*** DEBUG END ***
Important information: We are currently experiencing technical issues with the webiste and it is currently running with reduced functionality, some category pages may not contain a full list of articles and the search is not currently working. We apologise for the inconvenience and should have everything back to normal as soon as possible.

Methodists tackle issue of bullying

17 April 2015


BULLYING and harassment within the Methodist Church are to be tackled by new guidelines, it was announced on Monday.

The guidelines are a response to concerns raised about "the vulnerability of churches to destructive patterns of behaviour", the Methodist Council statement said. It will make recommendations to the Methodist Conference which, if passed in July, mean that £140,000 will be earmarked for further work on the issue.

"It is uncomfortable and difficult to admit that bullying and harassment do sometimes occur in our churches," the Connexional Wellbeing adviser, Tony Tidey, said. "But the decision made today, and the recommendations that will be made to the Conference in July, are something to be proud of.

"By clearly stating our commitment to addressing this issue, we are calling everyone in our churches to a standard of behaviour that should reflect our calling as Christians to treat one another with dignity and respect at all times."

The Minister of Trinity Church, Knebworth, the Revd Steven Cooper, welcomed the guidelines. "The Methodist Church strongly promotes the shared participation of all its members in the life of the Church; but this can facilitate destructive patterns of behaviour when not everyone shares that sense of community, trust, mutual re-sponsibility, and accountability." he said on Wednesday.

"I have witnessed people made to feel very unwelcome in church, due to behaviour that is almost certainly not consciously malicious, but thoughtless and lacking an appreciation of difference."

Mr Cooper has seen the draft guidelines, and said that they contain "a lot of very high-quality, insightful, and thought-provoking material - including case studies - that may help people in churches to examine aspects of their human nature and relationships that often go unexamined and unrecognised.

. . . Some of those who most need to heed the guidance will need extra persuasion to recognise that it applies to them; but the availability of this guidance to people throughout the Church can only be good."

Forthcoming Events

29 September 2020
Festival of Preaching
A one-day online version of our popular preaching festival. With Mark Oakley, Sam Wells and Anna Carter Florence.   Book tickets


19 October 2020
Creativity out of crisis: Hymns and worship webinar
In association with RSCM, this online event will explore creative uses music and liturgy in the context online and socially distanced worship.    Book tickets

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)