Minutes of a meeting of the Methodist Council held on 27-28 January 2016 at Hothorpe Hall, Theddingworth Present: The President, the Vice-President and 48 voting members as follows: The Revd Caroline R Ainger, Mr Mike Anderson, Ms Janet Baker, Mrs Carole Burgess, the Revd Helen D Cameron, Deacon Andrew Carter, the Revd Olufemi R W Cole-Njie, Ms Gill Dascombe, the Revd Linda Day, Mr Jack Delbridge, the Revd Graham M Edwards, Dr Martyn Evans, the Revd Catherine Gale, the Revd Ruth M Gee, the Revd David M Goodall, the Revd Graeme J Halls, the Revd Dr Paul Hill, the Revd Jacqueline A Horton, the Revd Kenneth G Howcroft, Professor Peter D Howdle, the Revd Eleanor G Jackson, Ms Rachel J Lampard, Mr Sandy Laurie, Mrs Carolyn Lawrence, Mr Dean Lawson, the Revd Henry Lewis, Professor David R Matthews, Dr Daleep S Mukarji, the Revd Edwin T Myers, Mrs Anita Nicholson, the Revd Lionel E Osborn, Mrs Idy Osibodu, the Revd Gareth P Phillips, the Revd Gareth J Powell, the Revd Keith A Reed, the Revd Peter D Sheasby, the Revd David Shirtliff, the Revd Dr Joseph B Suray, Mr Doug Swanney, the Revd Timothy A Swindell, Dr Alan Sykes, Dr Val Turner, the Revd Dr Roger L Walton, Mr Ian White, the Revd Dr Stephen D Wigley, Mr R Arfon Williams, the Revd Dr Andrew D Wood, the Revd Michaela A Youngson. Apologies: The Revd J A Jade Bath, Mrs Helen Woodall Substitutes: The Revd Dr Sheryl M Anderson, Ms Ruth Hall, Mr Richard Hamilton-Foyn, Mr Brian Park. Observers: Mr Martin Ashford, Ms Jude Levermore, Mr Nick Moore (members of the senior leadership group of the Connexional Team), Mr John Chastney (Chair of the Audit Committee), Mr Craig Gaffney (Youth President), the Revd Nicola V Price-Tebbutt (Secretary of the Faith and Order Committee) [for the first day], Mrs Louise C Wilkins (Conference Officer for Legal and Constitutional Practice), Mr Alan Yates (URC observer), In attendance: Ms Jane Bates (Minutes), Mr Michael Ivatt (Media), Ms Louise Taylor (Administration). 16.1.1 Minutes of the Council The minutes of the Council held on 12-13 October 2015 were agreed and signed as a correct record. 16.1.2 Decisions made by the Council [MC/16/1] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/1. 1/1. 16.1.3 Matters arising [MC/16/2] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/2. 2/1. 16.1.4 The Council received the report. The Council noted the report. Report from the Strategy and Resources Committee [MC/16/3] The Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee (SRC), presented MC/16/3. The Council was informed that since the last meeting of the SRC, the main contractor undertaking the work at Methodist Church House had gone into administration. The Council expressed its concern and its support for the work being done to ensure that the building work is completed and that it does not affect the work of the Team. 3/1. The Council received the report. 16.1.5 Consolidated accounts [MC/16/4] The Connexional Treasurer and the Director of Financial Operations presented MC/16/4. The Council noted that there was an additional paragraph inserted on page 66 of the accounts. With that amendment, the resolution was agreed. 4/1. 16.1.6 Report of the Audit Committee [MC/16/5] The Chair of the Audit Committee presented MC/16/5. 5/1. 5/2. 5/3. 16.1.7 The Council received the report. Releasing Property [MC/16/7] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/7. The Council encouraged the Secretary of the Conference to undertake a review of SO 962, in order that the link between property and mission is strengthened and to remove the language of ‘masterplan’. 7/1. 7/2. 16.1.9 The Council authorised the Chair of the Council to sign the Letter of Representation addressed to the external auditors. The Council received the report of the Audit Committee and its appendix. The Council appointed RSM UK Audit LLP as external auditors for the connexional year 2015/16 at a fee to be agreed with the Audit Committee. Connexional Team Update [MC/16/6] The Connexional Secretary presented MC/16/6. 6/1. 16.1.8 In accordance with SO 212(1), the Council adopted the consolidated accounts for the year ended 31 August 2015, and directed that a unified statement of connexional finances be presented to the Conference as required by SO 360. The Council received the report. The Council endorsed the development of a Property Development Committee as set out in paragraph 6 and requested that the Secretary of the Conference bring to the next meeting of the Council firm proposals for the creation of such a body. Partnership, Focus and Evolution [MC/16/8] The Head of the Mission and Advocacy cluster and Dr Daleep Mukarji presented MC/16/8. With reference to paragraph 3.4, it was felt that it is unhelpful for an unapproved list of Methodist, Uniting and United Churches to be printed in the Minutes of the Annual Conference and Directory. It was agreed that the Council should report the formal list of Partner Churches and organisations to the Conference. 8/1. 8/2. 8/3. The Council received the report. The Council approved the strategy for expressing One Mission through our global relationships as contained in the report. The Council appointed the Global Relationships Strategic Oversight SubCommittee, as follows: Dr Daleep Mukarji (Chair), the Revd Timothy A Swindell, Simeon Mitchell, the Revd Andrew D Wood, two others. The Council delegated to its Chair the appointment of the remaining two members of the Sub-Committee, and directed that these remaining names should address the gender imbalance of the group. 