Representative Synod - Notes from proceedings (17 April 2021)

 
Opening Worship

 

Led by the Kingston-upon-Thames Circuit.

Business
Dispensations

Dispensations were given to 17 presbyters.

Candidates Committee

Four candidates were recommended by the District Candidates Committee.

One withdrew before the Connexional Candidates Committee.  Three went forward and two have been recommended for pre-training.


Candidates Secretary is already receiving interest for next year and superintendents of potential candidates are urged to contact the Candidates Secretary as soon as possible.

Probationers Committee

Ordinations are scheduled for this year.  The District Ordinands Testimony Service will be a virtual event on 23rd May.

 
Three new probationers came into the District this year.  Two presbyters and one Deacon.  Presbyteral synod recommended all to proceed to their 2nd year.

Sabbaticals recently approved by the Sabbaticals Group.

Synod noted the following:

2020/21

  • Revd Kofi Tekyi-Ansah

2021/22

  • Revd Mike Long

  • Revd David Jebb

  • Revd Stan Brown

Presbyters Seeking Permission to become Supernumeraries

Synod agreed the following by a show of hands.

  • Revd Ruth Gee

  • Revd Andrew Pakes

  • Revd Gillian Walsh

Ministers moving away from the District.

Synod noted the following:

  • Revd Roger Dunlop - Telford

  • Revd John Hayes - Liverpool North

  • Deacon Linda Gilson - Wolverhampton

  • Revd Patrick Kandeh - South Bedfordshire

  • Revd George Quarm - Wey Valley

  • Revd Jacky Quarmby - Derby

  • Revd Shirlyn Toppin - Upper Thames

  • Revd Jason Vinyard - Bury St Edmunds

  • Revd Helen Watson - Basingstoke & Reading

Ministers Moving within the District

 

Synod noted the following

  • Revd Rohama Asif Karam - Romford

 

 

City Centre Review


Standing Order 440 (5) requires the District Synod to carry out a review of the City Centre Church or Projects.  The London District currently have three such centres/projects:

  • Methodist Central Hall Westminster

  • West London Mission

  • Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham – review to be presented at September Synod

 

Synod noted the reviews had taken place for Methodist Central Hall Westminster & West London Mission.
 

Deferred Special Resolution


Revd Dr Paul Hill introduced the resolution.

Methodist Conference have asked churches, circuits and Synods to consider a change in the Model Trusts Regarding the use of Methodist premises by other denominations and churches.

 

Churches and Circuits have discussed and voted on the resolution:

  • 34 Circuits in London District

  • 28 Circuits returned their votes

  • 28 Circuits voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Deferred Special Resolution
     

Synod voted with over 88% in favour of the deferred special resolution.

 

 

District Appointments

 

Synod approved the following appointments:

Social Responsibility Commission 

  • Mr Anthony Boateng - Convenor

District Review Group

 

(Core group indicated with *)

 

Mr Anthony Boateng

Deacon Dawn Canham*

Revd Nigel Cowgill*

Mr Bala Gnanapragasam*

Revd Roz Hollingsworth*

Mrs Kathleen Henriques-Brown

Mr George Kulasingham*

Revd Matthew Lunn

Mr James Pickin*

Mrs Hilary Porter*

Ms Sally Rush

Mr Graham Russell*

Mrs Denise Tomlinson*

Ms Jasmine Yeboah

Revd Michaela Youngson *

Revd Jongikaya Zihle*

Permission to Discontinue Public Worship

 

Whitton Methodist Church, Richmond and Hounslow
Revd Geoffrey Farrar gave thanks for the witness over many years and spoke of the difficult decision which was taken by the Church Council and Circuit Meeting to cease to worship and potentially sell the property.

Synod voted on the resolution:  

  • The Synod gives permission to discontinue public services in accordance to SO943(1) at Whitton Methodist Church from 19 July 2021.

  • Over 85% in favour in agreement.

 

Hurst Green Methodist Church, Purley Circuit

Revd Faith Nyota gave thanks for the witness over many years and spoke of the difficult decision which was taken by the Church Council and Circuit Meeting to cease to worship.


Synod voted on the following resolution

  • The Synod gives permission to discontinue public services in accordance to SO943(1) at Hurst Green Methodist Church from 08 August 2021.

  • Over 86% in favour in agreement.

 

 

Finance

 

George Kulasingham (District Treasurer) introduced the finance business giving a brief summary of the financial position of the District at 31st August 2020, highlighted  some of the initiatives taken to support Circuits and explained the budget & assessments for 21-22.


The following resolutions were approved by a show of hands.

RESOLUTION 1:

The Synod notes the District Accounts 2019-2020, which have been approved by the District Council as charitable trustees of the District.


RESOLUTION 2:      

The Synod adopts the District Budget for 2021-2022.

 

RESOLUTION 3:      

The Synod adopts the allocation of the assessments to the Circuits for 2021-2022.
 

 

God in Love Unites Us

Revd Michaela Youngson introduced the business, with a brief reminder of the process so far.
The session then opened with prayer. 
All who wished to speak were asked to indicate by using the raised hand function.


Resolution 1:

  • No one spoke to this resolution.

  • The resolution was agreed with over 90% voting ‘For’ the resolution.

 

Resolution 2:

  • Rev Conrad Hick asked that it should be noted to Conference to clarify that Resolution 2 should only be read in light of Resolution 1) so that the phrase “who are drawn to each other” in resolution 2 is not taken out of context and misused.  Many Synod members were in agreement with the note.

  • The resolution was agreed with over 76% voting ‘For’ the resolution.

 

Resolution 3:

  • A discussion was held during which a variety of viewpoints were expressed which included:

    • fears that this would divide rather than unite

    • concerns about opening the church to litigation

    • celebration of the Methodist Church being a diverse Church which could live with different opinions

    • Young people did not understand why the church could not hold same sex marriages

  • The resolution was agreed with over 62% voting ‘For’ the resolution.

 

Resolution 4

  • During the discussion, the double lock was explained to reiterate that no-one would be required to go against their conscience.  Members shared their own personal experience of civil partnership and Churches hurt that a celebration could not take place at the local church.

  • The resolution was agreed with over 64% voting ‘For’ the resolution.

 

Resolution 5

  • This resolution related to the changes required in standing orders required for resolutions 1-4 to be implemented.

  • Those who spoke highlighted their belief that much of the previous discussion was about what was not in the report.

  • The resolution was agreed with over 68% voting ‘For’ the resolution.
     

Revd Michaela Youngson thanked everyone for their contribution to the discussion and their vote.

 

Approval of Letters of Greeting

 

Letters of greeting were approved by a show of hands.

 

Presentation to Revd Michaela Youngson


The synod secretary reminded Synod that this would be the last Synod with Revd Michaela Youngson as District Chair.  The District Council wished to express on behalf of synod their thanks to Micky for her contribution to the life of the district and to wish her every blessing in her new role as Assistant Secretary of Conference.

 

A small presentation was made.


Revd Dr Jongi Zihle echoed this giving his personal thanks and reminded synod that it was hoped to hold a more formal farewell in July.
 

Act of Remembrance


Revd Dr Jongi Zihle led the act of remembrance for the ministers and local preachers who have died over the last year.

 

 

 

Synod closed with a Hymn and prayers

Next Representative Synod:
Saturday 18th September 2021