A new set of principles outlining the qualities of good relationships has been commended by the Methodist Conference for prayerful discussion and response across the Church over the next year.
The report, “God in Love Unites Us”, makes a number of proposals, including:
• principles or qualities of good relating
• an understanding of cohabitation
• to allow same-sex couples to marry in Methodist churches
• providing resources and liturgies to celebrate civil partnerships
• prayers for when marriages end in divorce
The debate, which took place on Monday 1 July and Wednesday 3 July 2019 at the annual Methodist Conference held this year in Birmingham, passed a series of provisional resolutions on the proposals set out in the Report. After District Synods have had the opportunity to consider the proposals, final resolutions will be voted on at the Conference in 2020.
The Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Conference who presided over the debates, said:
“The debate was full of grace and prayerful thought. There were many personal, often painful, stories shared and representatives listened with great care and attention.
“My prayer is that this spirit of generosity and love shown today will be reflected as the proposals are discussed across the Church.”
The Conference is the body that agrees policy for the Methodist Church. It meets annually as a group of 306 representatives, along with a number of ecumenical and World Church associate members. This year’s Conference is being held at Birmingham from 29 June to 4 July.