16.1.10 Response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse [MC/16/9] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/9. The Conference Officer for Legal and Constitutional Practice confirmed that if this report was received, a letter would be sent to the Inquiry, constituting self-referral. 9/1. 16.1.11 The Council received the report. Development of Camden Town Methodist Church [MC/16/10] The Chair of the Network Committee, the Superintendent of the Islington and Camden Mission Circuit and the Chair of MIC Ltd presented MC/16/10. 10/1. The Council received the report. 10/2. The Council agreed to be the managing trustee for Camden Town Methodist Church and delegated to the Chair and Secretary of the Council responsibility for agreeing the date upon which the transfer shall take place, upon the signing of a development agreement or an equivalent document. 10/3. The Council agreed to sign a development agreement or equivalent agreement with MIC Ltd in respect of the redevelopment of Camden Town Methodist Church and declared that, on the basis the Camden Town Methodist Church Council pass a resolution to the same effect, the Camden Town Methodist Church building be used for connexional purposes from the date of the development agreement or its equivalent. 10/4. The Council agreed to connexional funds held in the Methodist Church Fund or elsewhere being utilised to fund the redevelopment of Camden Town Methodist Church. 10/5. The Council delegated to the Strategy and Resources Committee: (i) responsibility for finalising the details of how the redevelopment is funded from connexional funds and how such funds are repaid; (ii) responsibility for negotiating the terms of the development agreement or an equivalent document and the strategic oversight of the redevelopment as set out in this report; (iii) the ability to agree the terms of any loan agreements following advice from the Investment Committee or to identify and agree alternative funding arrangements not in excess of £6 million. 10/6. The Council delegated responsibility for the signing of any loan agreement to any two of the following: the Connexional Treasurer, the Secretary of the Conference or the Chair of the Council. 16.1.12 Notices of Motion referred to the Council The following three notices of motion were referred by the Conference to the Council, without the Conference expressing its mind. (a) National Insurance Payments [MC/16/11] The Head of Support Services presented MC/16/11. 11/1. The Council instructed the Connexional Team, under the oversight of the Strategy and Resources Committee to take Notice of Motion 2015/210 into account when specifying a new payroll system. (b) Significant Anniversaries [MC/16/12] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/12. 12/1. The Council affirmed the spirit of notice of motion 2015/211 and directed the Connexional Team to liaise with MHA and Action for Children in order to consider ways in which the significant anniversaries might be marked throughout the Connexion. (c) Value of Human Life [MC/16/13] The Team Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team presented MC/16/13. 13/1. The Council received the report. 13/4. The Council supported Option 3 as follows: Resource the churches better to respond to the needs of patients and carers facing decisions and choices about end-of-life. Resolutions 13/2 and 13/3 were lost. The Council will report to the Conference that this work is underway. 16.1.13 Theology and Ecclesiology underpinning the diaconate The Council heard a presentation from the Secretary of the Faith and Order Committee, and engaged in discussions in groups which would feed into the ongoing work regarding the theology and ecclesiology underpinning the diaconate. As background for this discussion, the Council had been provided with a copy of the 1993 report concerning The Methodist Diaconal Order. 16.1.14 Corporate Risk Register [MC/16/14] The Connexional Secretary presented MC/16/14. 14/1. The Council noted the updated Corporate Risk Register. 16.1.15 Statistics for Mission [MC/16/15] The Secretary of the Conference presented MC/16/15, and introduced a discussion which used this report and the Risk Register as its starting points. The Council engaged in discussion in groups. 15/1. The Council received the report. 16.1.16 Confidential Minute 16.1.17 Context of Establishing the Connexional Central Services Budget for three years commencing with 2016/17 [MC/16/17] The Head of Support Services presented MC/16/17, and invited the Council to discuss the options presented in the discussion paper in small groups. The Council requested the SRC to consider a reduction of 1% along with the other options presented at paragraph 10. The Chair of the SRC agreed that the SRC would bring some indicative figures of a reduction as well as indicative figures of the potential increases so that the Council will be able to make a decision when it meets in April. 17/1. The Council received the report. In the light of the discussion about the options set out in paragraph 10, resolution 17/2 was withdrawn. 