30 June 2012
I'm grateful to a Church that has never given up, says Methodist President
At the opening of the annual Methodist Conference in Plymouth
today, the Revd Dr Mark Wakelin spoke of a Church that has never
given up on him and challenged Methodists to make it a place where
people are welcomed as they are.
Giving his inaugural address as President of the Methodist Conference, Dr Wakelin said: "We need, all need, the same thing. I recognise the older I get that I am needy and it is the Church that has that has met that need and for that I am very grateful.
Dr Wakelin added: "One of my needs is a profound need to belong; to feel that somebody, somewhere knows who I am and cares. At different times through the Methodist Church I have experienced belonging.
Speaking of the ways in which the Church has always challenged him to better things, he said: "God loves you as you are, but too much to leave you that way. I am grateful to the Church that it has never believed that I have done my best. I have never believed that. Because the Church always has disquiet; a sense that there is more; there is yet more in you; there is more to come.
"I am grateful to this Church that it has never given up. There is a challenge there still to believe in people even though you have been let down."
The full text of the address will be available online soon. You can also listen to an audio recording of the speech