17 November 2006
We must challenge racism, but all are welcome in communion
Speaking in response to Trevor Phillips' call for churches to
refuse communion to supporters of the British National Party,
Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social
"The Methodist understanding of communion is as a means of grace and a means of conversion. Communion is therefore offered to all who are looking for a deeper relationship with God. This should in itself cause people to challenge their attitudes. We would refer people to 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 where Paul suggests that if people come to communion and don't allow themselves to be challenged in this way, then it is God who will judge them. We would welcome everybody into Methodist churches. There is no room within the Church for racism under any circumstances, and we will always challenge these attitudes but we will never turn people away."