16.1.18 Connexional Allowances Committee [MC/16/18] The Chair of the Connexional Allowances Committee presented MC/16/18. 18/1. The Council received the report. 18/2. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the 5% allowance above stipend for Synod Secretaries be discontinued: timing details are given in paragraph 6. 18/3. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that local discretionary allowances above stipend of 10% or less be discontinued as such, and that the Connexional Allowances Committee is directed to consider all requests for such allowances, as it now does for any above 10%: timing details are given in paragraph 13. 18/4. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that a 16% allowance above stipend be applied to all appointments in the Shetland Islands, the Scilly Isles, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and that these allowances are paid from the Methodist Church Fund: timing details are given in paragraph 42. 18/5. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that travel costs to Cornwall for medical reasons for the minister (and any dependent family members) stationed in the Scilly Isles be reimbursed from the Methodist Church Fund: timing details are given in paragraph 42. 18/6. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that medical and associated insurance costs for ministers and their dependent family members currently paid by the Channel Islands Circuits be covered by the Methodist Church Fund: timing details are given in paragraph 42. 18/7. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the Stationing Committee (or another body nominated by the Council) reviews the matter of university funding for the children of ministers stationed in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta and makes appropriate recommendations. 18/8. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the Connexional Team reports on the reciprocal state contribution and benefit arrangements between the UK and the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta and makes appropriate recommendations. 18/9. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the Stationing Committee (or another body nominated by the Council) reviews the matter of public sector employment arrangements between the UK and the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta as it affects the spouses of ministers, and offers appropriate advice. 18/10. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the present arrangement whereby ministers stationed in the Inverness and North of Scotland Mission Circuits may claim the costs of the twice-yearly private visits to ‘the mainland’ be discontinued, and that any consequent financial hardship be compensated by grants from the Fund for the Support of Presbyters and Deacons: timing details are given in paragraph 38. 18/11. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that the case for an allowance above stipend for all ministers appointed to a circuit in the Scotland Synod, based on the custom that wedding and funeral fees are not paid or claimed, be deferred until after the Faith and Order Committee has reported in 2017. 16.1.21 Larger than Circuit [MC/16/19] The Revd Loraine Mellor, convener of the Larger than Circuit Coordinating Group, presented MC/16/19. 19/1. The Council received the report. 19/2. (Recommendation 1) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that the Secretary of the Conference oversees a review of: a. the use of District Chairs to chair or serve on working groups appointed by the Council/Conference; b. the roles performed by the District Chair (and identify the roles that might be more appropriately carried out by the Connexional Team thereby allowing District Chairs further to exercise spiritual leadership); and c. the title ‘District Chair, and whether an alternative title for the lead person in District leadership would be more appropriate’ and bring recommendations to the Conference as soon as possible 19/3. (Recommendation 2) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that a process of discernment is facilitated to identify and nurture potential leaders in the church; such a process would enable potential leaders to be guided to the most suitable of the wide variety of leadership roles that exist in the church. 19/4. (Recommendation 3) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that work is undertaken to review the processes for the selection of District Chairs with the aim of increasing gender and ethnic diversity among the District Chairs. 19/5. (Recommendation 4) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that further consideration be given to the direct stationing of District Chairs. 19/6. (Recommendation 5) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that training for leadership development of District Chairs be produced to cover the issues raised in paragraphs 28-41, and provided to existing and future District Chairs, and that this is overseen by the Secretary of the Conference. 