Structure of Methodist Church (The Connexion)
The Methodist Church has a Connexional structure rather than a congregational one, ie. the individual churches are 'connected' through Circuits and Districts and form the ‘Connexion’.
The Connexional structure:
- Conference (the governing body of the Methodist Church)
The annual conference, usually held early june, brings people from all over the island together to worship, administrate and be inspired. Conference is the final authority in the Church in all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline and order.
A number of Circuits make up a District. The Connexion is made up of a number of geographical districts. The Methodist Church in Ireland is made up of eight districts.
Priesthill (Zion) is part of the Down District.
Usually formed from local churches in a defined area
Priesthill (Zion) is part of the Lisburn and Dromore methodist circuit.
- Local Church
- Small groups (Classes)
The small group (or 'class') has always been at the heart of the Methodist system. There aim - to encourage one another in the Faith.
The network of small groups, congregations, circuits and districts is called the 'Connexion' (the 'x' is there on purpose!). Through this:
- the whole church acts and decides together
- the local church is never independent of the rest of the Connexion.
"connexion" (Wesley's spelling).
In the history of Christianity in England, a Connexion was a circuit of prayer groups who would employ travelling ministers alongside the regular ministers attached to each congregation. The otherwise obsolete spelling (connexion rather than connection) is retained by Methodism.