Representative Synod - Notes from proceedings (17 April 2021)
Led by the Kingston-upon-Thames Circuit.
Dispensations were given to 17 presbyters.
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.
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:
Revd Kofi Tekyi-Ansah
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.
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.
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.
The Synod notes the District Accounts 2019-2020, which have been approved by the District Council as charitable trustees of the District.
The Synod adopts the District Budget for 2021-2022.
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.
No one spoke to this resolution.
The resolution was agreed with over 90% voting ‘For’ the resolution.
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.
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.
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.
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