Minutes of a meeting of the Methodist Council held on 11-13 April 2015 at Woodland Grange Conference Centre, Leamington Spa Present: The President, the Vice-President and 42 voting members as follows: The Revd Dr Martyn D Atkins, the Revd J A Jade Bath, Ms Rebecca Belshaw, the Revd Christopher P Briggs, Deacon Andrew Carter, the Revd Olufemi R W Cole-Njie, the Revd Nigel Cowgill, the Revd Rachel D Deigh, Mr Jack Delbridge, the Revd Graham M Edwards, Dr Martyn C Evans, Mr Andrew Fairlamb, the Revd Catherine Gale, the Revd David Gamble, the Revd Ruth M Gee, Mr Andrew G Gibbs, the Revd David M Goodall, the Revd Graeme J Halls, Dr Nigel Hardwick, the Revd Dr Paul Hill, the Revd Jacqueline A Horton, Professor Peter D Howdle, Mr Sandy Laurie, Mr Tim Layhe, Professor David R Matthews, the Revd Loraine N Mellor, Dr Daleep S Mukarji, the Revd Edwin T Myers, Mrs Anita Nicholson, the Revd Lionel E Osborn, Mrs Idy Osibudu, the Revd Gareth J Powell, Mrs Heather Shipman, the Revd D Paul C Smith, Mr Doug Swanney, Dr Alan Sykes, the Revd Kerry W Tankard, Dr Val Turner, the Revd Dr Roger L Walton, Mr Ian White, the Revd Dr Stephen D Wigley, the Revd Steven J Wild. Apologies: The Revd Caroline R Ainger, Dr B Jill Barber, Mrs Jean Jackson, Mr Christopher Stephens, the Revd Dr Joseph B Suray, Mr Eric Watchman, Mr Arfon Williams, the Revd Michaela A Youngson, Mr Ted Awty Substitutes: The Revd Stephen J Burgess, the Revd Jacqueline P Evans, the Revd Henry Lewis, the Revd Sue Smith, Ms Helen Woodall 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), the Revd David Grosch-Miller (URC observer), the Revd Nicola V PriceTebbutt (Secretary of the Faith and Order Committee), Mrs Louise C Wilkins (Conference Officer for Legal and Constitutional Practice), the Revd Helen D Cameron (nominated to the Conference as Assistant Secretary of the Conference) In attendance: Ms Jane Bates (Minutes), Ms Anna Drew (Media Officer), Ms Louise Taylor (Administration) 15.2.1 Appointment Under SO 326A, the Council appointed Mr Brian Rollins as Convener of the Candidates Appeal Committee for 2015. 15.2.2 Minutes of the Methodist Council The minutes of the Methodist Council held on 26-27 January 2015 were agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record. 15.2.3 Matters Arising [MC/15/27] Gareth Powell presented MC/15/27. 27/1. 15.2.4 The Council noted the report. Decisions made since the last meeting of the Council [MC/15/28] Gareth Powell presented MC/15/28. 28/1. 15.2.5 The Council received the report. Merging MIST/MAST – The Developing Story [MC/15/62] David Deeks, Chair of MIST and MAST, presented MC/15/62. 62/1. The Council received the report. The Council declined resolution 62/2. 15.2.6 Report of the Strategy and Resources Committee [MC/15/29] Peter Howdle, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee (SRC), presented MC/15/29. 29/1. 29/2. 29/3. 15.2.7 Pension and Assurance Scheme for Lay Employees of the Methodist Church (PASLEMC) Valuation Results [MC/15/31] Amanda Amor, Pensions Manager, presented MC/15/31. 31/1. 31/2. 31/3. 31/4. 31/5. 31/6. 15.2.8 The Council received the report. The Council accepted the recommendations in paragraph 14. The Council directed the Ministries Committee to oversee a review of the practices and policies relating to Ministers of Religion coming to Britain from overseas, with the aim of formulating a coherent and comprehensive policy relating to such ministers serving in the British Connexion. The Methodist Council agreed to the Statement of Funding Principles, including the economic and demographic assumptions proposed by the Trustee of PASLEMC as the basis of the Actuarial Valuation and authorised it to be signed on its behalf. The Methodist Council agreed to the Recovery Plan and authorised this to be signed on its behalf. The Methodist Council agreed to consult with members in May and June 2015 with regard to linking the normal retirement date to the male State Pension date for service from 1 September 2015. The Methodist Council agreed to the Schedule of Contributions. The Council agreed to consult with members in May and June 2015 with regard to amending the definition of pensionable salary to change from the current deduction of Basic State Pension to 75% of the new single-tier State Pension from 6 April 2016. The Methodist Council delegated the final consideration and decision on the benefits change which needs to be implemented from 1 September 2015 to the Finance Subcommittee of the Strategy and Resources Committee which for the purposes of considering this matter shall be supplemented by Dr Martyn Evans and Professor David Matthews being members of the Council. Pensions Valuation for the Methodist Ministers’ Pension Scheme (MMPS) [MC/15/32] Amanda Amor presented MC/15/32. 