Reshaping for leadership of the Connexional Team

The leadership structures of the Connexional Team will besignificantly re-shaped under recommendations from a referencegroup of the Methodist Council.

Following the whole-team reconfiguration of 2007/8, the Conferencerequested that the senior leadership structures of the team shouldbe kept under review, and a formal review of the presentconfiguration began in autumn 2011.

The existing configuration has a group mainly concerned withstrategy interlinked with a group mainly concerned with management,with the General Secretary (who is also Secretary of theConference) and three Connexional Secretaries leading a group offive heads of clusters. The cluster heads each manage a team ofspecialist staff in five key areas:

- Discipleship and Ministries
- Mission and Advocacy
- Support Services
- Projects, Research and Development
- Governance Support

Under new plans the existing structure will be replaced by a moreintegrated leadership group made up of the General Secretary/Secretary of the Conference, the Assistant Secretary of theConference, a single Connexional Secretary and three heads ofclusters. This structure will make the three current ConnexionalSecretary posts redundant, replacing them with the singleConnexional Secretary. The group recommends that the existingProjects, Research and Development and Governance Support Clustersbe reviewed in the light of these changes.

"Facing change is always challenging and costly," said the Revd DrMartyn Atkins, General Secretary and Secretary of the Conference,"but my colleagues have responded to these proposals with greatgrace and understanding. The current arrangement has helped toshape the Team into the excellent, united group of experts it istoday. But as the journey continues, so the things we need to helpus travel on the way change. I believe that this reshaping willbuild upon recent achievements and better equip the Team to moveforward in supporting the wider Church to become a discipleshipmovement shaped for mission. This new senior leadership group willbe more outward facing and collaborative and will help our expertsand specialists to speak even more directly into the policy andstrategy formation of the Team."

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, President Designate of the Conference andcurrent Connexional Team Secretary for Internal Relationships,said: "I think we are all grateful for the careful, pastorallysensitive way that the small group from the Methodist Council hastackled the difficult task of reviewing the Senior Leadership Team.I believe the new structures can be made to work well. It is goodto see how much careful thought has gone into a new way of leadingthe Connexional Team and contributing to the wider leadership ofthe Church. I will miss working with some stunning colleagues andwill keep them in my prayers with great affection."

"Our commitment to our many partnerships, both in the UK andworldwide, remains as strong as ever," added Christine Elliott,Connexional Secretary for External Relationships. "Our structuresmay change but we shall continue to work with partners, helping usto grow in faith and understanding as well as encouraging greaterco-operation in God's mission."

The Methodist Conference is required to approve the number ofConnexional Secretaries in the Team and will be presented with thisnew structure in July.