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

New President of the Methodist Conference promises a year of radical grace

The Revd Michaela A Youngson (above right) has been elected and inducted as the new President of the Methodist Conference, meeting at the University of Nottingham; she has taken over from the Revd Loraine N Mellor. The induction took place at the annual meeting of the Methodist Conference, at the University of Nottingham on Saturday 30 June 2018.

It is the first time in the history of the Methodist Church that a woman has been elected to succeed a woman President. During the ceremony, the new President receives a Bible that was used by John Wesley.

During his lifetime John Wesley chaired the Methodist Conference but after his death the Conference determined to elect a President annually.

Michaela was ordained in 1997 and is one of the Chairs of the London District. She is a regular contributor to Pause for Thought on BBC Radio Two, Chair of Trustees for Methodist Central Hall, a trustee of Making Herstory and a trustee of Southlands College.

Bala Gnanapragasam has been elected as the Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

In his address at the Methodist Conference on Saturday 3o June 2018, Bala Gnanapragasam, the newly elected and inducted Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, reflected on ‘Transforming Hope’

At the Methodist Conference, taking place at the University of Nottingham until 5 July, Bala Gnanapragasam, a Trustee at Christian Aid and former Labour Councillor, shared emotive stories that looked at the importance of inspiring hope and challenging injustice.

Mr Gnanapragasam gave his address to an audience at the Conference which included friends from Sri Lanka celebrating the first Sri Lankan Methodist to be made Vice-President of the British Conference.

The Secretary of Conference

The Revd Gareth Powell was appointed Secretary of the Methodist Conference in 2015.  As the executive officer, he holds one of the three most senior roles in the British Methodist Church and plays a principal part in its leadership and oversight.

Gareth read theology at Westminster College, Oxford and then undertook ministerial training at The Queen’s College, Birmingham, obtaining an MA in Pastoral Theology before spending time at the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies, the University of Geneva. Having served in the Coventry Circuit, he was ordained in 1999, when he was stationed to the Cardiff Circuit as a circuit minister and university chaplain. From 2002-2008 he was Methodist Chaplain and Chaplaincy Coordinator at Cardiff University.

In 2009 he was directly stationed to the Connexional Team to be based in the Governance Support Cluster as the President’s Assistant. Since 2010 Gareth has been a member of the Council of Cardiff University. He has vast experience of ecumenical partnerships and is highly respected in such circles. He is a member of the Council of Christian Unity of the Church of England. He was a member of the Methodist/Roman Catholic Committee from 2001 to 2012 and was The Ecumenical Officer of Y Gymanfa from 2005-7.

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