Saving the Board
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It is encouraging that the Board of Deputies has at last recognised that it needs to take action – fast – to do something to change its age profile. It is a remarkable achievement for the Board to have survived for over 250 years. But if it is still be a viable organisation in 25 years, let alone another 250, it has to attract younger representatives and arrest the upward climb in the average age of deputies. If it fails, it will simply wither away as delegates are not replaced when they step down. The younger generation already plays a huge role in religious and secular life, as ambassadors on campus and leaders of youth movements and by dedicating time and money to worthy causes. Their concerns are not always those of the wider, older community, which is another reason why their voice needs to be heard at the Board. This week's meeting of a group of under-35s was a good start. But at the moment, for all the recognition of the need for younger deputies, it remains little more than lip-service. Existing delegates need to make finding their immediate successors an urgent priority.