Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: The Church Perspective and Employment Law

The Church Perspective

The Methodist Church aims to live out theological conviction that God’s love is for all, and that Our Calling bears witness to this.

In 1999, the Conference adopted the report Called to Love and Praise, on the nature of the Church, which spelled out that “Wesley’s call to personal faith and to holiness reflected a concern for justice and integrity in everyday life, and also an optimism about what the grace of God could accomplish in human lives.”

In 2015 the Faith and Order Committee provided a theological document to underpin the work of the EDI Toolkit. This opens by saying:

“It is the Church’s intention to value every human being as part of God’s creation and the whole people of God. At the heart of the Methodist community is a deep sense of the place of welcome, hospitality and openness which demonstrates the nature of God’s grace and love for all.”

The 2021 Conference adopted a report which sets out a Strategy for Justice, Dignity, and Solidarity.

The strategy aims:

  • for a paradigm shift (a profound change) in the culture, practices and attitudes of the Methodist Church so that all Methodists are able to be full participants in the Church’s life;
  • to eradicate all discrimination and coercive control within the Methodist Church, and for all people to be treated justly and with dignity across the breadth of the Methodist Church;
  • for the rich diversity of people within the Methodist Church to be recognised as a cause for thanksgiving, celebration and praise.

This confirms the Church’s commitment to equal opportunities. Accordingly, it is essential that all involved in the life of the Church, including paid lay employees and volunteers, should conduct themselves in such a way as ensures that no unlawful discrimination takes place. Also, all those involved in the recruitment and selection exercises must take account of equality, diversity and inclusion principles throughout their practice.  

For more detailed information about Church's commitment to Justice, Dignity and Solidarity please visit the The Inclusive Methodist Church website.

A template of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy for employing bodies within the Methodist Church is available from the Downloadable Templates section.


The Law on Discrimination

Employment legislation sets statutory obligations on employers in respect of discrimination. These are:

  • Equality Act 2010 - The Equality Act 2010  offers protection to people with ‘protected characteristics’. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.
  • Employment rights of part-time workers
  • Protection against less favorable treatment - Fixed Term Employees

For further details please go to the Employment Legislation section.

 Other useful Sources of Information:

Additional information is also available the Equality and Human Rights Commission website: 



Equality Diversity and Inclusion
Lay Employment in the Methodist Church

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