Methodist Church will bar members from joining BNP

The annual Conference of the Methodist Church, meeting inWolverhampton, has agreed that no member of the Church can also bea member of a political party whose constitution, aims orobjectives promote racism.

This specifically includes, but is not solely limited to, theBritish National Party (BNP).

The resolution was brought from the floor of the Conference, knownwithin Methodist circles as a Notice of Motion.

Revd Sylvester Deigh, who proposed the Notice of Motion, said; "Wemust be clear that racism is a denial of the gospel. An openness toall people, regardless of nationality, is at the heart of Methodistidentity.

"This does not mean that people will be excluded from attendingchurch - God welcomes all, saints and sinners alike. But it doesmean that members of racist political parties will not be able tobecome full members of the Church."

The notice of motion reminds the Church that those who supportracist parties are also God's children, and in need of love hopeand redemption.

People who speak on behalf of the Methodist Church will also bebarred from membership of such parties. The Church will nowundertake the legal work required to put this into practice andreport back to the Methodist Conference in July 2010.