MCCN The City Centre List and
Standing Order 440
The City Centre List
  • This list (sometimes called the 'official list') is specified in Standing Order 440 of the Consitution, Practice and Discipline of the Methodist Church.
  • Methodist Churches and Projects are entered on this list by a decision of the Synod of the District to which the church or project belongs.
  • Membership of the Methodist City Centre Network automatically follows from being added to the City Centre List. A subscription will be requested from such members.
  • The City Centre List is maintained and managed by the Methodist City Centre Network on behalf of the Methodist Council which has undertaken to consult with the Network on additions to and removals from the list.

SO 440 mentions 'guidelines' but gives no clear indication as to where to find those guidelines other than that they will be approved by the Conference.

At the 2001 Conference a paper was presented on Ministry and Mission in the City Centre. As a result the Conference agreed a number of points which summarise what it means to be on the city centre list. Together with these points, the guidelines (it is believed) consist in the relevant section in the Report of the 2001 Conference.

The full report is available through the web site of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. The section on city centre ministry and mission is not easy to find so here is a direct link valid in March 2012.

Standing Order 440 The full wording of SO440 (layout adapted for web presentation) is:

440 City Centres. (1) (a) A Synod may, after consultation with the Methodist Council, designate a church or project within the Districtfor inclusion on the official city centre list in accordance with guidelines approved from time to time by the Conference and shall notify the Connexional Team of each church or project so designated. The Team shall maintain the official list accordingly.

(b) A Circuit (including a single-church Circuit) may be similarly designated and listed if in the judgment of the Synod, after consultation with the Methodist Council, it is suitable for inclusion as an entity.

(2) The Church Council or Circuit Meeting of each church or Circuit designated under clause (1) shall consult with the district Policy Committee about the most effective way in which the interests of other Circuits in the city, the District and ecumenical partners may be involved in the work of the Church Council or Circuit Meetings,as appropriate.

(3) Each project designated under clause (1) shall be a mission or ministry project carried on by a Church Council, a Circuit Meeting or a Synod in furtherance of the purposes of the relevant body.

(4) The relevant Church Council, Circuit Meeting or Synod, after consultation with the district Policy Committee,shall appoint a management committee for each project designated under clause (1). The committee shall be large enough to encompass the interests of the Circuit or Circuits which cover the city, the District and ecumenical partners and to include a range of appropriate professional expertise, but small enough to be effective.

(5) Every five years the Synod shall carry out a review of the mission and ministry of each church,Circuit or project designated under clause (1), in collaboration with the responsible Church Council or Circuit Meeting(in the case of a church or Circuit) or management committee (in the case of a project).

(6) (a) It shall be a district purpose of any District in which capital money arises from the disposition of any property subject to Standing Order 944 to apply such capital money and its income in continuing the work of God in the relevant city centre, as directed by the Synod. Any such money is model trust property.

Any such money is district property and the managing trustees are the district trustees; see para.2 of the Model Trusts (Book II, Part 2) and the definitions of 'district property' and 'district purposes' in para 1. S.O. 944 concerns disposals of city centre premises.

(b) The district Policy Committee shall in full consultation with the Circuit in which the property was located, (if still constituted as such with one or more remaining Local Book III Standing Orders 436 The Constitutional Practice and Discipline of the MethodistChurch 2011 Churches), bring to the Synod proposals for the application of capital money and income.

(7) Any decision to remove a city centre church, Circuit or project from the official list shall be made by the Synod after consultation with the Methodist Counciland notified to the Connexional Team.

(8) Where a Synod carries on a city centre project,the provisions of Standing Order 534 and Section 54 shall apply, as closely as circumstances allow, to invitations and appointments to serve in such a project as if it were a circuit appointment. The management committee appointed under clause (4) above shall exercise the functions of the Circuit Meeting and its invitation committee, and the management committee shall appoint two of its members to exercise the functions of the circuit stewards in relation to the invitation process.

This clause applies where the Synod carries onthe project. Where it is carried on by a Church Council or Circuit Meeting, the normal provisions referred to in the clause apply.

30 March 2012