19/7. (Recommendation 6) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs that when a new Chair is being sought, or the present Chair is exploring the possibility with the District of a reinvitation, or a District or Group of Districts wants to engage in the process of reflection of review, the Secretary of the Synod in consultation with the Secretary of the Conference shall convene a District Commission, jointly appointed by the District and the Conference to oversee and undertake a thorough review of the life of the District, set in the wider regional, connexional, and ecumenical context. 19/8. 16.1.20 (Recommendation 7) The Council agreed to recommend that the Conference directs the Council to bring a process for implementing the creation of a District Commission, and the nomination of those to be appointed by the Conference as District Commissioners to the 2017 Conference. Resourcing Leadership working party [MC/16/20] The Revd Andrew Stobart, member of the Resourcing Leadership Working Party, presented MC/16/20. The Secretary of the Conference reminded the Council of various pieces of work which are related to this work, and emphasised the importance of ensuring that these are not undertaken in isolation from each other. 20/1. The Council received the report. It was agreed that the Secretary should send a note to the working group, indicating the tenor of the debate and the points raised, and identifying the issues raised in the report which could be actioned quickly. It was agreed that if a small group is needed to ensure that there is an overview of all the related pieces of work, then the Chair and the Secretary would oversee that process. The Council agreed that the follow up work was located in the office of the Secretary of the Conference, in consultation with the working group. The Secretary of the Conference will therefore bring a further report to the April meeting of the Council. 16.1.21 Marriage and Relationships [MC/16/21] The Revd Graham Carter, chair of the Marriage and Relationships Task Group, presented MC/16/21. 21/1. The Council received the report. 16.1.22 Annual report of the Connexional Manse Trustees [MC/16/22] The Chair of the Council indicated that she had written to Andrew Thorneley, who is retiring as chair of the Connexional Manse Trustees, thanking him for his period of service. 22/1. The Council received the report. 16.1.23 Equality and Diversity summary of responses [MC/16/23] 23/1. The Council noted the report. 16.1.24 Covenants of Care – appointment of group [MC/16/24] 24/1. The Council appointed the working group to review the arrangements for Covenants of Care as follows: the Revd Susan McIvor, Ms Jan Atkins, the Revd Peter E Barber, Mr Donald Findlater, a person subject to a Covenant of Care (to be identified by the group and the name brought to the Council), a person identified by and from the Church of England; the group to be convened by Tim Carter, as a non-voting member of the group. 16.1.25 Appointments [MC/16/25] 25/1. The Council appointed the Revd Peter K Bates as Methodist representative to the Provincial Synod of the Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland (8-11 July 2016) 25/2. The Council appointed the Revd Caroline Wickens as Methodist member of the Joint Covenant Advocacy and Monitoring Group. 25/3. The Council appointed the Revd Josette A Crane as Methodist member of the British Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue Commission. 25/4. The Council appointed the Revd Helen R Letley as Methodist member of the Ecumenical Stakeholders’ Forum. 25/5. The Council appointed Mr Michael E Crane to the Methodist Church House Management Committee. 25/6. The Council appointed the Revd Vernon Marsh to the Safeguarding Committee. 16.1.26 Ecumenical Associate Members of the Conference [MC/16/26] 26/1. The Council received the report and noted the addition to the list of Churches and Christian bodies eligible to be invited to appoint associate members of the Conference as detailed in paragraph 2.2. 26/2. The Council agreed to recommend to the 2016 Conference those Churches and Christian bodies listed in paragraph 3.3 as those to be invited to appoint associate members of the 2017 Conference. 16.1.27 Methodist Council Remuneration Committee Terms of Reference [MC/16/27] 27/1. The Council adopted the Terms of Reference and membership of the Remuneration Committee. 16.1.28 Past Cases Review – questions for audit [MC/16/28] 28/1. The Council received the report. 28/2. The Council adopted the framework for the audit of safeguarding awareness in the pilot districts. 16.1.29 Joseph Rank Trust grants to Methodism [MC/16/29] 29/1. The Council noted with thanks the grants provided by the Joseph Rank Trust in 2015 as detailed in the report. 16.1.30 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy [MC/16/30] 30/1. The Council received the report. 30/2. The Council approved the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which will replace the Equal Opportunities Policy. 16.1.31 One Mission Forum report [MC/16/31] 31/1. The Council received the report. 16.1.32 Ministerial Candidates Selection Committee 2015/16 – Additional Appointments [MC/16/32] 32/1. Pursuant to SO 320(2A), the Council appointed the Revds John N Bates, David M Butterworth and Christine Jones to the Ministerial Candidates Selection Committee for 2015/16. 32/2. The Council delegated any further necessary co-options to the President and VicePresident of the Conference and the Chair of the Council.