METHODISTS ANNOUNCED plans to build schools in deprived areas and agreed to overhaul their church training networks at their Annual Conference in Plymouth.
At present 22,000 children attend 65 state-funded and 14 independent Methodist schools welcoming students of all faiths and none.
The Conference asked Methodist Districts across Britain to identify local communities that need new schools, especially in areas of socio-economic deprivation.
In a shake-up of training the Church affirmed the importance of lay ministry and agreed to establish two Connexional training centres: Cliff College in Derbyshire and the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. Additionally, a national network of training staff will be established to nurture learning, development, scholarship and innovation in regional contexts.
Conference also celebrated 40 years of service by the Arthur Rank Centre as a ecumenical resource supporting the Church in rural communities.