Methodist Conference comes to Southport

The Methodist Conference will meet at the Southport Theatre andConvention Centre from 30 June to 7 July 2011, for the first timein more than 10 years.

The Conference is the Church's governing body, which meets once ayear to discuss matters affecting the Church and wider society.Around 1,400 people are expected to attend the opening weekend ofthe Conference, which will see the induction of the new Presidentand Vice President. Up to 3,000 people are expected to attendordination services for new Methodist ministers, which will takeplace in venues throughout the region, including Liverpool andChester cathedrals.

Revd James Booth, Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District, said:"I am delighted to be able to welcome this year's MethodistConference to the splendidly refurbished Theatre and ConventionCentre in Southport. Our presence in Conference in the town andregion will visibly affirm our continuing commitment to serve thecommunities of which we are part - and we will be making importantdecisions about our future life as the Methodist Church."

The Conference was last held in Southport in 1999. Hot topics onthis year's agenda include debates on the 'Big Society', povertyand inequality , climate change and the Church's involvement in the2012 Olympic Games. All of the Conference reports are availableonline. Those unable to attend the Conference will be able to watchthe debates live online via the Methodist Conference website: www.methodistconference.org.uk.

The Conference will also celebrate the Church's new hymncollection, Singing the Faith, due to be published this September.The collection was the subject of special editions of BBC1's Songsof Praise and BBC Radio 4's Sunday Service on 26 June. Moreinformation about Singing the Faith can be found at www.singingthefaithplus.org.uk.