World Methodist leaders gather in Brighton

Almost 4,000 Methodist leaders fromaround the world are gathering on the south coast of England thisweek for a major celebration of faith and fellowship.

Delegates are gathering for the World Methodist Council andConference meetings, which are taking place in Brighton between24-31 July. The World Methodist Conference, the umbrella body ofthe Methodist Church around the world, meets every five years.

The World Methodist Conference (WMC) last met in 1996 inRio-de-Janeiro. It is more than three decades since the WMC washosted by Britain - the 1966 gathering was at Westminster CentralHall in London.

Around 4,000 delegates are due to gather at the Brighton Centreto discuss a range of issues, including:

  • Relationships with other Christian churches
  • Christian education
  • The role of evangelism in a multi-faith world
  • Third world debt
  • Bridging the gap between science and religion, including:
  1. 'In the beginning' - the 'Big Bang' or the Genesis 'Six Days'creation story
  2. 'In His image' - human identity, made by God or products ofevolution
  3. Applying Wesleyan heritage in the Third ChristianMillennium

Amongst the many high-profile international speakers from withinand outside the Methodist, are:

  • Cardinal Edward Cassidy Former President of the CatholicPontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  • Bishop Sundo Kim Pastor of the 85,000-member SeoulMethodist Church, Korea
  • Sir John Houghton Co-chairman of the UN Assessment ofGlobal Warming and Climate Change
  • Dr David Wilkinson Astrophysicist, author of 'God, Timeand Stephen Hawking'
  • Dr Rukudzo Murapa Vice chancellor of the AfricaUniversity, Zimbabwe
  • Bishop Walter Klaiber Bishop of the United MethodistChurch, Germany
  • Bishop Bernardino Mandlate Former chairperson ChristianCouncil of Mozambique

The World Methodist Council meets from Tuesday 24 July toWednesday 25 July
The 18th World Methodist Conference meets from Thursday 26 July toTuesday 31 July

Furtherinformation on the World Methodist Conference