Methodist Mission re-envisaged at Methodist Council

The Methodist Council laid down the foundations for new visionsof mission when it met at Methodist Church House in London on 21-22January.

Council members voted to continue the process of closerintegration of the Methodist Missionary Society into the MethodistChurch in Britain in order to let the Church move forward inmission in today's world. 

David Friswell, Leader of World Church Relationships, said:"With fresh expressions of church growing, changes in children andyouth work, existing in an ever growing multi-cultural community,there are many exciting challenges facing the development ofmission work both in the UK and abroad. Our vision is clear: thatmission is core to the very heart and soul of the Methodist Churchin Britain and will continue to be so for many years to come."

The Council also discussed the Church's engagement with theeducation sector. There are schools in 22 of the 31 Districts ofBritish Methodism: five have independent but no maintained schools,five have both kinds and 12 have maintained but no independentschools. 

David Gamble, Education Project Officer, said: "The Conferenceencouraged Districts to look at possibilities of increasing thenumber of Methodist schools and there are various conversationsgoing in relating to this. The Conference directed both Trusts towork more closely together and we are beginning to work on this.This is an exciting time for the Methodist Church as it responds tothe challenge set before it by last year's Conference and exploresways to develop its commitment to and involvement ineducation."

Representatives also heard the latest developments in theformation of the Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network. TheCouncil, whilst acknowledging the amount of work already done, alsoexpressed concern at some aspects of the work being undertaken toimplement the new Learning Network.  Following discussion,during which the hard work being undertaken by Team staff andmembers of a number of committees was acknowledged, the Councilrequested a greater sharing of information relating to all aspectsof the implementation with the Strategic Resources Committee, theCouncil and the wider Connexion in the most appropriateways. 

Other business included a report on Methodism's interfaithengagement. The report highlighted the history of Methodistinterfaith relations dating back to 1972. There will be a futurereport to the Council outlining proposals for the Church'scontinued work in this area.  

The Council papers can be viewed online here.