God In Love Unites Us: Marriage and Relationships in the Methodist Church
Following prayerful consideration by the whole Church, in June 2021 the Methodist Conference voted to confirm provisional resolutions on the principles or qualities of good relating, understanding of cohabitation and same sex marriages conducted on Methodist premises or by Methodist office-holders.
The Methodist Church has made available a number of guidance documents and resources to assist churches and circuits as they discuss whether they wish to register or make available their Methodist Church for the purposes of same-sex marriage.
Please be advised that these resources will be updated as and when new documentation is made available. We encourage you to check the page regularly.
Further information is also available in the form of a 'Frequently Asked Questions' page and a report on the resolutions and decisions made at the Methodist Conference 2021.
Background: The 2019 Marriage and Relationships Report and Consultation
The Methodist Church had not fully reflected on the theology of marriage and relationships since 1992, although work has been carried out by several task groups since then.
The Marriage and Relationships Task Group set up in 2014 identified the need for an update and to revisit the 'definition' of marriage, and this was looked into by the task group set up in 2016.
At the 2018 Methodist Conference it was directed that, instead of producing a statement, the Task Group should bring a report on these matters which could include any proposed change to Standing Orders, if the definition of marriage were to change.
At the 2019 Methodist Conference, the Marriage and Relationships Task Group presented a report with recommendations on various issues surrounding relationships in general and marriage in particular. As a result of these recommendations, the 2019 - 2020 Connexional year represented an opportunity for the Methodist Church, and its people, to reflect and prayerfully consider the recommendations with a view to a final decision being made at the 2020 Methodist Conference.
To facilitate these discussions and considerations, the Methodist Church in Britain produced a range of resources:
Worship resources published by Singing the Faith and designed to be used in worship or opening and closing devotions when discussing the theme of 'God In Love Unites Us'
In addition the District held three Conversation Days as a way of ensuring that the many diverse views on the subject of marriage and relationships could be heard. These events allowed for discussion within the wider context of the District as a whole, and supplemented discussions held at both church and circuit level.