01 July 2003
Methodists vote to press on towards Scottish unity
The Methodist Conference in Britain has today backed historic moves towards merging with other Christian Churches in Scotland.
Despite voicing disappointment at the withdrawal last month of the Church of Scotland from the Scottish Church Initiative for Union (SCIFU), Methodists meeting in Llandudno have voted to press on towards "the goal of full visible unity" in Scotland.
Methodists will now hold discussions with the United Reformed Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church about the formalities of scheme to bring together the three Churches in Scotland. The Methodist decision leaves the door open for the Church of Scotland to re-enter the scheme if it has a change of heart. The URC has already backed the plans, and the Scottish Episcopal Church is in the process of making a final decision next year.
The Chairman of the Scotland Methodist District, the Rev James Jones, welcomed the support voiced by Methodism's governing body. Earlier he told the Conference: "I pray that we will have the faith and courage to be open to new possibilities being presented to us."
He said: "The withdrawal of the Kirk does not halt the initiative. In fact, this withdrawal makes it all the more important that the Methodist Church declares its willingness to seek new ways forward. Acceptance of the recommendations will give us a firm platform for further conversation on this creative and innovative proposal."