In the year 1813 the Irish Conference decided to publish in a single volume the laws and regulations which governed the Methodist Societies in Ireland. This was done in 1814, under the title “The Compiled Minutes”. In 1851 the book was revised and republished.
The Conference of 1870 appointed a Committee to prepare “A Manual of Laws and Discipline.” This volume, as approved by the Conference of 1872, was published in April, 1873. Revised editions were issued in 1889, and in 1900; and in 1909 a Supplement containing new legislation was issued.
In 1916 a revised and codified edition of the Manual was published. Since that date important changes have taken place in the Church. The setting up of two legislatures in Ireland necessitated certain alterations in the regulations and arrangements of the Connexion.
In the year 1928 simultaneous and identical Acts of Parliament were obtained, in the Irish Free State and in Northern Ireland , in order to give statutory effect to the Constitution of the Church, to provide for the alteration and amendment of its Constitution, and for other important purposes. The changes resulting from this legislation were incorporated, by the direction of the Conference, in the “Manual of Laws and Discipline” published in 1934 and subsequently amended by a Supplement issued in 1954.
In 1977, following substantial three years ‘work of revision', the revised Manual was published by the direction of the Conference of 1976.
A further substantial revision, including the addition of all legislation approved between 1977 and 2004, the reorganisation of material in several chapters and the introduction of a new numbering system of chapters and paragraphs, the Manual was printed in 2005 and again following the 2011 Conference. Since then the contents have been updated electronically year on year.