Use of Premises

The Use of Methodist Church Premises by Other Bodies

Regulations

The Methodist Church in Ireland has always sought to be a Church which is open to others. We wish to maintain this and we seek to express our social concern through the use of our premises. As such our premises may be used by other bodies for various purposes. It is however important that the following regulations be observed:

1. The use shall be governed in all cases by a formal letting or licensing agreement. In the case of a letting the legislation laid down in the Manual of Laws shall be followed. In the case of a licensing arrangement, whereby premises would be partially used, the permission shall be given by the Circuit Executive on the recommendation of the Superintendent minister.

2. If the premises are to be used for worship or religious instruction then one of the following criteria must be fulfilled

  • Subscription by the other body to the Apostles Creed, as laid out in Methodist Belief (2003)
  • Membership by the other body of the Irish or World Council of Churches
  • Approval of the statement of belief (or equivalent) of the other body, by the District Superintendent in consultation with the Convener of the Faith and Order Committee.

3. Whenever a letting or licensing arrangement is under consideration whereby other Christian fellowships may be permitted to use Trust premises the following guidelines must be observed. The letting/licensing arrangement:

  • Shall not be detrimental to the mission of the local Methodist Society.
  • Shall not contradict Methodist belief and practice in its preaching, teaching and ethos.
  • Shall not be harmful to local relationships with other Christian Churches.
  • Shall have a legal agreement prepared in a form which, inter alia, will not grant to the licensees any protected tenancy.
  • Shall have adequate safeguards regarding insurance liability.
  • Shall be subject to an annual review.  

Note

 In all cases “our premises” refers to premises held in trust by the Trustees of the Methodist Church in Ireland, or the local trustees of any society which is a part of the Methodist Church in Ireland.

These regulations only apply to use of premises where there is a significant “faith” dimension in the use, e.g. worship or religious instruction. All other uses are bounded by statutory legislation on equality with regard to the provision of services.