a teenager in the 1860s, by a Congregational minister in Exeter.

From that point his family was involved in the Congregational Church, which became part of the United Reformed Church in 1972.

Mr Ellis previously worked for the Bank of England over a two-decade period. His roles included researching international debt issues and serving as the Governor's business ethics adviser.

He has extensive experience of ethical investment campaigning and served as a member of the Council for World Mission's Investment Committee.

He also worked for the Methodist Church until 2012 as secretary for connexional team operations, overseeing policy development proposals, staffing and management, as well as promoting collaboration with the Methodist districts.

Looking to the future as URC lay moderator, he said: "As well as helping the Church shape its internal life for its setting in a dynamic contemporary society, I'm particularly keen to use some of my professional background in the role, participating in discussions about, for example, the wider economy and what the Christian tradition has to contribute to addressing its dilemmas."

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