The President of Conference’s address to the Church of England Synod has been widely reported in the media and around the blogosphere. Here, for example is Dave Warnock :: Methodism = Mission first!
Mission is why we are here, it is who we are. What a wonderful way to restate that we are a movement and we are determined to move for Christ, for his Kingdom, for his mission!
I admit to having mixed feelings about the President’s statement. On the one hand, I’m certain he’s right. We are, or should be, prepared to “die” for the sake of the kingdom. But.
But I strongly doubt that Methodism’s merger with the Anglican church, should it ever happen, would do anything to advance the cause of mission. The simple truth is that the enthusiasm for merger of some of our ‘great and good’ is not shared by the rank and file in our congregations. After all, if they wanted to be Anglicans, they could be!
One perspective that’s been missing from this conversation so far is the recognition that British Methodism is a connexion that covers England, Scotland and Wales. It’s all very well to talk of merger with the Church of England, but where would that leave Methodists in Scotland and Wales? The Church in Wales and the Episcopal Church of Scotland are separate bodies from the Church of England, and we can’t assume that decisions made in London would be good for Cardiff and Edinburgh.
In short, though I applaud the sentiment of our President’s address to the Synod, I’m not convinced that it really meant anything in practical terms.