Methodism

The Methodist Church is a mainstream Christian Church. At the last count in 2007 the British Methodist Church had 267,257 members. There are over 800,000 people who have an active connection with the Methodist Church. It works in partnership with other denominations whenever possible but there are certain emphases in the Methodist culture which make it distinctive.

Our Calling

All can be saved

Methodists have always been clear that no-one is beyond the reach of God’s love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few.

Living a holy life

Holiness is not just about personal spirituality and prayer. It will also be expressed through a commitment to social justice and to enabling other people to become followers of Jesus. Methodists are asked to surrender lives to God’s will.

A covenant with God

Methodists hold an annual Covenant Service, at which we celebrate all that God has done for us, and affirm that we give our lives and choices to God.

Small groups

Methodism began in the context of small groups of Christians seeking to take their faith seriously and apply it to their lives.

Assurance of God’s love

Our founder John Wesley became aware of an immense sense of ‘blessed assurance’ at his conversion. Our faith rests not on our own feelings but on the promises of a faithful God.

A grassroots movement

It is a strong feature of Methodism that ordinary lay people play a major part in the running of the Church.

Born in song

Methodists are well known as enthusiastic singers, in choirs and congregations. Singing is still an important means of learning about, sharing and celebrating our faith.

Reading the Bible

It is good for Christians with differing approaches to the interpretation of the Bible to engage with each other and argue through how the Bible should be applied to issues in the contemporary world. There is a wide range of views among contemporary Methodists about the Bible’s authority.

The Connexion

Methodists belong to local churches or ecumenical partnerships and also feel part of a larger connected community known as the Connexion.

The Methodist quadrilateral

Methodists traditionally use a fourfold approach to learn about Christian faith and apply it to contemporary issues and to Christian practice. This approach involves using scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

The above information is an extract from the UK Methodist Church website. Go to www.methodist.org.uk for the full text.

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© Carol Dawson The Religious Education Resources Project