Coates, Dudley James
1946 -

Vice-President of the Conference 2006-7, born in Edmonton and educated at Westcliff High School for Boys and the University of Sussex (BA Hons 1968). He became a member in 1962 and local preacher in 1970, serving on the connexional Local Preachers' Committee in the 1980s. From 1968 to 2001 he held a series of senior posts in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, rising to be Head of the Environment Group in 1996. From 2002 to 2010 he was a Public Member of Network Rail. He was married in 1969 to the Revd Dr Jean Walsingham, Rector of the Watercombe Benefice, Rural Officer for Dorset and Canon of Salisbury Cathedral. Active in ecumenical affairs as a member of the Southampton District Ecumenical Action Team (from 2009, convenor from 2010) and a governor of the Southern Theological Education Training Scheme (STETS) (from 2002 , trustee from 2011-15), he represented the Methodist Church on the General Synod of the Church of England (2001-7) and served on the formal conversations between the Methodist Church and the Church of England (1998-2001). He was a member of the Church of England's Rural Affairs Group (2002-12). He has been a frequent member of the Conference since 1989 and chaired the commission on the Conference (1993-7) which introduced numerous changes to its membership and practice; in 2020 he was elected to the Conference Business Committee, a committee whose creation was one of those changes.. He was a member of the Methodist Council 2004-8 and 2009-10, and of its Strategy and Resources Committee (2004-10). He served on the committee for the 1999 Methodist Worship Book</span> (1990-99) and on the Faith and Order Committee (1999-2005). He was chair of the Methodist Publishing House (1996-2004) and a Trustee of Westminster Central Hall (2004-10). He was Secretary of the Southampton District Policy Committee (2010-17) and Chair of ArtServe (2011-14). In 2010 he gained an MA in Theology for Mission and Ministry with STETS and the University of Surrey.

Publications: (contrib.) Policies into Practice (1984), The Church in the Woods 1886-1986: a Historical Sketch of Woodcote Methodist Church (1986), Shades of Grey (2006)

  • Methodist Recorder, 24 June 2006