Where can I find information about the structure of the Methodist Church in Britain?

Information about the structure of the Methodist Church in Britain can be found here: Structure (methodist.org.uk) The Methodist Church website is a good resource to find information about all areas of the church, its calling, priorities and current activities.

What is the difference between 'Recognised and Regarded' and 'Full Connexion'?

A minister who is Recognised and Regarded remains under the authority of his or her own home conference or church while exercising ministry in the Methodist Church in Britain, usually for a period of five years, with the intention of returning to the home church.

A minister who is in Full Connexion transfers from his or her own home church to become wholly and permanently under the authority of the Methodist Church in Britain.

Those who are Recognised and Regarded are stationed in the same way as Ministers in Full Connexion and are asked to exercise the same level of responsibility. It is common (but not necessary or possible in every case) for a minister to seek to serve as Recognised and Regarded for a few years in the first instance before seeking to transfer into Full Connexion.

Where are the application forms?

The application forms will be available from the website from the beginning of January.

Application periods are: January to March for new applicants, and May to July for existing applicants seeking to change or extend their status.

I've only just been ordained - is that ok?

Whilst there are no formal policies that insist on a length of service before applying, the panels tend to have more hesitations about applicants who are only recently ordained and you may therefore wish to reflect on whether you are sufficiently experienced in ministry before you apply. Making the move into a new context is a challenge that is intensified if you are also learning ministry at the same time.

If I am recommended, can I choose where I am stationed?

All ministers who are recommended by a transfer panel and who will be entering their first appointment in the Methodist Church in Britain go through a process called ‘initial stationing.’ The Initial Stationing Sub-Committee will take into account your gifts in ministry and your personal circumstances – however, you cannot ‘choose’ your appointment. The sub-committee will agree a match based on the needs of the Church and the gifts, skills and circumstances of the ministers available. If no suitable appointment is available, the Initial Stationing Sub-Committee will attempt to match you with a suitable appointment the following year.

Who pays for my visa?

If you are coming from outside the United Kingdom and are recommended and stationed, you may need a visa to work in the UK. The cost of this visa application will be borne by the Methodist Church Fund. The costs will be restricted to the period of an initial appointment to serve the Methodist Church in Britain and will cover the costs of the application for you and up to three additional dependents, ie four persons altogether.  This may be dependent on you satisfactorily passing the English test required by the British Government’s Home Office.

Will any kind of training be provided?

The Methodist Church offers a comprehensive induction programme for those entering their first station in this country in which we expect that accepted applicants will participate. If you are accepted and matched with an appointment, you will be sent the details. The first part of the programme will be in the fortnight before your appointment formally begins, so you will need to arrange to be in Britain in good time to be part of that.

How much is a stipend in the Methodist Church in Britain?

If you are recommended to be stationed to an appointment in the Methodist Church in Great Britain, you will be sent full details of the financial arrangements that we make for our ministers. This is also stated on the website here: Stipends and Lay Employment Rates (methodist.org.uk)

What about my pension?

If a minister works in the UK they should be automatically enrolled onto the pension scheme - the Methodist Ministers' Pension Scheme.

The benefits they accrue may be able to be transferred once they return to their home church but this depends on whether this is permitted by HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) in the UK. If the transfer is not permitted the benefits can remain in the UK and be paid out at retirement in the form of a pension, or a pension and lump sum. The pension can be paid to an overseas bank account.

Can my own church prevent my transferring?

Yes.  We can only receive applications from ministers who are in good standing with their home church and who have the permission of their head of church to serve in the Methodist Church in Britain. However, if you are no longer part of your home church, it may still be possible to apply to transfer. Please contact ministryoffers@methodistchurch.org.uk if that applies to you.