Stationing is the process by which ministers (presbyters and deacons) are invited to serve in the Methodist Church. Ministers are stationed to circuits with the appointment starting on 1 September. Most initial appointments are for 5 years, after which the minister can request a re-invitation.
The Methodist Church produces a Code of Practice each year, to ensure consistency of approach across the Connexion and is to be followed by all involved in the process. There is also a Summary of the Invitation and Stationing Process for appointments commencing September 2022 available here
Other forms and guidelines can be found on the Stationing section of the Methodist Church Website: www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/ministries/stationing/
In the Yorkshire North and East District, all who are likely to be involved in the Stationing process are invited to attend various events led by the Chair of the District (Revd Leslie Newton) and the Lay Stationing Representative (Mrs Beverley Duffy), depending on their role within the church
Initial Stationing Conversation
Ministers and their partners are offered the opportunity for a one-to-one conversation with the Chair of the District and the Lay Stationing Representative in early May.
The purpose of the meeting is to:
- Look at the re-invitation and stationing process.
- Reflect and discuss what the minister can offer and need at this stage in their ministry
This is the starting point for their preparation for stationing or re-invitation. Time should be taken to reflect and pray about the direction of ministry. It may be time to consider a call to a new area/scope for ministry in which case it is important that guidance and support are sought in making sense of this call.
The Reflective Exercise has some suggested questions which may help with this.
Stationing Training part 1
It is important that those who will be part of the stationing/re-invitation process all follow the same protocols. The first stage in this is explained in the May training session. This is for Superintendents and Circuit Stewards who may be involved. Church stewards are also invited to attend this session.
- Look at the re-invitation and stationing processes.
- Share good practice.
- Circuit stewards and Superintendents will have a chance to reflect on the needs of their circuit for the coming years.
- Church stewards will have a chance to consider their role in the process.
There are a number of documents to help understand how this all works. The most important is the Code of Practice, which can be found on the Methodist Church Website here:
Stationing Training part 2
The second training session is for circuit and church stewards who have entered Stationing Profiles for a new minister (presbyter or deacon).
It takes place in October and covers information and guidelines on the next stages of the stationing process.
As with the first session, there will be opportunities to share good practice. This is a practical session where you will work with colleagues from your circuit to:
- Discuss what will go in the Information Pack.
- Begin planning the visit.
- Decide what should be included in the Letter of Understanding.
Final Stationing Conversation
All ministers and their partners are offered an individual appointment with the Chair of District and the Lay Stationing Representative in October to discuss the possible matches with circuits seeking a new minister. A shortlist of 5 preferred stations is drawn up, and a longer list is discussed should those appointments not be available to the Chair when the first Stationing Matching meeting takes place.
Representatives from Circuits seeking a new minister are also offered an appointment with the Chair and Lay Stationing representative to draw up their shortlist of 5 preferred ministers, and the longer list of possible alternatives.
The dates of these are circulated to the relevant ministers and circuits usually via a Doodle poll. This is followed by confirmation of the date and time for each appointment.