32/1. The Council agreed, on behalf of the Conference, to the Statement of Funding Principles, including the assumptions proposed by the Trustee of 32/2. 32/3. 32/4. MMPS as the basis of the Actuarial Valuation and authorised it to be signed on its behalf. The Council agreed to the Recovery Plan and recommended to the Conference that a contribution of £1million per annum from 1 September 2015 continue to be made from the Pension Reserve Fund to MMPS for the duration of the recovery period ie a further 6 years. The Council agreed to the Schedule of Contributions and recommends to the Conference to retain the existing Church contribution rate of 26.9% of standard stipends from 1 September 2015. The Council recommended to the Conference that a consultation be initiated with members on a change to benefits to link the pension increases awarded in relation to both past and future service to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than the Retail Price Index (RPI) from 1 September 2016. The Council noted that this would be subject to further consideration at the 2016 Conference if, subject to consultation with members, it was subsequently agreed. 15.2.9 Report from the Senior Leadership Group Doug Swanney, the Connexional Secretary, gave an oral report from the Senior Leadership Group (SLG) of the Connexional Team. The Council noted that: The SLG had received a paper from All We Can which contained wide ranging recommendations. The SLG had agreed to respond warmly to the report, and to ask two or three members of the Council to work with them on the recommendations and to bring a substantive report to the October meeting of the Council. The following pool of names was agreed from which an appropriate group would be formed based on availability for the necessary dates: the Revd Nigel Cowgill, the Revd Catherine Gale, Professor David R Matthews, the Revd Lionel E Osborn, Mr Ian White. 15.2.10 Report from the Connexional Leaders’ Forum The Secretary of the Conference and General Secretary, and the Connexional Secretary reported on the March meeting of the Connexional Leaders’ Forum (CLF). The Council noted that: Major items discussed had been developments in the training of local preachers and worship leaders, the past cases review, reflections from the Youth President regarding her term of office, and 3Generate. The CLF had spent substantial time following up on the input at the January meeting from Bishop Robert Schnase. Four areas for further work were identified as being to: 1. identify what changes the Methodist Church needs to make in culture, processes and patterns of practice to encourage and enable ministers to flourish; 2. devise and develop a robust Methodist model for supervision; 3. create a code of professional conduct for ministers; 4. explore what needs to be done articulate a deeper expectation of fruitfulness and growth within the Methodist Church. 15.2.11 Joint Policy Statement on Safer Recruitment [MC/15/34] Hilary Walker, Interim Safeguarding Adviser, presented MC/15/34. The Council observed that some correction to the grammar of the policy statement would be necessary. 34/1. 15.2.12 The Council approved the Joint Policy on Safer Recruitment. Practice Guidance on Carrying Out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks as part of Safer Recruitment [MC/15/35] Hilary Walker presented MC/15/35. The Council was informed that there were some appendices to this report, which had not been circulated to the Council. These appendices also need to be approved on behalf of the Council. Resolution 35/1 was therefore agreed in the form below. 35/1. 15.2.13 The Council delegated responsibility for the approval of the practice guidance on carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks as part of Safer Recruitment to a sub group composed of the Chair of the Council, the Revd J A Jade Bath, the Revd Dr Paul Hill, Mrs Heather Shipman, Mrs Louise C Wilkins. Past Cases Review 2013-2015: Summary Report [MC/15/36] Jane Stacey, Project Manager of the Past Cases Review presented MC/15/36. Thanks were expressed to her for her commitment to this work and for her professionalism. Past Cases Review: Implementation [MC/15/36A] Gareth Powell presented MC/15/36A. 36A/1. The Council received the report. 36A/2. The Council recommended to the Conference the establishing of a Past Cases Review Implementation Group. 