EDI officers, an exciting but challenging calling

16 August 2021

The Methodist Church calls us all to care about each other, to celebrate the differences of culture and background we all enjoy, and to commit to ending discrimination within the Church.

This is an exciting but challenging calling. We hope that you will be one of the people to share in this work and to enthuse others about the kind of Inclusive Methodist Church that we believe God wants us to be.

The challenge is to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’ whatever kind of ability or disability we live with, whatever age we are, whether we are cis or trans-gendered, whether we are ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, wherever in the world or the UK our immediate family come from, wherever we grew up, however many languages we may speak. We can all speak with the language of God’s love and we aim for a church which will reflect the kind of world God wants… where everybody is valued, whatever our opinions may be.

This call to justice, dignity and solidarity (with those who have often been ignored or ‘on the edge’ of the Church) is one for us all.

We are going to appoint EDI Officers (using the language of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, recognising its importance alongside the work of Safeguarding) to help us, in each district and circuit. Our aim is for every district and circuit, including yours, to have somebody who will share the responsibility for this work and encourage others to take their responsibility in it too. Some districts and circuits will choose to pay for this work. All EDI Officers will be appointed according to our usual ‘safer recruitment’ processes.

These EDI Officers will be there to support our work, to help put recommendations into place and to act as a communication between the Connexional Team officers and local churches. They will be offered training and support, in order to make sure that this strategy is put into place, helping us to end discrimination and to learn from our diversity of human experience.

Your district may already have an EDI Officer. You’d be able to discover this through your district directory or office. If so, please commit to praying for them.

You may feel God calling you to offer to be on an EDI team or network, or you may know other Methodists with relevant experience and understanding from their midweek jobs, or from their own lives, who you could encourage to offer their skills.

If so, please encourage them to contact equality&diversity@methodistchurch.org.uk

The Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity is a far-reaching strategy which will help us to fulfil our Calling to respond to the Gospel of Christ. It will make a real difference to the church and we hope that you will help by prayer and conversation. If you’d like to know more please read the strategy in the Conference 2021 Agenda Volume 3.

Also, please get ready to engage with the ‘Users’ Guide’ in as many settings as you are able. It will be published in the Autumn.