Conference votes for more research on online church and online communion

The Methodist Conference, currently taking place in Leeds, requested a report for the 2026 Conference on online churches and the framework that would be needed to facilitate them.

01 July 2024

At the 2023 Conference in Birmingham, the Faith and Order Committee, in consultation with the Law and Polity Committee, was directed to assess the feasibility of enabling predominantly online churches to be recognised in the Methodist Church’s structures. This change would impact many of our processes and procedures and the report sets out the work that would need to be done.

This work is closely related to the question of celebrating Holy Communion online and the Conference extended the current period of discernment on online celebrations of Holy Communion until 2026. This will enable a task group to consider the recommendations of the Faith and Order Committee’s report and bring appropriate proposals to that year’s Conference.

The report received by the Conference acknowledges the increasing importance of online mission and ministry and the desire to incorporate predominantly online churches into the discipline and function of the Methodist Church and provide them with an appropriate and safe framework.

Amongst the recommendations are the exploration of responses to the questions of inclusion and exclusion that arise in online contexts; the development of training and support for online work; and the implementation of appropriate protocols relating to the holding of official accounts on behalf of the church.


"As Christians, we are constantly seeking to provide new ways for people to hear the good news of Jesus and to share in Christian fellowship. In the 21st century, that includes online contexts as much as onsite ones and this work will help us to do that better.”

Revd Dr Mark Rowland, Secretary of the Faith and Order Committee