15.2.14 Consolidated Accounts [MC/15/30] John Chastney, Chair of the Audit Committee, presented MC/15/30. The resolution numbers below refer to those printed for the January 2015 meeting of the Council. 9/1. The Council authorised the Chair of the Council to sign the Letter of Representation addressed to the external auditors. 9/2. The Council received the report of the Audit Committee [presented to the January 2015 meeting of the Council] and its appendix. 8/1. In accordance with SO 212(1), the Council adopted the consolidated accounts for the year ended 31 August 2014, and directed that a unified statement of connexional finances be presented to the Conference as required by SO 360. 9/3. The Council appointed Baker Tilly as external auditors for the year 2014/15. 15.2.15 Response to Notice of Motion 206 (2012) [MC/15/45] Doug Swanney presented MC/15/45. 45/1. The Council received the report. 15.2.16 Legal Case Louise Wilkins, Conference Officer for Legal and Constitutional Practice, updated the Council on a legal claim which is being made against the President of the Methodist Conference. 15.2.17 Positive Working Together [MC/15/37] Tony Tidey, Connexional Wellbeing Adviser and Alison Tomlin, a member of the task group, presented MC/15/37. 37/1. 37/2. 37/3. The Council received the report. The Council adopted the Guidelines for promoting good working relationships and managing conflict within the Church. The Council made the following recommendations to the Conference: a. The Conference directs that the Guidelines for promoting good working relationships and managing conflict within the Church be promoted in appropriate ways. b. The Conference directs that each District appoints a suitable person to provide information but not advice about the options available to an individual experiencing bullying and harassment issues. c. The Conference directs each District to ensure that its District Reconciliation Group receives annual training and appropriate support, so that it is equipped to deal with bullying and harassment issues should they arise. d. The Conference directs that a sum of £65,000 be made available in the 2015/16 connexional year from the Fund for Training for the implementation of Positive Working Together, followed by £50,000 in 16/17 and £25,000 in 17/18. 15.2.18 CONFIDENTIAL ITEM 15.2.19 The President and Vice-President [including MC/15/38] The President and Vice-President of the Conference each shared some reflections from their year of office. As part of that, they presented MC/15/38 which was noted. 15.2.20 Connexional Team appointment [MC/15/70] Gareth Powell presented MC/15/70. 70/1. 15.2.21 The Council recommended to the Conference that the Revd Alan J Bolton be appointed to serve half time, pursuant to SO 315, for an initial period of five years from 1 September 2015 as a member of the Connexional Team. Connexional Grants Committee [MC/15/39] Helen Woodall, Chair of the Connexional Grants Committee, presented MC/15/39. 39/1. The Council received the report. 39/2. 39/3. 39/4. The Council approved the new way of assessing Heritage grant applications as set out in paragraph 25. The Council approved the modifications to the World Church stream structures for a trial basis in 2015/16. The Council appointed the members of the Connexional Grants Committee, its subcommittees and streams, as set out, for the connexional year 2015/16. 15.2.22 Ministries Committee [MC/15/40] Leo Osborn, Chair of the Ministries Committee, presented MC/15/40. 40/1. The Council received the report. 40/2. The Council commended the proposed replies to M7, M8, M9 (2011) to the Conference. 40/3. The Council commended the proposed replies to Resolution 7/4 and M12 (2011) to the Conference. Resolution 40/4 was not put. Resolution 40/5 was withdrawn. 40/6. The Council recommended that SO 32A0(4) be amended to enable new members to be appointed to the Ministries Committee for an initial period of three years which can be extended for a further period of up to but not exceeding three years and requests that the Law and Polity Committee bring a revised Standing Order to the 2015 Conference. 15.2.23 Inter Faith Relations [MC/15/58] Doug Swanney presented MC/15/58. 58/1. 15.2.24 The Council received the report. Review of the Council Pay Scales and Grading Process [MC/15/41] David Goodall, Chair of the Grading and Remuneration Subcommittee (GRSC) presented MC/15/41. 41/1. 41/2. 41/3. 41/4. 41/5. 