Visits by the Connexional Team or the President / Vice-President

Inviting the President or Vice-President of Conference

If you would like to make arrangements for the president or vice-president to visit, please contact the Methodist Church Help Desk for details on 0207 486 5502 or email 
pandvp@methodistchurch.org.uk

Please bear in mind that the president and vice-president tend to be very busy and get booked up well in advance, and that it may not be possible for them to accept every invitation. You can view their diary for the forthcoming year here.

Inviting a member of the Connexional Team

Introduction

Supporting the work and mission of the Methodist Church at a local level is central to the role of the Connexional Team. One of the ways that we can help is for members of the Connexional Team to make a visit.

Types of visit

Visits may include:

  • preaching / worship leading
  • workshop / training session / seminar
  • speaking / lecture
  • quiet day / retreat
  • consultation / focus group

Purpose

Visits should help churches, circuits and/or districts to fulfil their strategy, objectives or mission plan, and relate to Priorities for the Methodist Church.

Who in the Connexional Team makes visits?

Visits are generally made by Team members part of whose role is specifically to engage with the Methodist people. These include:

(a) Those who represent the Team and the wider Connexion - the general secretary, connexional secretary and four senior managers, who together make up the senior leadership group.

(b) Those with a specialist role (eg Evangelism, Public Issues, World Church Relationships, Resourcing Mission)

(c) Those undertaking research or a particular piece of work to inform Methodist Council or Conference or improve the delivery of work by the Connexional Team (eg Project staff, Development and Personnel)

How is a visit set up?

An invitation by a church, circuit or district is made to either a person, a department or through the Methodist Church House Reception on 020 7486 5502 or email enquiries@methodistchurch.org.uk

The relevant part of the Connexional Team will then consider how the proposed visit fits with the Team's strategy. This might involve a discussion around what you are seeking and what the Team can offer. This might result in agreeing not to make a visit, but to provide support or resources in different ways, it might result in another member of the Team being asked to visit, or it might be that the content of the event is changed.

The Team member will only be able to accept the invitation if it is relevant to their own work priorities, and those of the Team, as well as to offer effective support to the work in the local context.

It is helpful if an invitation is:

  • A request that comes on behalf of a group of churches, a circuit, or even a group of circuits. (Generally speaking, invitations to a single church may have to be declined.)
     
  • There will be an opportunity for the Team member to speak with key office holders or specifically targeted groups which are particularly relevant to their area of work.
     
  • The visit includes an aspect of making and nurturing disciples in the context of whole life discipleship, which is a current focus of the Connexional Team.
     
  • To have one clear, agreed purpose for the visit and seek to achieve that well.

Practicalities

Experience of visits has provided the Connexional Team with a number of practicalities that it is helpful for you and the Team member to consider. This helps everyone to get the most out of the visit. See the list provided below.

Financial contribution

If your church, circuit or district has invited a Team member to visit, you are strongly encouraged to make a reasonable contribution towards their expenses. The suggested amount figure is £100 (for 2009/2010). In the spirit of connexionalism this figure represents the average travel cost, so that groups in the farthest corners of Britain make the same contribution as those near where Team members live. This figure does not include any contribution to the Team member's time in preparing or delivering the work as Methodists already make a contribution towards this through the circuit assessment. However we do not want financial hardship to prevent you from making invitations. If a financial contribution might be a difficulty for you then please let us know.

List of practicalities

Making the invitation
What is the Team member being invited to do? 

  • type of event, including its format (presentation, facilitating discussion etc)
  • date and rough timing of event
  • subject matter or content that the Team member is being asked to address/provide
  • purpose of the event, including expectations and intended outcomes for both the event organiser and participants
  • level of participants' prior understanding on the subject (ie at what level should any teaching or presentation be pitched)
  • how it relates to the inviter's local vision or mission plan
  • number of people expected (realistically)

Before the event

  • Publicity - the Team member should be consulted about the nature of the publicity and agree any text or images before printing and distribution. This is because an event will be much more successful if all the participants understand what will happen at it.
  • Size and style of venue, including its suitability for the format envisaged
  • Equipment available, including computer (details of software), digital projector, flip chart
  • Final format of the event - eg who is chairing or facilitating, who is providing worship, who else is contributing (This should include an understanding of boundaries such as what the Team member can't or is unable to do, eg preach if they are not trained to do so.)
  • Travel directions (including parking) or arrangements - provision for accommodation may be required if it is not feasible for the Team member to return home by public transport after the event has finished
  • Names and contact details of key liaison people
  • Name, description and contact details (including mobile phone number) of the person meeting the Team member, if they are coming by public transport. Experience has shown that the sharing of photos can be helpful in this. 
  • Final timetable of the visit
  • Final numbers of participants
  • Hospitality including food and accommodation, if required (It is the Team members responsibility to inform any hosts of special dietary requirements.)
  • Resources the Team member is expected to bring (If the Team member needs to provide handouts etc, can they be photocopied locally in advance so the Team member does not have to carry them?)
  • How will feedback about the visit be provided?

After the visit

  •  Payment of expenses
  • Collection of evaluation/feedback from participants
  • Conversation about how the event and arrangements went, and what follow-up will happen on either side.
  • Sign up for e-newslettersKeep in touch with what interests you