Methodist Church is the fourth largest Christian Church in Britain, after
the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and the Church of Scotland. It
has more than six thousand churches and a total membership of
approximately 330 000 people. There are Methodist Churches in nearly every
country in the world and global membership numbers some 70 million people.
Methodist Church is traditionally known as non-conformist because it does
not conform to the rules and authority of the established Church of
of the Methodist Church
Methodist Church in Britain is divided into circuits, made up of local
churches in a defined area. A Superintendent Minister the senior minister
appointed to provide pastoral leadership to a circuit. A number of
circuits make up a district. There are 33 districts in Britain. Each
District has a Chair (in some regards like a Bishop in the Anglican
Church) whose job is to lead the ministers and lay people in the work of
preaching and worship, evangelism, pastoral care, teaching and
administration. Each district has a District Synod which decides policy
for that district, within the parameters laid down by the annual
can relate to the Methodist Church in many ways, as they explore the
Christian faith and their responses to it. The most intensive form of
commitment is membership of the Methodist Church. This involves a
period of training and affirmation by the local church council that the
individual sincerely accepts the basis of membership of the Methodist
Church. A service of confirmation and reception into membership is held.
If the individual isn't baptised, the service includes baptism.
local church has a Church Council, which together with the minister is
responsible for coordinating and leading the work or ministry of the
church. However, the Methodist church describes itself as having a
connexional structure. This means the whole denomination acts and makes
decisions together. A local church is never independent of the rest of
'The Methodist Connexion'.
Methodist Church in Britain is governed by the Methodist Conference which
meets in June every year. The Conference is presided over by the President
of Conference, a Methodist Minister, supported by a Vice President who can
be a lay person or deacon. Both of these appointments are made annually.
worldwide umbrella organisation for all Methodist Churches is the World
Methodist Council, set up in 1951. Its headquarters is in North Carolina
in the USA. The World Methodist Conference meets every five years in
different locations around the world.
stand within the Protestant tradition of the worldwide Christian Church.
Their core beliefs reflect orthodox Christianity.
churches vary in their style of worship during services. The emphasis is
often on Bible reading and preaching, although the sacraments are an
important feature, especially the two instituted by Christ: Eucharist
or Holy Communion and Baptism.
singing is a lively feature of Methodist services. The founder's brother, Charles
Wesley, was a prolific hymn writer and many of his works
are still sung today both in Methodist and other churches.
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