41/6. The Council received the report. The Council agreed to change the Pay and Grading Structure for Lay Employees of the Methodist Council. The Council directed the Grading and Remuneration Subcommittee to bring detailed proposals for new policies and procedures using the Hay Job Evaluation Scheme and based upon this report, to the October 2015 meeting of the Council. The Council directed the Grading and Remuneration Subcommittee to consider the pension arrangements for employees of the Council as part of the development of the new policies and procedures. The Council delegated to the SRC the authority to appoint a further member of the Grading and Remuneration Subcommittee with expertise in pensions and to report the appointment to the October Council. The Council noted Mr Norman Mann’s resignation from the Grading and Remuneration Subcommittee and thanked him for his commitment to this committee and his work as Chair of the previous Job Evaluation Panel. It was agreed that the paper should be made available to employees of the Council. 15.2.25 Connexional Central Services Budget [MC/15/42] Peter Howdle outlined the scrutiny which had already given to the budget proposals through the Finance Subcommittee and the SRC. Nick Moore presented MC/15/42, explaining that this represents the first year of a three year budget. 42/1. 42/2. 42/3. 42/4. 15.2.26 Review of the Connexional Priority Fund (CPF) Levy Policy [MC/15/48] Louise Wilkins presented MC/15/48. 48/1. 48/2. 48/3. 48/4. 15.2.27 The Council endorsed the proposed Connexional Central Services Budget and recommended it to the Conference. The Council recommended the payment of £448k from the Pension Reserve Fund into the PASLEMC in September 2015. The Council recommended to the Conference that the existing structure of management charges on the main restricted and designated funds be replaced by a series of three bands and a fixed charge of 0.1% of capital values. The Council recommended to the Conference the District allocations of the assessment to the Methodist Church Fund as set out. The Council received the report. The Council recommended to the Conference an amendment to the CPF Levy policy to allow the Council to grant exceptions to the application of the CPF Levy. The Council agreed that a group should be appointed to assist with the decision making process for the classification of replacement projects, and delegated its appointment to the SRC. The Council instructed the Connexional Team to produce amended guidance for replacement projects in consultation with the Connexional Grants Committee. Power to vary the application of Standing Orders to Methodist premises that are subject to a commercial lease [MC/15/50] Louise Wilkins presented MC/15/50. 50/1. 50/2. 50/3. 50/4. The Council received the report. The Council recommended to the Conference that where a commercial lease is being entered into of Methodist premises that are no longer required for model trust purposes, the restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol will be amended to allow a lease for any class of use other than A4 Drinking Establishments or a nightclub. The Council recommended to the Conference that where a commercial lease is being entered into of Methodist premises that are no longer required for model trust purposes, the restrictions on commercial gambling be amended to allow for the sale of scratch cards and lottery tickets as part of a tenants business, but not for a lease to a betting shop or an equivalent. The Council recommended to the Conference that where a full repairing lease for a period of 10 years or more is being entered into of Methodist premises that are no longer required for model trust purposes, there be no 50/5. 50/6. 15.2.28 requirement for the managing trustees to undertake a quinquennial inspection of the leased premises. The Council recommended that the Conference direct the Law and Polity Committee to bring the necessary Standing Order amendments to the 2016 Conference. The Council directed the Connexional Team to review and report to the Council in January 2016 on the classification of land held as an investment and whether there continues to be a justification for exempting such property from the Connexional Priority Fund levy. Nominations and Appointments [MC/15/56] 56/1. The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 320(1)(ii), nominated to the Conference the following persons as members of the Ministerial Candidates Selection Committee: The Revds Joanne Archer-Siddall, Peter E Barber, Dr Christopher Blake, Alan R Boyd, Rachel A Burgess, Richard J Byass, Jane H Carter, Deborah A Cornish, Dr Jane V Craske, Stephen Dunn, Matthew R Finch, Vivienne M Gasteen, Susan J Griffiths, Gareth J Higgs, Dr David Hinchliffe, Christine M Howe, Ian J K Hu, Dr Jonathan R Hustler [SO 320(1)(i)], Philip J Jackson, Prof Teddy Kalongo, Susan M E Lawler, Dr