What we believe

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The Methodist Church is that communion of Christian believers which has grown out of the Societies born of the Evangelical revival of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

(extract from Section 2, Clause 4 of the Deed of Union)

'The Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place in the Holy Catholic Church which is the Body of Christ.  It rejoices in the inheritance of the apostolic faith and loyally accepts the fundamental principles of the historic creeds and of the Protestant Reformation.  It ever remembers that in the providence of God, Methodism was raised up to spread scriptural holiness through the land by the proclamation of the evangelical faith and declares its unfaltering resolve to be true to its divinely appointed mission.'

'The doctrines of the evangelical faith which Methodism has held from the beginning and still holds are based upon the divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures.  The Methodist Church acknowledges this revelation as the supreme rule of faith and practice.  These evangelical doctrines to which the preachers of the Methodist Church are pledged are contained in Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and their four volumes of his sermons.'

'Christ's ministers in the church are stewards in the household of God and shepherds of his flock.  Some are called and ordained to this sole occupation and have a principal and directing part in these great duties but they hold no priesthood differing in any kind from that which is common to all the lord's people and they have no exclusive title to the preaching of the gospel or the care of souls.  These ministries are shared with them by others to whom also the Spirit divides his gifts severally as he wills.  It is the universal conviction of the Methodist people that the office of the Christian ministry depends upon the call of God who bestows the gifts of the Spirit the grace and fruit which indicate those whom He has chosen.  The Methodist Church holds the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and consequently believes that no priesthood exists which belongs exclusively to a particular order or class of persons but in the exercise of its corporate life and worship special qualifications for the discharge of special duties are required and thus the principle of representative selection is recognised.'

'All Methodist preachers are examined tested and approved before they are authorised to minister in holy things.  For the sake of church order and not because of any priestly virtue inherent in the office the ministers of the Methodist Church are set apart by ordination to the ministry of the word and sacraments.'

'The Methodist Church recognises two sacraments namely baptism and the Lord's Supper as of divine appointment and of perpetual obligation of which it is the privilege and duty of members of the Methodist Church to avail themselves.'  [Note also Deed of Union Section 2 Clause 6 - 'According to usage the sacrament of baptism is administered to infants and to those able to answer for themselves and regular oversight should be given by the Local Church and its minister to all who have been dedicated to God by this sign' and also Standing Order 716 (5) (c) - 'Only those may be received into full connexion with the Conference who are willing to baptise infants in appropriate circumstances.']


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