What put our relations back on track was an honest, frank, dedicated, sensitive project of dialogue and joint action, the success of which depended almost entirely on the skills of the Secretary for External Relations and the Inter Faith Officer. If the situation were to repeat itself with the Jewish, or indeed any other faith community, I am worried that the Church would have no route to repair relations. Had there been no such occurrence in recent history, perhaps this could have been seen as a luxury that could be foregone. But in the present circumstances, where healing wounds are still fresh, and progress is observable but fragile, I am very concerned indeed if the view is taken by the Methodist Church conference that it can afford to forego this vital resource.
We are keen to continue to develop our dialogue and action with the Methodist Church, finding common ground and overcoming suspicion. I pray that, over the coming week, the Methodist Conference will send a signal to the Jewish community – and to those of other faiths – that it too remains willing to reach out, to seek understanding, and to work together for the good of all in our diverse society.