09 July 2013
Conference discusses the future for Methodist mission in the UK and overseas
The Methodist Conference has agreed to fully integrate the Methodist Missionary Society (MMS) into the Methodist Church in Britain, recognising that now is the time to re-envisage mission for the future.
A report accepted by the Conference laid out the case for seizing the opportunity to bring strands of overseas and home missions closer together. "We have a unique opportunity to assert the understanding that the mission of the Church is one in which work at home and overseas is essentially the same mission," the report stated. "Now is the time to move those thoughts into action as we continue to grow as a worldwide family transformed by God's love."
Since the early 1970s, the day to day work of the Methodist Missionary Society has been integrated into the work of the Church's Connexional Team. The full integration of the society will enable the Church to equip and resource Methodists for mission in the 21st century.
David Friswell, Leader of World Church Relationships, said: "Much work has been going on behind the scenes for some years now to ensure that funds are protected and that good work is not lost as a result of integration of MMS. The recognition of God's mission being one mission for all people wherever they call home is key to our future mission together. Our partners from around the world, whether they live in their own country or the UK, have much to share with us as we continue to offer the Good News, serve others and care for God's creation."
Missionary societies within Methodism date back to 1813 when a framework to support workers in the overseas mission field was finally established by Thomas Coke. The jubilee was celebrated in 1863 and the centenary in 1913. This year the Leeds District is organising a commemoration of these events on Sunday 6 October. A ceremony on the site of the Old Chapel in Leeds will be followed by a service in nearby Leeds Minster attended by the President of the Conference.
- Read the MMS Conference report in full here.
- See the Methodist Council press release from January 2013 on re-envisaging mission for the future.