At the annual Methodist Conference in 1993 in Derby, following
long debate at all levels of the Church's life on the basis of a
detailed report, the Methodist Church considered the issues of
What were the conclusions?
At the end of the debate, the Conference passed in the same
session a series of resolutions (known as 'The 1993
Resolutions'). These resolutions are as follows
- The Conference, affirming the joy of human sexuality as God's
gift and the place of every human being within the grace of God,
recognises the responsibility that flows from this for us all. It
therefore welcomes the serious, prayerful and sometimes costly
consideration given to this issue by The Methodist
- All practices of sexuality, which are promiscuous, exploitative
or demeaning in any way are unacceptable forms of behaviour and
contradict God's purpose for us all.
- A person shall not be debarred from church on the grounds of
sexual orientation in itself.
- The Conference reaffirms the traditional teaching of the Church
on human sexuality; namely chastity for all outside marriage and
fidelity within it. The Conference directs that this affirmation is
made clear to all candidates for ministry, office and membership,
and having established this, affirm that the existing procedures of
our church are adequate to deal with all such cases.
- The Conference resolves that its decision in this debate shall
not be used to form the basis of a disciplinary charge against any
person in relation to conduct alleged to have taken place before
such decisions were made.
- Conference recognises, affirms and celebrates the participation
and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church. Conference
calls on the Methodist people to begin a pilgrimage of faith to
combat repression and discrimination, to work for justice and human
rights and to give dignity and worth to people whatever their
But what are the Church's rules?
Conference has put before all church members (lay and ordained)
the responsibility of examining their aspirations and practice in
the light of these resolutions. There is no authoritative
interpretation provided by the Conference of what the resolutions,
taken together, add up to. There is no procedure for any group or
individual to interrogate Methodist members about their adherence
to these resolutions. Rather, the onus is on each member in his or
her conscience to reflect on whether their behaviour fits within
this cluster of resolutions.
If it's all up to the individual, where does this leave
The outcome is that, within the church, there is a diversity of
interpretations and a range of understandings about intimate
relationships. The Conference encourages Methodists to continue to
discuss these differences in a spirit of openness and love. Our
shared ambition is to combat repression and discrimination, to work
for justice and human rights and to give dignity and worth to
people whatever their sexuality.
The 1993 Resolutions were adopted by the Conference after
discussion throughout the Church of the 1990 Report of the
Conference Commission on Human Sexuality.
the full 1990 report here
the 2005 Conference Report on the 'Pilgrimage of
Details of the 2006 Review of the 1993 Resolutions on Human
of the 2013 Consultation on same sex marriage and civil
Talking of Marriage
and Relationships - 2014-2016 Resources to help
the Methodist people to engage with each other honestly,
prayerfully and graciously about matters relating to marriage and
Definition and Guidance - A resource produced by the
Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2015
A Methodist Statement on a Christian understanding
of family life, the single person and marriage -
For further information the first point of contact is your local
church where the minister can discuss your questions with you.