Working towards a new Synod of The Methodist Church in Wales
Proposal: that the two districts of The Methodist Church in Wales (Synod Cymru and the Wales Synod) work towards coming together to form one new district to be known as the Cymru Wales Synod, with the intention of providing greater coherence to the work of Methodism in Wales and the ability to respond more creatively to mission opportunities in both languages.
The initiative for this process came from the Synod Cymru Policy Committee meeting of November 2017, following prayerful consideration of the outcome of the Cymru Synod/Circuit Review of 2016-17. The sharing of resources and skills as the Methodist people in Wales has a strong missional imperative. At present, there are regions where only Welsh language Methodism exists; regions where there is only English language work; regions where there is a strong degree of overlap and regions where there is no Methodist presence at all. Neither Synod is lacking in financial reserves. Nevertheless, the intention to work together for the sake of the gospel, particularly in those regions in need of encouragement or new initiatives, represents good stewardship. In both Synods, there is a proportion of members whose first language is other than the professed language of the Synod: a Synod ministering in both languages would have value for them. Similarly, Welsh learners are found in the ministry and membership of both Synods, and as the learner community grows, so will opportunities to serve and minister to this group. The witness of a single Synod of the Methodist Church in Wales has the potential to demonstrate the all-embracing, unifying love of God in Christ and to offer a message of hope to a society that is sometimes divided. To this end, we are invited to enter into a prayerful process of consultation and consideration.
The Steering Group has envisaged that the new district could comprise:
- The current 16 circuits in the two Synods
- A Cymru Circuit which would have its own Superintendent minister (who would not be a Synod Chair) and which would fully retain its Welsh speaking identity, mission and ministry
- 2 co-Chairs funded from the Methodist Church Fund
- At least one Chair who would be bilingual in Welsh and English, or committed to learning the Welsh language;
- One Chair residing in the north of Wales and one residing in the south of Wales and both sharing equally in connexional and district responsibilities and taking the pastoral lead for the circuits
- 1 Synod Secretary and 1 Assistant Synod Secretary
- A Synod Leadership Team which would include both co- Chairs and Synod Secretaries, the Synod Treasurer, and officers as defined
- A Synod Policy Committee which would comprise the Synod Leadership Team plus representation from each of the 16 circuits (with representation varied to reflect the life of the Synod)
- A Synod Office and Administrator in south Wales, supported in the provision of Welsh-language material by the Cymru Circuit Office and Administrator, located in the north.
- A Synod web-site with material and information available in Welsh and English.