For those who are not following the accounts of their itinerary during their year in office written by this year’s President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, there is a very interesting and important write-up by the President, the Revd Dr. Martyn Atkins, of his visit with other Christian church leaders to the House of Commons to champion the important, vital role that the churches play in the community.
Their visit to hold a conversation with Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was to plead for greater recognition for all that faith communities do (and particularly Christian churches) in terms of developing and sustaining communities – and have done for a long time.
They made the point that most Christian churches are more concerned with who benefits from a particular neighbourhood project than who runs it. They also drew attention to the suspicion levied at ‘faith communities’ that results in many deeming them unable (by simple virtue of being faith communities) to receive any Local Authority grants for good, socially cohesive projects. The church leaders made it clear that they are committed to dealing justly with migrant workers and that they are against political extremism.
However, you would be much better reading the President’s full account for yourself on www.methodist-presandvp.blogspot.com .