Methodists vote to press on towards Scottish unity

The Methodist Conference in Britain has today backed historicmoves towards merging with other Christian Churches inScotland.

Despite voicing disappointment at the withdrawal last month ofthe Church of Scotland from the Scottish Church Initiative forUnion (SCIFU), Methodists meeting in Llandudno have voted to presson towards "the goal of full visible unity" in Scotland.

Methodists will now hold discussions with the United ReformedChurch and the Scottish Episcopal Church about the formalities ofscheme to bring together the three Churches in Scotland. TheMethodist decision leaves the door open for the Church of Scotlandto re-enter the scheme if it has a change of heart. The URC hasalready backed the plans, and the Scottish Episcopal Church is inthe process of making a final decision next year.

The Chairman of the Scotland Methodist District, the Rev JamesJones, welcomed the support voiced by Methodism's governing body.Earlier he told the Conference: "I pray that we will have the faithand courage to be open to new possibilities being presented tous."

He said: "The withdrawal of the Kirk does not halt theinitiative. In fact, this withdrawal makes it all the moreimportant that the Methodist Church declares its willingness toseek new ways forward. Acceptance of the recommendations will giveus a firm platform for further conversation on this creative andinnovative proposal."

Methodist Conference 2003 index