Image via WikipediaThe following report was received by Methodist Conference 2010. For more information about relationships between the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, visit this page on the Methodist Church website.
Progress in response to the Joint Resolution of the Methodist Conference and the United Reformed Church Assembly in 2008.
1.1 Background to the Joint Resolution
In 2008, the URC Assembly and Methodist Conference approved a joint resolution which had been proposed by the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church and the West Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church. Full details of the resolution can be found on the Methodist Church website [2008 Resolution 62/2] (or by following the above link). Its main points are as follows:
- to explore further joint working for the sake of shared mission;
- a structure that minimises ecumenical meetings but facilitates diversity;
- exploration of joint structures at synod/district level;
- effective use of resources.
A group has been formed to bring further proposals to the Governance bodies of both Churches. The membership of this Strategic Oversight Group is currently: from the United Reformed Church, the General Secretary, the Deputy General Secretary and the Treasurer; and from the Methodist Church, the General Secretary, the Secretary for Team Operations and the Secretary for External Relationships [n.b. the offi ces of Treasurer of the United Reformed Church and Secretary for Team Operations in the Methodist Church are currently held by the same person].
1.3 Observers at Methodist Council and URC Mission Council
The Methodist Council, responding to Resolution 62/2 of the 2008 Conference, has invited a representative of the United Reformed Church to be a regular observer at its meetings and appointed a Methodist observer to attend the Mission Council of the United Reformed Church.
1.4 Joint Councils Meeting
The Methodist Council and the Mission Council have agreed to hold a joint meeting from 13–15 October 2010.
1.5 Closer Working Consultation
The Closer Working Consultation was a local response to the 2008 Joint Resolution for those engaged in ecumenical work in the Methodist and United Reformed Churches. It was a consultation, held at the end of April 2010, for members of URC Methodist Local Ecumenical Partnerships, United Areas and other local collaborations.
1.6 United Areas Model Constitution
The new charities legislation means United Areas will have to register as charities and so the Methodist and United Reformed Churches have collaborated in the writing of a model constitution for United Areas. This is the fi rst time United Areas have had a standard format for their constitutions and it means the approval process for United Areas will be much simpler.
1.7 How to Make it Work
‘How to Make it Work’ documents most of the details of the relationships between Methodist and United Reformed Churches. This site includes a service for the induction and welcome of ministers, a checklist for church stewards and elders, orientation for incoming ministers to Methodist and URC Local Ecumenical Partnerships, a model declaration of intent for a Single Congregation partnership and a paper about Baptists in Local Ecumenical Partnerships with the Methodist and United Reformed Churches. It is available through both websites.