What is a Methodist local preacher?

Local preachers are those who have been accredited to preach God's word and lead the people of God in worship. Originally, the term local preacher showed the distinction between those who stayed in a local area and those who were "itinerant" and moved around the country.  These "itinerants" later became known as ministers (presbyters).  

How do you become a local preacher?

You need to first discern your own personal call to preach. Then speak to the Superintendent Minister of your circuit, they will ask you about your call to preach.

If successful the Superintendent will then recommend you to the Local Preachers' Meeting. If the Local Preachers Meeting agree, it will recommend you have a 'note to preach' to the Circuit Meeting. When the Circuit Meeting agree you have a 'note to preach' you can them commence your local preaching training.

How do the changes to Candidating for Ministry affect Local Preachers?

The process by which people can offer for ordained ministry in the Methodist Church (known as candidating) is changing.  For more information go to the candidating pages here.  Various questions have been asked by Local Preachers about how the new process changes things.  The Ministries Team have responded to these questions, and the full list can be downloaded here.

Is there a way to train as a Local Preacher whilst serving in the Armed Forces?

Yes - there is a training pathway that takes account of the particular demands of life in the armed forces.  You would be attached to a "host circuit" who provide a tutor, with mentoring arranged through the forces' chaplaincy network.  Email us at localpreachers@methodist.org.uk for more information.  A document describing the training process can be found on the Local Preachers' Secretaries page of this website.

How old do you have to be to be a local preacher?

There is no minimum or maximum age limit.

Becoming a local preacher is a divine call; speak to your Superintendent Minister about your call to preach.

What is a Local Preachers Meeting?

The Local Preachers Meeting is where all peoples who preach in the circuit meet and discuss the status and progress of all local preachers 'on note/trial' and it is here at this meeting that those decisions are recorded. 

As well as the status and progress of local preachers 'on note/trial' being discussed and reported at this meeting, there is an opportunity for the meeting to have discussion topics. These topics are to be set by the meeting collectively.

The Local Preachers Meeting generally meets once each quarter, and reports to the Circuit Meeting.  Additional meetings for study, discussion, worship and continuing development can be held at any time.

Who are the members of the Local Preachers Meeting?

Standing Order 560 statesthat  ministers, ministerial probationers, student ministers, persons authorised to serve the Church as ministers (under SO 733) [who are, in each case, members of the Circuit Meeting] and accredited local preachers who are members in the circuit. All these members are entitled to vote.

Worship leaders and local preachers 'on note/trial' are encouraged to attend the Local Preachers Meeting but they can not vote.

How often must I attend the Local Preachers meeting?

It is important for all local preachers, including those On Note and On Trial to attend this meeting.

Local preacher tutors/secretaries, ministers, deacons and any other persons authorised to serve (under SO 733) as ministers should attend this meeting to support the local preachers 'on note/trial'.

Who can be the Local Preacher Meeting Secretary?

It must be a member of the Local Preachers Meeting. The duty of taking minutes may be delegated by the Secretary.

When should Long Service Certificates be presented?

Certificates should be requested for the following years of service: 25, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80. The circuit Local Preachers' Secretary should make the request using the LPWL Return Form.

Are Deacons also Local Preachers?

The 2019 Methodist Conference adopted the report The Theology and Ecclesiology Underpinning the Diaconate and the Methodist Diaconal Order.  Resolution 25/5 states: The Conference affirms that preaching is part of the ministry of deacons and directs that from 1st September 2020  (a)    Deacons shall no longer be listed as Local Preachers on the Plan; (b) The list of ministers on the plan will follow in the order listed in SO 785(4)(b); (c)    All deacons will be members of the Local Preachers’ Meeting

This resolution leads to some further reflection around candidating, training and the probation period of Deacons from The Ministries Committee, Law and Polity and the diaconal Convocation all of whom will report to the 2021 Conference.