The President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Loraine N Mellor and the Vice-President, Jill Baker, blog about their year of office which began on 24 June 2017. Read about the places they visit, the people they meet and the issues that concern them.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Michael Wakelin with the President (above)
The Vice-President with Moira Sleight (below)
The Church has not always had an easy relationship with the media so it was good to be able to visit two of its expressions during January.
We visited the Methodist Recorder at its offices in Golden Lane London and were pleased to meet some of the staff and see how the paper is put together.
We heard from Moira Sleight, the editor, about the pressures of running a small business in a difficult market. If only our stationing system was more like the Anglicans who pay large amounts in advertising to a certain other paper! If only Methodists were not such sharing people - 100,000 read the Recorder but only a fifth of these actually buy it!
It remains the only organ which regularly shares Methodist news in this country and, just as I recognise it is an independent publication, we as individual Methodists do need to support it.
Later in the month we were invited to the BBC Religion and Ethics Department in Manchester. This is headed by Michael Wakelin a Methodist local preacher and brother of Mark, our new Head of Internal Relationships.
We were accompanied by Anna Drew and Karen Burke from our Methodist Media office (doing a good job just now!) and Keith Davies the local District Chair.
It was a great opportunity to hear from those involved in Songs of Praise, the Daily Service, the Sunday programme and others and to learn about some new programmes - Around the World in80 Faiths which is showing at the moment and a new History of Christianity which is on the way.
We expressed our admiration for the quality of the programmes produced by the BBC - and also our concern at the relative lack of TV coverage of religious and ethical issues compared with radio. The BBC Religion and Ethics website is excellent.
All those who work in the media - particularly the religious press and broadcsating - are proper objects of our prayers and we hope that we were able to give tangible expression to that in our visits.