The Methodist Church holds a City Centre List which includes Churches and Projects that have been considered by both the District Policy Committee and The Methodist Council to meet the criteria.
A City Centre Church or Project within Methodism is recognised to have at least four out of five of these dominant features.
- The main features of the environment are retail, civic, leisure, judicial, commercial and educational institutions serving a dense population.
- The significant population is transient.
- There are obvious extremes of power and powerlessness, wealth and poverty.
- There are obvious changes of community between the daytime and night-time economies.
- The church acts as a magnet to various groups of people.
Churches on the registered list are governed Standing orders 440 - other churches chose to be affiliated to the network - as they carry out related work but they do not work under the rights, responsibilities and privileges laid out in SO 440.
Features often experienced in City Centre Ministry
- A wide range of demands and opportunities - with pressure to respond to everything.
- Working collaboratively is expected - local teams, secular agencies and ecumenically.
- The magnet effect brings a higher proportion of the poor and vulnerable to the church's door.
- Consistency of presence gives the church greater impact in the community.
- The Minister is often required to speak on behalf of the Methodist Church.
- The Ministers often live in a different area to that in which they minister.
- Engagement with city life is central to the calling and mission of the church.
- The demands and opportunities require constant theological and missional discernment - does the opportunity fit within the long term vision of the Church?
- Being in a commercial environment the expectation is that everything we do has to be of a high standard.
- City Centre ministry can be isolating.
- The minister often needs to develop specialisms.
- There is an expectation that the minister manage a large site/plant or teams of people.
- There is an expectation that city-centre churches/circuits will take on interns/students/ placements/probationers.
- There are knowledge gains and expertise that might be shared across the Connexion, with city centre churches acting as potential centres for learning and sharing experience.
You can request a copy of the current city centre list from Ella Sibley-Ryan, Projects Officer in the Mission Team.