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Ordained ministry in the Methodist church can be exercised through the role of a Presbyter or a Deacon. Those called to be Presbyter or Deacon are called ‘to be persons in public, ordained ministry in the Methodist Church’.
Those who are ordained as Presbyter or Deacon enter into a covenant relationship with the Methodist Conference, defined as ‘being in Full Connexion’. They are accountable to Conference for their ministry and the Conference is responsible for their support and direction. Deacons in the Methodist Church express this explicitly by being members of a religious order, living by a Rule of Life. To find out more about the Order of Deacons, go to the website of the Methodist Church.
A handbook for Presbyters and Deacons in the Methodist church is currently in production and the draft of this document can be found here.
In the Southampton District we are committed to the well-being of our Ministers. To this end we have establilshed a Pastoral Support Network of people who are able to offer a confidential 'listening ear' to any Minister who is finding life a bit difficult.
Network team members have had some training or experience in listening or counselling. They offer totally confidential one to one meetings with any minister who is feeling under pressure or in need of a ‘safe place’ to unload. Team members would not necessarily offer on-going counselling or mentoring but would be the first step to finding the support that a minister might need.
A detailed list of the team members is in the District Directory. Ministers are invited to make their own choice of who to contact for support.