The Methodist Church in Great Britain is still organised in a methodical way using many of the structures introduced by its founder, John Wesley. However, the Church is quite pragmatic, and is willing to make changes where they seem desirable. 

Structures exist to enable decision making that takes account of all concerns and views within the Church. No one is given supreme authority, but consultation is vital. At the same time, Churches cannot simply arrange their own affairs, but have some shared disciplines and ways of working. Methodists belong to local churches or ecumenical partnerships, but also feel part of a larger connected community, i.e., the Connexion.

Being connected

This sense of being ‘connected’ makes a difference to how the Methodist Church as a whole is structured. At its heart is an understanding of the Christian community as the 'body of Christ'. Just as a human body contains different limbs and organs that depend on each other, so we should be close and caring enough to feel each other's pain and delight. We should put the good of the whole body before our own individual needs.

When ministers or deacons are ordained in the Methodist Church, they are also 'received into full Connexion.’ Included in the British Methodist Connexion are all the districts of Scotland, Wales and England, along with the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Shetland.

“Do not allow yourself one thought of separating from your brothers and sisters, whether their opinions agree with yours or not.” (John Wesley)

Find out more here about our calling, our structure, the views and doctrine of the Methodist Church, and more about what makes Methodism distinctive:

The President and Vice President of the Methodist Church

The Revd Barbara Glasson and Clive Marsh were inducted as President and Vice-President as the first item of business at the Methodist Conference in Birmingham, on Saturday 29 June 2019. 

Barbara’s ministry with the Bread Church working with diverse people in Liverpool, Touchstone, a Methodist interfaith project in Bradford, and with people who have experienced abuse following the Past Cases Review, shows her work with 'prophetic communities for transformation'.

The Revd Glasson said: "It is a privilege to be elected to serve as President. My interest is in enabling and honouring Connexional communities that are courageous and rooted in prayer. God is transforming the old and calling us into new things that are a joyful outcome of our Methodist inheritance. I believe that if the Church is authentic and inclusive it will also grow numerically and spiritually.”

Professor Clive Marsh’s 35 years as a Methodist has shaped his work profoundly. He has sought to help people think creatively about how faith, life and popular culture interweave, and what happens to theology as a result.

Clive has taught in theological colleges and universities and is currently Head of the University of Leicester’s Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning and an International Research Consultant at the Queen’s Foundation. He is a church member, local preacher and tutor in the Leicester Trinity Circuit. Clive was also Faith and Order Committee Secretary from 2000-2007.

On hearing of his election, he said: "It is an honour to be elected Vice-President. I have a deep commitment to encouraging others in learning, no matter what their stage of life or what previous experience they have. My calling as a Methodist leads me to prompt people to think creatively about their life experience and the world around them, in developing a practical, theologically-informed faith.”

The Secretary of Conference

The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler has been a member of the Connexional Team since 2014 and was Assistant Secretary of the Conference since 2017. Prior to this he was the Ministerial Coordinator for Oversight of Ordained Ministries in the Connexional Team.

He has a wide experience of ministry having entered circuit ministry after graduating from Wesley House, Cambridge in Theology and Religious Studies during which time he studied as a Finch Scholar in Rome for a year. He was ordained in 1992 and served in three circuit appointments over 20 years, in Leighton Buzzard and Stewkley, Cleveland, and Mid-Lincolnshire (including 10 years as Superintendent). He returned to Wesley House in 2011 as Vice-Principal and Director of Pastoral Studies.

Jonathan obtained his PhD in Mediaeval Ecclesiastical History through part-time study during his first two circuit appointments and has served on a number of committees in the Church and as a District Ecumenical Officer. His involvement in the training of local preachers and ministers has been extensive and he continues to write on pastoral theology, preaching and church history.

Jonathan is married to Lesley and they have two adult children. He is an avid Archers listener and has published articles and spoken about the long-running radio soap.

For media enquiries [email protected] 

Andy Jackson, Director of Publishing and Communications 
Telephone 020 7467 5111 [email protected]

Michael Ivatt, Lead Media Officer
020 7467 5191, [email protected]

Rosie Winn, Media Officer 
020 7467 5277, [email protected]

Emergency out-of-hours number, 020 7467 5170 

Follow the Methodist Church on Twitter @MethodistGB