We’re back at High Leigh Conference Centre in Hertfordshire, this time for the Methodist Council. There are two significant differences between our last meeting here for the Connexional Leaders Forum in January. The snow has gone (compare this picture with the earlier one on the blog), although it feels just as cold outside, and the paperwork for this meeting is significantly greater, a few pages for
We started the meeting remembering the situation in
Email, blogs, Facebook pages and tweets can be powerful things but they can also be destructive when people post something they later regret because of the hurt it causes others who become aware of the posting. It has been recognised that the
Council did not shy away from some difficult and challenging areas. We discussed a paper about the “Living Wage” and the response to the Conference resolution asking that the 1976 statement on the abortion should be revised. We revisited the decisions of Conference about how to make fair changes to the ministers’ pension fund. We discussed our response to racism and extreme views within the Church and we read with sadness about the situation in Israel/Palestine in a report prepared by the working group set up by Conference. The latter was a well timed report as tomorrow David and I travel to
A whole series of papers helped us to consider our future strategy with respect to our
Early this morning David presided at a service of Holy Communion at which I preached. It was a clear sign of our partnership. Later Council was invited to explore the possibility of a change to the current pattern of having a President and Vice-President, instead moving to a President with 2 co-Presidents, one lay and one from the Diaconal Order. Offices could be held for 1 year as at present, or for 3 years. This led to a very interesting discussion which concluded with an agreement that the Conference should be offered an increased number of options for possible change from which it could choose, including whether the Presidency/Presidium should include 2 or 3 people.
Despite the size of the agenda, and the major issues to be covered, we managed to complete our work on time. We are though conscious of the large amount of work we continue to ask others to do on behalf of the Council, Conference and Church.