The Methodist Church in Ireland extends throughout the island, and refers to itself as 'the Connexion', to remind individual members and local churches of their interconnected and interdependent nature. Methodism’s structures are shaped by its origins.
The small group (or class) has always been the lifeblood of Methodism. They have different names now, whether a home group, prayer triplet, Bible study, or whatever, but the aim is the same - to encourage one another in the Faith.
Societies and Circuits
A group of classes in a locality form a society or congregation, administered by a Church Council. A large society or a group of societies form a circuit, which may have one or more ministers, and is in the care of a Superintendent minister and administered by a Circuit Executive.
View the Find a Church section for contact and location details and service times for each of the congregations.
A group of circuits forms a district, overseen by a District Superintendent and administered by a District Synod.
Currently, there are eight districts:
The supreme court of the church is the Conference, which is the final authority in the Church in all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline and order. The first conference in Ireland was called by John Wesley in 1752 and was held in Limerick. With a few exceptions, the Irish Conference had been chaired by the successor of John Wesley, the President of the Methodist Church in England, until recently. In the last number of years the Church has elected a President annually, who chairs the Conference and other committees throughout the year, as well as visiting Methodist congregations all over the island and representing the Church in the public sphere.
Lay and ordained people, both men and women are involved in decision making at all levels. The Methodist Church in Ireland has ordained women since 1978, and women may serve in all positions in the Church. A system of committees deals with a variety of issues within the Church, eg Faith and Order, Inter-Church relations, Social Responsibility.