27 June 2012

The Methodist Conference comes to Plymouth

This year's Methodist Conference will be held at Plymouth Pavilions, 28 June to 5 July. The Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church and meets annually to discuss matters affecting the life of the Church, the nation and the world.

The Conference's representative session will open on Saturday 30 June with the induction of the President, the Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, and the Vice-President, Mr Michael King. Following Sunday morning worship on 1 July, Methodist presbyters and deacons will be ordained in venues across the South West of England, including Plymouth Central Hall and Gwennap Pit in Cornwall. Nearly 5,500 tickets have been distributed for the weekend events of the Conference.

Ben Bradley, Events Coordinator for the Methodist Church, said: "We're delighted to be in Plymouth this year, especially in a venue that meets the needs of such a large and varied event. Plymouth is a vibrant city with a rich naval heritage and a beautiful coastline - we just hope the Methodist Conference members will get the opportunity to explore."

The Conference is a gathering of 306 representatives from each Methodist district, along with some who have been elected by the Conference, together with some ex officio members, and international, ecumenical and youth representatives. Key topics for debate at this year's Conference include the the ethical dilemmas of the use of unmanned drones in warfare, a celebration of 40 years of rural mission, a major overhaul of the Church's learning and training networks, and far-reaching recommendations to enhance the Church's engagement with the education sector .

Video of the debates will be streamed live online through the Methodist Conference website.

Alongside the debates of the Conference business sessions, there will be a wide range of fringe events throughout the week in venues around Plymouth, including:

  • Wesley & Wellbeing- exhibition exploring John Wesley's little-known passion for bringing reliable medicine to the poor and his often far-sighted ideas on healthy living (30 June - 5 July, New Continental Hotel)
  • Godspell - a musical based on the Gospel of Matthew, with a variety of modern music (30 June, 7:30pm, Salvation Army Congress Hall)
  • The Beckly Lecture - "The Courage to Pay: Tax, faith, honesty and business," given by tax expert Richard Murphy (2 July, 7.30pm, Plymouth Pavilions)
  • Boat trip around Plymouth Sound- a supper cruise around Plymouth Sound chatting about the use of creative arts in worship (3 July, 7:45pm)



  1. Members of the media wishing to attend the Conference should contact Anna Drew on 0207 467 5191 or drewa@methodistchurch.org.uk. 
  2. For more information, visit the Methodist Conference website.
  3. The Conference blog provides an informal look at the Conference, fringe events and the people behind it. 
  4. Follow the Conference conversation on Twitter via the #methconf hastag. Please note that comments and opinions on Twitter and the blog do not necessarily represent the Methodist Church's position. 

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