Methodists See the Bigger Picture

'From communities in poverty to the corridors of power ',Methodists in London will catch a glimpse of the different ways inwhich they contribute to the life of London when they meet nextweekend at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.

Social care and justice will be high on the Agenda asrepresentatives of the 43,000-strong London Methodist-relatedcommunity gather as part of a single unit for the first time inmore than 125 years. The gathering will also celebrate thesignificant growth in membership that the Church has seen over thepast 10 years. In London there are now more than 22,000 Methodistmembers in some 260 congregations and almost 60% of LondonMethodists are also part of Black and Minority Ethnic communities.Some Methodist congregations have people from between 20 and 30different nations worshipping together each Sunday.

Because of the size and complexity of the new London District, forthe first time in the history of the British Methodist Church,there will be a team of three Senior Ministers (Chairs of District)to help lead and co-ordinate the work in London. The Revd ErmalKirby will be the Lead Chair and the Revd Jenny Impey and the RevdDr Stuart Jordan the two Co-Chairs.

'A wonderful woven tapestry, with colour and texture, light andshade, energy and stillness all brought together in a stunningdisplay to which every member contributes' is how these Leadershave described the Methodist Church in London. 'As a Church, weseek to be good news in this Global City.'

But there is also recognition that the scale and diversity ofLondon's population brings its own challenges. The Revd Ermal Kirbycommented, 'There is a unique opportunity for the Church, workingin partnership with a wide range of other agencies, to further anunderstanding of what it means to be an inclusive community. Bothas Methodists and as members of the wider Christian family, we havea contribution to make to that urgent dialogue.'

The newly appointed Chairs all have significant links with otherparts of the world, but they have discovered to their delight thatthey also have a Leicestershire connection in common. (There iseven speculation that Stuart and Ermal might have played Rugbyagainst each other at some - much earlier - point!).

Download apdf showing the new districts