WMC: July 2017
"Membership figures don't tell the whole story"
The Methodist Church in Britain has revealed a3.5% year-on-year decline in membership over the past decade, with membership now at 188,000, but continues to reach over half-a-million people each week.
While local church membership has decreased, the triennial Statistics for Mission report presented to the Methodist Conference this week, also showed that general involvement in Methodist churches — through cafés, youth clubs and alternative forms of church — is continuing to be an important aspect of the Church, reaching an estimated half a million people each week.
Mr Doug Swanney, the Connexional Secretary, presenting the report said: "Like many others, I know the deep joy and profound impact that finding a home in the Methodist Church has had in my faith journey, and I know that I desperately want others to have that same experience.
"We continue to rejoice in the good news stories and shoots of growth in certain areas of the Methodist Church, but we cannot ignore the importance of these numbers.
"While it does make for a challenging read, it's important to remember that membership figures alone don't tell the whole story. Across the country, thousands of Methodist communities are impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every week in a wide variety of ways."
The Revd Loraine N Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference highlighted the issue in her Presidential Address on Saturday: "I know I am part, at present, of a declining Church, but I am not part of a declining gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is here to stay, but has the time not come of us to be radical? To take some risks in order that we can grow... Because, you see... I don't believe that God is done with us just yet."
The Revd Canon Gareth J Powell, Secretary of the Conference, said: "At the heart of this report is a challenge — not with the statistics, but with the very nature of our being. We must take seriously our responsibility for being an evangelistic community of love — a profound giving of attention to another person — which leads people to Christ."
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
This year we planned to celebrate 175 years of Methodism in Wantage. We had planned various events, including an exhibition at the Museum. Instead I will post some memories on our church web-site from the past 175 years. Some memories have been taken from the booklet which Keith Robbins edited for the 150th Anniversary, with some added text and some photos. If you have any photos or memories...
Knit and Chat are still busy with various projects. Gill S knitted a pirate jumper for her grandson. Carolyn and Louise made some facemasks. Helen knitted some more poppies. Judith has been following a knitting blog and has made a cushion from knitted squares. June had hooked a few more rows of her rug. Rita has been trying out brioche knitting. A number of the group are still knitting...
Please see below the most recent newsletter from the Fund for Human NeedIMG(482989,R...