The Methodist Conference meets annually to discuss matters affecting the life of the Church, the nation and the world. The Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church, carrying responsibility for the government, discipline, management and administration of the life of the Church. Members of the Conference hold a trustee responsibility. The Conference is also a place for worship, thanksgiving, ordination and celebration. The 2021 Conference runs from today, Thursday 24 June, until next Thursday, 1 July.
In view of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Conference, which should have been held in its entirety in Birmingham, will be hybrid. Around 60 people will gather in a socially-distanced manner at the National Conference Centre, with all other delegates attending online. Representatives and Chairs of District have been consulted as to who might most appropriately be present in the Conference hall and who will attend online. The Conference Business Committee and the Secretariat will guide the President, so that those who attend online are not disadvantaged compared to those in the hall amongst those called to speak.
As part of the Conference, 22 presbyteral and three diaconal ministers will be ordained at 4.00pm on Sunday, 27 June. The ordinations will take place at five Methodist Church venues across the West Midlands – Shirley, Solihull, Kenilworth, Walsall Central Hall and Coventry Central Hall.
The President Designate of the Methodist Conference 2021/2022 is Revd Sonia Hicks. Sonia has served as a Circuit Superintendent in three Methodist Connexions – Great Britain, the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas, and the Methodist Church in Ireland. The Conference Vice-President Designate is Barbara Easton. Before becoming Connexional Director of Education in 2014, Barbara was an RE teacher, inclusion and interfaith specialist and secondary head teacher in various challenging contexts in the West Midlands. Barbara currently leads the Methodist Academies and Schools Trust.
Public Conference sessions and worship services will be streamed live HERE. Sessions will be available to watch again HERE from 30 minutes after they have ended. For more information about the 2021 Conference, follow THIS LINK. The full 2021 Conference programme is available HERE.