09 July 2009

Methodist Church will bar members from joining BNP

The annual Conference of the Methodist Church, meeting in Wolverhampton, has agreed that no member of the Church can also be a member of a political party whose constitution, aims or objectives promote racism.

This specifically includes, but is not solely limited to, the British National Party (BNP).

The resolution was brought from the floor of the Conference, known within Methodist circles as a Notice of Motion.

Revd Sylvester Deigh, who proposed the Notice of Motion, said; "We must be clear that racism is a denial of the gospel. An openness to all people, regardless of nationality, is at the heart of Methodist identity.

"This does not mean that people will be excluded from attending church - God welcomes all, saints and sinners alike. But it does mean that members of racist political parties will not be able to become full members of the Church."

The notice of motion reminds the Church that those who support racist parties are also God's children, and in need of love hope and redemption.

People who speak on behalf of the Methodist Church will also be barred from membership of such parties. The Church will now undertake the legal work required to put this into practice and report back to the Methodist Conference in July 2010.

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