Recognised and regarded
Before making an application, please ensure you have read and considered all the information available in the handbook, available here. Unfortunately, the British Methodist Conference is unable to recognise and regard ministers of other conferences and churches who are no longer in the active work in their home church.
The first way is to be Recognised and Regarded as a presbyter or deacon admitted into full connexion with the British Conference. [S.O. 732]
Such people are treated exactly the same as a presbyter or deacon ordained by and in good standing and active relationship with the Conference [i.e. in Methodist terminology "in Full Connexion with the Conference"]:
- they share in the same privileges and responsibilities [n.b. the former will normally include receiving a stipend, manse and pension contributions from the Methodist Church]
- they are as available for and subject to the same discipline of stationing
[n.b. all Methodist presbyters and deacons in Full Connexion in the active work are stationed by the Conference to serve in a particular appointment in a Circuit or other body within the control of the Methodist Church, unless given permission either to serve another Church (denomination) or institution, or to study or be without appointment. Personal needs, vocational development and the needs of the Methodist Church both locally and connexionally are taken into account in stationing a particular person in a particular appointment. Appointments are made on the understanding that they are likely to be for a fixed number of years (normally five in the first instance, but with the possibility of extension), but are reviewed and renewed annually
- they are accountable for their specific conduct and their general vocation through Methodist structures to the British Conference in the first instance, and through the Conference to the authorities of their own Church
- they may fulfil any and all of the duties of a presbyter or deacon of the British Conference anywhere within the jurisdiction of that Conference (but subject to its discipline): in the case of a presbyter this may include exercising charge within a Circuit or as Superintendent of a Circuit or in some other role
- they (like all those in Full Connexion) must be prepared to baptise infants in appropriate circumstances.
To all intents and purposes, therefore, those who are Recognised and Regarded as presbyters or deacons admitted into Full Connexion are fully seconded by their own Churches to serve the Conference of the British Methodist Church for a period of time.
At the end of that time they may either return to the jurisdiction of their own Church, or seek to transfer to the jurisdiction of the Methodist Church in Great Britain [n.b. any ordained member of another Church or other autonomous Methodist Conference who applies to transfer to the jurisdiction of the Conference of the British Methodist Church will normally be recognised and regarded by the British Conference for a time at first in order to allow for a period in which both the Methodist Church and the person concerned may review their experience of each other before any recommendation is made to the Conference that the transfer be completed].
Presbyters of the Irish Conference of the Methodist Church are automatically recognised and regarded by the British Conference as admitted into Full Connexion with it whether they are stationed by the British Conference or not, and their names and detailed are recorded in the Minutes of the British Conference accordingly. No further paperwork is required of them.
Presbyters and deacons of other autonomous Methodist conferences and other Churches (denominations) may be recognised and regarded by the British Conference as admitted into Full Connexion only if stationed by the British Conference. The Conference cannot recognise and regard them if suitable appointments have not been found for them, and the Conference cannot station them if a recommendation has not been made that they are judged suitable to be recognised and regarded. The processes of seeking an appointment for them and checking their credentials (in particular whether they have the permission and support of their own Conferences or Churches) are therefore being brought together, and the paperwork for both inter-related. Applications are dealt with by the connexional bodies responsible for making recommendations to the Conference about stationing and about reception into full connexion respectively.
This document provides guidance (approved by the Stationing Committee) for the stationing or reinvitation of ministers who are Recognised and Regarded as ministers of the Methodist Church admitted into Full Connexion and who are currently serving in an appointment in the Methodist Church in Britain.
The deadline for completed applications, in accordance with our Standing Orders, is 15 January each year.