Jane Leach, Julie A Lunn, Jonathan E Mead, Andrew C Moffoot, Dr Ian D Morris, Nicholas A Oborski, Malcolm Peacock, Stephen E Robinson, Barbara T Routley, Dr Calvin T Samuel, Kathryn Stephens, Neal H Street, Dr Joseph B Suray, Nutan Sandhya J Suray, Rose A S Westwood, Susan J Wigham, D Paul Wood [SO 320(1)(i)] Deacons Richard Beckett, Andrew Carter, P Jane Gibson, Richard D Goldstraw, Eleanor Griffin, Sylvia R Phillips, Myrtle A Poxon, Ann Shephard, Angela Shereni, Janet Stafford, Lynne R Sylvester-Tonge, Janet H Thomas Miss Victoria Aggasild, Mrs Akua Agyepong, Mr Richard Armiger, Mr Rob Cooper, Mrs Janet Dobinson, Mrs Sylvia Gnanapragasam, Mrs Glena Griffin, Mrs Elaine M Grout, Mrs Christine Haigh, Ms Sylvia Hart, Mrs Veronica Hickox, Miss Sharon Lam, Mr Rene Lamisere, Mr Phil Langdale, Mrs Dorothy Lumley, Mrs Hayley Moss, Mr Alfred Philpott, Mr Colin Ride, Mrs Maxine Scott, Dr Rachel Starr, Mrs Karen Stefanyszyn, Dr Margaret Williams, Mrs Alison Wood, Dr Bart Woodhouse The Warden of the Methodist Diaconal Order has the right to attend but not to vote. 56/2. The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 321(5)(b), nominated to the Conference the following persons as Oversight Tutors: Where more than one oversight tutor is appointed for the same institution one shall be identified as having oversight responsibility. In the following list, that person is identified by an asterisk. Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham (* to be appointed), Deacon Eunice Attwood, the Revd Gary P Hall, the Revd Dr Judith Rossall, Deacon Kerry Scarlett, Dr Rachel Starr, the Revd Dr Joseph Suray 56/3. The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 212(7), nominated to the Conference representatives for appointment as follows: (a) Churches Together in Britain and Ireland: Annual General Meeting Mr Michael King 56/4. 56/5. 56/6. 56/7. 56/8. 56/9. 56/10. (b) Churches Together in Britain and Ireland: Senior Representatives’ Forum Mr Michael King; the Revd Neil A Stubbens (c) Churches Together in England: Enabling Group The Revds Richard J Teal, Neil A Stubbens (d) Churches Together in England Forum (28-30 October 2015) focussing on the Orthodox Churches, Pentecostalism, and Young People: Mr Craig Gaffney, Dr Anthony Moodie, Mr Nathan Songer, Pastor Marcia Tull, Mrs Marilyn Woodley; Deacon Samantha M Taylor; The Revds Richard J Byass, Adam J Stevenson, Neil A Stubbens, Richard J Teal, Nicola Vidamour, Jane M Wilson (e) Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS): Members’ Meeting: The Revd Dr David P Easton; Mr Sandy Laurie Alternate: Mr David Easson (f) Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales): Enabling Group The Revd Jennifer A Hurd Proxies: The Revds Dr Ian D Morris, Philip A Poynor The Methodist Council resolved to nominate to the Conference the members of the Strategy and Resources Committee of the Council by an evote after the meeting of the Council. The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 322, nominated to the Conference the following persons as members of the Stationing Committee: Mr Andrew Owen, the Revd Gareth J Powell, the Revd Helen D Cameron, the Revd Jennifer A Impey, Ms Jenny Jackson, the Revd Dr David Hinchliffe, Mrs Biddy Bishop, the Revd John D Howard, Mr Malcolm Pearson, the Revd Stephen J Burgess, Mr Michael Prince, the Revd A Peter Hancock, Mr Peter Sercombe,the Revd Paul Martin, Mr Iain S A Henderson, the Revd Stephen J Lindridge, Mrs Lesley Morland, the Revd Dr Jonathan R Hustler, the Revd Jennifer A Hurd, Deacon Susan W Culver, the Revd Peter E Barber, the Revd Stephen J Poxon, the Revd Anne E Brown, Mr Doug Swanney The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 213A, nominated to the Conference the following persons as members of the Audit Committee: Mr Rodney Betts, Mr John Chastney (Chair), Mr Peter Mills, Mr Andrew Whitley The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 116B, nominated the Revd Ian J Worsfold to be the Precentor for the Presbyteral and Representative Sessions of the 2015 Conference. The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 116B, appointed the Revd Alan Ashton to be the Letter-writer for the Presbyteral and Representative Sessions of the 2015 Conference. The Methodist Council, acting under Deed of Union Clause 14(4)(d) and Standing Order 107(3), appointed the following two associate members of the Conference as (full, voting) members of the 2015 Conference: The Revd Dr Albert W Jebanesan (Methodist Church Sri Lanka), Eduardo Manuel da Silva Conde De Almeida (Evangelical Methodist Church in Portugal) The Methodist Council, acting under SO 138(1) appointed the Memorials Committee for the 2015 Conference as follows: Mr David Walton (Chair), the Revd Steven J Wild, Dr B Jill Barber, the Revd Dr Martyn D Atkins, Mr Doug Swanney, Mr Martin Harker (Convener), Mr Mike Anderson, Ms Irene McKay, Mr Ron Jordan, the Revd Rosamund V Hollingsworth, Mrs Mary 56/11. 