Authorised to serve
Before making an application, please ensure you have read and considered all the information below.
Authorised to serve the British Methodist Church as a presbyter or deacon. [S.O.733]
Such people are not treated exactly the same as a presbyter or deacon ordained by and in good standing and an active relationship with the Conference:
- they share in some but not all of the same privileges and responsibilities
[e.g. they may or may not receive a stipend and manse from the Methodist Church in Great Britain, and they are not eligible for funds held under trust for presbyters or deacons of the British Conference]
- they are stationed by the Conference to fulfil specific duties within a particular circuit or other appointment within the control of the British Conference, but are not authorised to do so elsewhere within the jurisdiction of the Conference
- those duties may include, in the case of a presbyter, the specific exercise of the ministry of the word, sacrament and pastoral responsibility, including the exercise of pastoral charge in local churches but not as Superintendent of a Circuit (but may include being a Lead Minister where one is appointed in an ecumenical area), and in the case of a deacon, the specific exercise of a ministry of witness and service, including the undertaking of pastoral work, the leading of worship, the administration of baptism and, where the person concerned is authorised to do so by his or her own Conference or Church, preaching
- they may fulfil such duties for the Conference of the British Methodist Church full time or part-time, and in the case of the latter may also be appointed by their own Conferences or Churches to fulfil ministerial or diaconal duties concurrently on their behalf
- they are accountable to their own Conferences and Churches for their general vocation, development and conduct as presbyters or deacons, and will only be authorised to serve the British Conference when those Conferences and Churches agree to ensure, through their own disciplinary processes, that the presbyters and deacons concerned exercise accountability under discipline to the British Conference for the duties which they fulfil on its behalf.
To all intents and purposes, therefore, those who are authorised to serve the Conference of the British Methodist Church as a presbyter or deacon are partially seconded by their own Conferences or Churches to serve the Conference of the British Methodist Church for a period of time. Oversight remains the responsibility of their own Conference or Church.
The identifying of an appointment in which someone may be authorised to serve the Conference as a presbyter or deacon and the checking of that person's credentials involves the completion of paperwork that is standard throughout the Connexion. It is mainly carried out in a particular District, but moderated by connexional officers.
Applications can be made at any time using the form which can be downloaded below. The form is completed by the minister but must be signed by the circuit and district.