Getting the best for Local Preachers

The Methodist Church is carrying out a major review of training and support for local preachers throughout Great Britain.

This week, questionnaires and discussion documents have been sent to all circuit local preachers' secretaries and circuit superintendents inviting them to facilitate a review of continuing development programmes for Britain's 10,000 local preachers.

Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, said; "Local preachers are essential to the life and ministry of the Church. As a team, we are committed to listening to local preachers about their needs and concerns so that we can offer them better support and training, helping them to live out their calling to the full."

The first phase of the consultation will ask local preachers about what kind of continuing development programmes they would find most helpful. Each local preachers' meeting has been asked to encourage all local preachers present to complete a questionnaire about existing and future continuing development provision. Each meeting is also being asked to discuss what the major challenges are for local preachers today and how they can best be supported in their ministry. Documentation to support the consultation is available online at www.methodist.org.uk/lpconsultation.

Speaking of the Church's duty to nurture and uphold the ministry of local preachers, Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, Secretary for Internal Relationships, said; "Sitting in a pew I want the person leading to know that they are not simply there to fill a plan appointment, but because God has called them, that the Church recognises this and had tried to equip and support that call. I have been most helped when a preacher exudes a sense of their worth and value as God's messenger."

A second consultation phase in spring 2010 will specifically consider Faith and Worship, the local preachers' training course.

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