56/12. 56/13. 56/14. 56/15. 56/16. Williams, Mr Adam Sanders, Mr David Pendle, the Revd Dr David Hinchcliffe, Mr Graham Kay, the Revd Eleanor G Jackson, Mrs Ruth Pickles, Mrs Susan Smith, the Revd Kerry W Tankard, Mrs Linda Crossley, Dr Stephen Leah. In attendance: the Revd Gareth J Powell, the Revd Helen D Cameron, the Revd Colin A Smith, the Revd Jennifer M Dyer, the Revd Nicola V Price-Tebbutt, Mr Nick Moore, Mr Martin Ashford, Ms Jude Levermore, Mrs Louise Wilkins The Methodist Council, acting under SO 136A, appointed the Financial Committee for the 2015 Conference as follows: Mr Andrew Gibbs, Mr Doug Swanney, Professor David Matthews, Mrs Heather Shipman, the Revd D Paul C Smith. In attendance: Mr Nick Moore, Mr Ted Awty The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 107, directed that the following twenty other autonomous conferences, other Methodist churches and united churches in which Methodists have joined be invited to appoint a representative to be an associate member of the 2016 Conference: Europe: United Methodist Church (UMC) – Northern Europe Conference, United Methodist Church (UMC) – Central and Southern Europe Conference, United Methodist Church (UMC) – Germany Conference, Opera per le Chiese Evangeliche Metodiste in Italia, Igreja Evangelica Metodista Portuguesa Africa: Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Methodist Church Kenya, Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, Iglesia Metodista de Guinea Ecuatorial, Eglise Méthodiste du Togo Americas: MCCA, Iglesia Evangelica Metodista Argentina, Iglesia Evangelica Metodista de Nicaragua, Iglesia Evangelica Metodista en Bolivia, Iglesia Metodista de Chile Asia-Pacific: Church of North India, the Church of Bangladesh, United Mission to Nepal, China, Methodist Church in Fiji The Methodist Council, acting under Standing Order 105(1A), approved the following rota for diaconal representation at the Conference of 2016: Wales Synod, Birmingham, Darlington, East Anglia, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Stockport, Newcastle, Lancashire, Northampton, Southampton, London. Reserves: Cornwall, Sheffield The Council, on behalf of the Conference, appointed the following to accompany the President and the Vice-President as its representatives to the Irish Conference: the Revd David Gamble, Mr David S Walton The Council appointed Carolyn Lawrence as World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women Area Officer for the quinquennium 2016-2021. The Council appointed Liz Marriott, Anne Browse and Alison Judd as the representatives of Methodist Women in Britain to the World Assembly of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. 15.2.29 Joint Covenant Advocacy and Monitoring Group – Appointment of Methodist members [MC/15/57] 57/1. The Council received the report. 57/2. The Council appointed Mr David S Walton to be the Methodist co-Chair of the Joint Covenant Advocacy and Monitoring Group and the Revds David Gamble and Michaela Youngson to be its other two Methodist members. 15.2.30 Faith and Order Committee [MC/15/59] 59/1. The Council received the report. 15.2.31 One Mission Forum [MC/15/61] 61/1. 61/2. The Council adopted the proposals in the report for establishing the One Mission Forum in accordance for Standing Order 1001. The Council delegated to the Strategy and Resources Committee its authority to make additional appointments to the Forum under Standing Order 1001(2)(a)(iv). 15.2.32 Southlands College and the Southlands Methodist Trust [MC/15/63] 63/1. The Council received the report. 15.2.33 Guidance on Regulated Activity (under the Lobbying Act) [MC/15/64] 64/1. The Council noted the guidance produced. 15.2.34 Ecumenical Associate Members of the 2016 Conference [MC/15/65] 65/1. 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. 65/2. The Council recommended to the 2015 Conference those churches and Christian bodies listed in paragraph 3.1 as those to be invited to appoint associate members of the 2016 Conference. 15.2.35 Committee Appointments [MC/15/43] 66/1. The Council appointed Mrs Suzie Long, Ms Janet Arthur and Mr John Monkhouse to the Connexional Allowances Committee, with effect from 1 September 2015. 66/2. The Council appointed Mrs Alison Butler to the Methodist Heritage Committee. 