British Methodism: Staying Relevant in Wesley’s Homeland
Bermondsey Central Hall Methodist Church serves a diverse congregation of about 320 and houses the South London Mission, which has been supporting the community since 1889. The modern London Shard skyscraper rises behind the church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
How to stay relevant in a secular society? That's the challenge for the Methodist Church in Britain as its membership dips below 200,000.
Small churches in particular are facing hard decisions about their futures. But opportunities for mission exist and some congregations have been successful in strengthening ties to their communities, opening their doors to new possibilities.
For evangelistic programs like "Fresh Expressions," making disciples also means moving outside the church building, to be the embodiment of Jesus in unexpected ways and places.
Read the UMNS special report on the Methodist Church in Britain.
Wesley’s Chapel makes history relevant today
Far from stuck in time, London’s Methodist tourist mecca
has a vital congregation and mission.
Related story: Methodist-Anglican connection remains strong
British Methodism’s close ties to Church of England prompt
consideration of new covenant agreement.
A century-plus commitment to South London
The Methodist congregation at Bermondsey offers practical
assistance and the spirit of Jesus to a diverse community.
Related story: Methodists and social justice
Controversial new system for public assistance has major impact
on Methodist-run South London Mission and its clients.
Diversity leads to growth for London churches
An influx of Methodists from Africa, Asia and elsewhere means
growing congregations for some of London’s historic churches.
Related story: Close a church, open a ministry?
Grappling with a membership decline, The Methodist Church in
Britain looks beyond its buildings to “fresh” ways of doing mission.
Ministering to 3 churches brings challenges, joys
A British Methodist minister tends to three very different both
congregations in Cheshire, including one at a chapel owned by
the National Trust.
British church stays alive through service
In northern England, a dying church starts a men’s health group
and joins forces with another small congregation to become a real
presence in the community.
Related story: Cleggs Lane as a case study
How can the church positively engage with the community on mental
British Methodists open doors to stay relevant
Like their U.S. counterparts, British Methodist churches face both
challenges and opportunities in an increasingly secular society.