LAST WEEK Methodist Conference, the governing body of the Methodist Church in Britain, passed significant resolutions with far-reaching consequences for its members, and the wider Christian community.
The most high profile of these was a vote to allow same sex marriages conducted on Methodist premises or by Methodist office-holders, making the Methodist Church the largest denomination in the UK to make this change.
Conference also voted for a ban on ‘conversion therapy’, the practice of seeking to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
They also adopted a far-reaching Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity, which aims
“to support Methodists with issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, with the aim of becoming a Church in which God’s unconditional love is expressed in word and actions and where all people are able to play their part.”— methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/justice-dignity-and-solidarity
This includes the use of gender-neutral inclusive language and pronouns in all future written Conference materials.
In response to these positive Conference motions, in my role as Coordinator of the Open Table Network, I spoke with Revd Chris Collins, a Methodist minister, to share reactions to these decisions, and what they might mean for the wider church.
I met Chris in 2019 on the Journey Of Hope, a six-month leadership programme for people of faith to transform their communities. The Journey of Hope is run by Reconcilers Together, a community of committed peacemakers: people of faith who believe that everyday peacemaking, from a place of our deepest values, can reconcile some of the most sacred relationships between ourselves, the Earth, our faith, and with others. Read more.