66/3. The Council appointed representatives to ecumenical and other bodies with effect from 1 September 2015 as follows: Methodist members of the Methodist-Anglican Panel for Mission in Unity: The Revds John Hellyer (Co-Chair), Graham R Kent, Neil A Stubbens; Deacon Stephen F Roe; Mrs Jenny Easson, Mr David J Phillips, Mrs Heather Shipman Methodist members of the Methodist-United Reformed Church Liaison Group: The Revds Richard Teal (Co-Chair), Christopher Collins, Kavula J John, Neil A Stubbens; Mr Dudley Coates Methodist members of the British Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue Commission: The Revds Dr Neil G Richardson (Co-Chair), Dr David M Chapman (CoSecretary), Marian J Jones, Dr Timothy Macquiban, Ian S Rutherford, Neil A Stubbens, Peter G Sulston, Dr Stephen D Wigley; Mr David Bradwell Ecumenical Stakeholders’ Forum (in addition to the ex-officio members): Sister Eluned Williams (Chair), Mr Roy Crowder, Mr Mike King; the Revds Dr David P Easton, Dr Ian D Morris, Richard Teal, Dr Stephen D Wigley Methodist Representative to the General Synod of the Church of England (July 2013 – February 2016): The Revd Dr Roger L Walton Methodist Representative to the United Reformed Church General Assembly (2016): The Revd Dr Keith Davies The Commission of the Covenanted Churches in Wales: The Revds Catherine Gale, Jennifer A Hurd, Delyth A Liddell The Free Churches Group: The Revds John Howard, Neil A Stubbens Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service: The Revd Gareth J Powell; Mrs Louise Wilkins 66/4. 66/5. Women’s World Day of Prayer National Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland: Dr Elizabeth Burroughs The Council appointed the Revd Marian J Jones to the British MethodistRoman Catholic Dialogue Commission with immediate effect. The Council appointed the Revd Kenneth G Howcroft to chair the One Mission Forum for a period of six years from September 2015 under Standing Order 1001(2)(b). 15.2.36 Safeguarding Guidance for Single Congregation (Methodist/Church of England) Local Ecumenical Partnerships [MC/15/67] 67/1. The Council approved the practice guidance for single congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships. 15.2.37 Terms of Reference for the Cliff College Committee [MC/15/68] 68/1. The Council adopted the Terms of Reference for the Cliff College Committee. 15.2.38 Disciplinary and Grievance Policies [MC/15/69] 69/1. The Council adopted the Disciplinary Policy. 69/1. The Council adopted the Grievance Policy. 15.2.39 Releasing Property for God’s Mission [MC/15/43] Martyn Atkins presented MC/15/43. 43/1. 43/2. 15.2.40 Mission Rediscovered – Developing a Strategic Plan for World Church Relationships as the global expression of One Mission [MC/15/44] Martin Ashford presented MC/15/44, and the Council discussed the questions in groups. 44/1. 15.2.41 The Council received the report. Report of the Working Group on ‘Fellowship Groups’ [MC/15/46] Martyn Atkins presented MC/15/46. 46/1. 46/2. 46/3. 15.2.42 The Council received the report. The Council, affirming the general direction of the report, directed that a further group of the Council continues work on the recommendations, and reports to the Council no later than January 2016. The Council received the report. The Council affirmed the recommendations set out in the report, commended them to the Conference and proposed that further work as indicated in the report is overseen by the One Mission Forum. The Council directed the Secretary of the Conference to oversee consideration of the recommendations in paragraph 7.2 of the report. Larger than Circuit [MC/15/47] Loraine Mellor presented MC/15/47. 47/1. The Council received the report and directed the Coordinating Group to bring detailed proposals to the Methodist Council no later than January 2016 to enable the Council to undertake scrutiny of any proposals and for a detailed report to be made to the Conference in 2016. 15.2.43 Recording Pioneering Fresh Expressions [MC/15/49] Nicola Price-Tebbutt and Leo Osborn presented MC/15/49, a report of the Faith and Order and Ministries Committees. 49/1. 49/2. 49/3. 49/4. 