01 July 2022

Methodist Conference agrees new ways of Oversight and Trusteeship

The Methodist Conference has approved new processes of oversight and trusteeship. A wide-ranging set of proposals were put before the Conference in order to reflect more accurately the size of the church and to reduce the burden of administration on districts and circuits. In introducing the resolutions, the Secretary of the Conference, the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler told representatives that this had been a lot of work and there was still much to do.

The Conference voted to reduce the size and duration of the Conference and also to establish a new trustee body, the Connexional Council, which will replace the Methodist Council and the Strategy and Resources committee.

The Connexional Council will be the charity trustee body. It will have general control and management of the Connexional administration of the Methodist Church and will report annually to the Charity Commission. It will consist of around twenty people, with the Secretary of the Conference describing it as small enough to be nimble and flexible and large enough to have different views and balance.

Resolutions to reduce the number of Conference representatives were approved after being amended and the size of the Conference will drop from 306 to 225. The Methodist Council will be asked to do work on the distribution of seats in the Conference. The Conference agreed to new ways of working which will result in shortening the length of the Conference by a day from 2024.

The Conference voted not to receive proposals which aimed to reduce the number of districts and subsequent resolutions were withdrawn. The Secretary of the Conference told representatives that a number of districts have already started work on boundary changes and these will be considered by the Methodist Council. Dr Hustler said that discussions with representatives will take place over the summer and its hoped these will enable new and imaginative ideas to be explored as the Connexion discerns the way ahead.

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