A Justice-Seeking Church

27 June 2023

The Methodist Conference, currently taking place in Birmingham, has overwhelmingly voted to recommit the Methodist Church to being a Justice-seeking Church.

The report received by the Conference hopes to encourage more Methodists in acting for justice, along with their local communities, and to focus efforts on contributing to change in key areas including poverty, refugees, the environment, discrimination and peace.

The report is the result of a two year process of conversation and listening. This involved looking at how Methodists have worked for justice throughout their history and what is being done now, as well as hearing people’s experiences of injustice.  The report involved churches, young people, communities and schools – sharing their visions of what a just world looks like.

The report explains why Methodists do justice and how that is born out of a belief in God. The report identifies the shared principles which underpin beliefs about what God’s justice is, and what that means in terms of seeking justice.  These principles will help the Church decide together how to respond to new challenges.

  • Everyone is created in God’s image, that has consequences for decisions we make about how people are treated
  • God desires the flourishing of all creation, that will shape our decisions about human impact upon the environment
  • In the world as it is at the moment the poorest always lose out, we believe God has particular regard for them and for those who are marginalised in society and so should we
  • Christians won’t always agree about the means, but we hope that these principles will help us to be clearer on what is important

With so many pressing issues of concern in the world, the report identified five key priorities for Methodists to focus their activities around - poverty, refugees, climate, discrimination and peace.

The report acknowledged that Methodists and others are already active in working for justice in these areas by helping to meet needs, campaigning for change and working alongside communities.

The report’s author, Rachel Lampard, commented, “Having these priority areas will help us to focus our efforts together to achieve change by sharing expertise, communicating, and working with others to make a difference.

Acting justly is already at the heart of what it is to be a Methodist who tries to follow Jesus, as we see through the actions of so many churches in their communities.

“I hope that this report will make a difference by having an impact on the people who increasingly see they are called to lives of justice rooted in God.  Our churches are already acting together to tackle poverty and climate change, to support refugees, to end discrimination and for peace and reconciliation – this report will encourage and strengthen that action.  I hope that, together with all our communities, we will see the impact as we work together for a world that is more just and where everyone experiences life in all its fullness.“

You can read the report to the Conference here.