15.2.44 The Council received the report. The Council directed that a facility be set up for Circuits and Districts to record Fresh Expressions that would not otherwise be included among returns for Local Churches. The Council directed that, alongside continuing consideration of ecclesiological, pastoral and oversight issues and drawing on existing work and other models, the Connexional Team makes a study of how to map and report these and other associations of Methodist people which do not fit precisely into existing structures. The Council directed the Law and Polity Committee and the Faith and Order Committee to ensure that work is undertaken with regards to the oversight and governance of Fresh Expressions. Connexional Allowances Committee [MC/15/51] John Bell, Chair of the Connexional Allowances Committee, presented MC/15/51 which represented the Committee’s annual report to the Conference. The report also included the review of fees and allowances above stipend, which had previously been considered by the Council. 51/1. 51/2. The Council received the report. The Council commended the report to the Conference, with the instruction that paragraph 1.19 concerning the implementation of the living wage should be strengthened. The thanks of the Council were expressed to John Bell and the other members of the Connexional Allowances Committee. 15.2.45 Marriage and Relationships Task Group [MC/15/52] Ruth Gee presented MC/15/52, an update report of the Marriage and Relationships Task Group. 52/1. 15.2.46 Clarifying aspects of membership MC/15/53 Louise Wilkins presented MC/15/53. 53/1. 15.2.47 The Council received the report. The Council received the report. Risk Register [MC/15/55] Doug Swanney presented MC/15/55. 55/1. 55/2. The Council adopted the Corporate Risk Register. The Council agreed to recommend to the Conference that ongoing monitoring of corporate risks be delegated to the Council. The Council noted that the register itself will need to remain confidential, but it can be made clear that the work has been done. 15.2.48 Accessibility to the Conference [MC/15/54] John Bell presented MC/15/54. 54/1. 54/2. 15.2.49 The Council received the report. The Council made the following recommendations to the Conference: 1. It is recommended that the Conference establish a new Working Group, with wider terms of reference and representation, to examine ways in which the overall length of the Representative Session might be reduced without compromising its roles and purposes. 2. It is recommended that district briefings be organised and constituted as described. 3. It is recommended that the Conference Secretariat give consideration to enabling reports to be available on the website at the earliest possible opportunity after the April meeting of the Council, before the hard-copy publication, and advising Conference representatives accordingly. 4. It is recommended that report authors are directed to complete the cover sheet/template fully and to include an Executive Summary of their report. 5. It is recommended that first-time speakers are always given priority and that their speech time is not shortened. 6. It is recommended that, on (rare) occasions when it is deemed beneficial, the Conference Business Committee plans the pattern of input in debates. 7. It is recommended that authors of major reports give serious consideration to the value of Hearings prior to the main item of business, and that the Conference Business Committee gives guidance and encouragement to them as appropriate. 8. It is recommended that the Conference Business Committee exercises its judgement in advising authors of reports (sometimes bringing the business the following year) on the appropriate use and pattern of Workshops as effective instruments for dealing with matters on which the views of Conference representatives will be valued. 9. It is recommended that, in planning the programme of business, the Conference Business Committee always considers how such Groups/Sessions can facilitate the work of the Conference. 10. It is recommended to presenters (with the knowledge and guidance of the Conference Business Committee) that they use buzz groups whenever their business would benefit from them. 11. It is recommended that the provision of electronic voting facilities be referred to the Conference Planning Executive and/or the Conference Business Committee for further consideration. 12. It is recommended that, in seeking to achieve best practice across the Connexion, Districts encourage and enable all representatives to participate in disseminating feedback from the Conference to the Districts and Circuits in whatever ways are appropriate. The Journal of the 2014 Conference The Journal of the 2014 Conference was duly attested. Thanks were expressed to: those who were attending their last meeting of the Council; the Assistant Secretary and members of the Team who had contributed to the work of the Council; the Secretary of the Conference/General Secretary as he attended his last meeting of the Council; David Gamble as he completes his term as Chair of the Council.