What is the Methodist Church?
The Methodist Church in Britain is a protestant Christian denomination in Britain and the mother church to Methodists worldwide. We understand ourselves to be part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Methodists have always been clear that no one is beyond the reach of God's love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few. This is traditionally summed up as:
“All need to be saved. All may be saved. All may know themselves saved. All may be saved to the uttermost."
A strong feature of Methodism is that ordinary lay people play a major part in the running of the Church. Local lay people called 'stewards' take responsibility for the fabric of church buildings and manses and for the handling of money. They share with ordained ministers the role of setting the direction for the churches in a particular area or 'circuit'.
This emphasis goes back to the roots of Methodism. John Wesley, the founder of the movement, was very much a folk theologian who wanted to speak 'plain truth to plain people'.
He took seriously the working people of his day. He addressed his preaching to them, and drew great crowds in the streets or on hillsides. He also entrusted them with responsibilities, expecting them to use their gifts and talents to join in the task of sharing God’s love’.
What is distinctive about Methodism?