24 July 2001

World Methodist leaders gather in Brighton

Almost 4,000 Methodist leaders from around the world are gathering on the south coast of England this week for a major celebration of faith and fellowship.

Delegates are gathering for the World Methodist Council and Conference meetings, which are taking place in Brighton between 24-31 July. The World Methodist Conference, the umbrella body of the Methodist Church around the world, meets every five years.

The World Methodist Conference (WMC) last met in 1996 in Rio-de-Janeiro. It is more than three decades since the WMC was hosted by Britain - the 1966 gathering was at Westminster Central Hall in London.

Around 4,000 delegates are due to gather at the Brighton Centre to discuss a range of issues, including:

  • Relationships with other Christian churches
  • Christian education
  • The role of evangelism in a multi-faith world
  • Third world debt
  • Bridging the gap between science and religion, including:
  1. 'In the beginning' - the 'Big Bang' or the Genesis 'Six Days' creation story
  2. 'In His image' - human identity, made by God or products of evolution
  3. Applying Wesleyan heritage in the Third Christian Millennium

Amongst the many high-profile international speakers from within and outside the Methodist, are:

  • Cardinal Edward Cassidy Former President of the Catholic Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  • Bishop Sundo Kim Pastor of the 85,000-member Seoul Methodist Church, Korea
  • Sir John Houghton Co-chairman of the UN Assessment of Global Warming and Climate Change
  • Dr David Wilkinson Astrophysicist, author of 'God, Time and Stephen Hawking'
  • Dr Rukudzo Murapa Vice chancellor of the Africa University, Zimbabwe
  • Bishop Walter Klaiber Bishop of the United Methodist Church, Germany
  • Bishop Bernardino Mandlate Former chairperson Christian Council of Mozambique

The World Methodist Council meets from Tuesday 24 July to Wednesday 25 July
The 18th World Methodist Conference meets from Thursday 26 July to Tuesday 31 July

Further information on the World Methodist Conference

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