Methodist Church publishes guidelines on political extremism

Ahead of the May local elections, The Methodist Church haslaunched guidelines for churches that find themselves representedby a councillor from an extremist party. The guidelines address aseries of questions, such as whether councillors from parties whosepolicies promote racism should be allowed to rent church rooms forsurgeries and how churches should respond to requests forco-operation from extremist parties.

The guidelines are available free of charge from the MethodistChurch web site in an easy to print form.

Anthea Cox, Methodist Coordinating Secretary for Public Life andSocial Justice, says 'The Methodist Church continues to oppose allforms of political extremism and racism. The existence ofcouncillors from extremist parties that support racist policies inBritain raises difficult questions for churches that are active intheir local communities. These guidelines will help churches andindividuals to make the right decisions. The guidelines recommendthat churches resist putting themselves in positions which could beseen as giving tacit support to parties or policies which promoteracism.'

The guidelines were approved by the Methodist Council at itsmeeting on 30-31 March.