Methodist Conference in Wolverhampton

by Richard on June 15, 2009

The Methodist Conference will meet in Wolverhampton this July. The Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church and is also a festival of celebration, worship and friendship.

More than 300 representatives from across British Methodism will gather at the Civic Hall from July 2 to 9, as well as hundreds of visitors. New Methodist ministers will be ordained in a two-part ceremony and then at services across the Midlands. (Ministers are first ‘received in to full connexion’ by the Conference before their service of ordination)

The Conference will also celebrate new President, the Revd David Gamble, and Vice-President, Dr Richard Vautrey, at the start of their year in office. The ceremonial swearing-in of President and Vice-President will open the main Conference on the afternoon of July 4.

Debates on climate change, young people and leadership and ethical investment are on the Conference agenda.

The Methodist Media Service will run a full press office for the duration of Conference. Journalists wishing to attend for some or all of Conference should contact Anna Drew or Karen Burke.

There will be two ISDN-equipped radio studios for broadcast interviews throughout the week. Audio from the Conference sessions will be streamed live in partnership with Premier Media Group and will later be available on the Methodist Web Radio page. A twitter feed and a daily blog update will also be available.

I’m not at Conference as such this year, but Wolverhampton is close enough for me to pop over for a day. Who else is going?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 06.15.09 at 6:00 pm

The URC is having its Assembly (biennial now) in Loughborough in July. I’m not going this year. I used to really like Assembly. Mind, I would always arrive late for the morning session (due to those breakfasts frugal enough to feed a small Third World country), but I would make up for my tardiness by leaving early from the evening session. And that’s because of one small problem with conferences/assemblies: the speeches. Especially the obsessive speech-makers who are magnificently undeterred by those who have already said the same thing before them. Oh, and the grandees and emeriti of the party - oops, I mean the church - who stride the podium and “share” with us their vision-and-reimagination-thing. To re-phrase Lyndon Johnson, “Making a speech at conference/assembly on the great issues facing God’s people is a bit like pissing down your leg: it seems hot to you but never to anyone else.” ;)


fatprophet 06.15.09 at 8:41 pm

Well said Kim, I went to Methodist Conference in 1982 in Plymouth and you are absolutely right about the grandees and emeriti - I got really annoyed with the pompous people who would not say who they were when they got up to speak - while some I recognised from that wonderful newspaper for Methodism there were others who may have been well known to regular conference goers but us poor proles hadn’t got a chance. I did register a complaint with the President (Norwyn Denny) and he reminded people which led to an improvement at least for one day.
Incidentall Richard no I will not be going to conference even though I only live a few miles away.


Tony Buglass 06.15.09 at 8:49 pm

I try to listen to debates which interest me online. I don’t always manage it, but it does help.

On the occasions I’ve been at Conference, if anyone began their speech without introducing themselves, there would be a great chorus of “Name! Name!” from the assembled multitude. Folk soon get the idea.


Micky 06.15.09 at 10:29 pm

I’ll be there for the duration Richard (will we be home for Christmas?).
Let me know what day you will be around and we can bump into each other, I shall make it my business to know the best coffee shops (There is a cafe Nero in Beatties - already located!!). Pubs also possible… shh don’t tell the Methodists.


DaveW 06.16.09 at 1:30 am

I’ll be there and look forward to filling up several coffee shop loyalty cards.


Olive Morgan 06.16.09 at 7:38 am

I’ll be there from the 2nd to the 9th , on the MET stall in the Exhibition area. The last time the Conference was in Wolverhampton, I was a District delegate and was obliged to address the Conference in one debate - but I gave my name and District, and it didn’t feel like that , Kim! I am hoping to be able to follow many of the debates via the screens in the Exhibition area. I shall look forward to meeting some of you - at coffee, in the pub (I am staying at the Wheatsheaf) or at the MET stand.


Toby 06.16.09 at 8:55 am

I’d be delighted to see any of the Methobloggers at Conference. We will have some WiFi hotspots in the hall if anyone wants to live blog the Conference, although due to restrictions in the building this is not as universal as we’d like.

We’re also running some Meet the Team sessions, so if there’s a particular topic you’d like to bend someone’s ear about, come to the stand in the exhibition area and we’ll do our best to sort you out.

And Anna has issued a blanket invitation to the Press Office for bloggers - maybe a chance for an impromtu Methoblogger gathering.

I hope to see some of you in Wolverhampton.



Paul Martin 06.16.09 at 1:48 pm

I shall not be at Conference - get enough problems with the blues as it is!


Richard 06.16.09 at 4:46 pm

We’ll have to find another excuse to catch up with one another, Paul. It’s been too long.


DaveW 06.16.09 at 11:18 pm


“We will have some WiFi hotspots in the hall”

One next to my seat at the back please. Oh and I have a wifi relay I can free up, should I bring it?

“Anna has issued a blanket invitation to the Press Office”

The popularity will depend a great deal on the coffee. Mine is a skinny decaf latte with a slice of carrot cake.


Angie 06.17.09 at 3:55 pm

I’ll be there.. hoping this year we might just manage to ease our noses out of our navels and begin to look for signs of the Kingdom instead of restructuring diagrams..
We usually run a sweepstake on the most popular word of the conference… any guesses what it might be this year?


Richard 06.17.09 at 10:49 pm

I’m not sure I’d want to guess what words might be popular at Conference this year. But I think we should have a go at making sure some words are inserted into every debate. ‘Wheelbarrow’ is a good one. ‘Marmalade’ might be another. Maybe ‘intertextuality’ would add some spice.


Toby 06.23.09 at 9:37 am

Update and an apology:

Contrary to what I was told last week, we won’t have open wireless in the hall. There will be an Internet cafe bus directly outside, and you might get signals from somewhere else, but I’m afraid we can’t provide our own this year, for technical reasons I don’t fully understand. Sorry. Invites to the press office still stand.


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