Statement about Event on Thursday, 17th January

Statement about Event on Thursday, 17th January

Dear friends,

Thank you for drawing our attention to the advertising for the ‘Leave means leave’ event on 17 January. It is, as some have helpfully noted, a booking made through Central Hall Westminster Ltd, the company contracted to rent space in the building for events and conferences etc.

The Church staff are particularly concerned that ‘Methodist Central Hall’ has been identified as the venue. While it is the case that both refer to the same building, we all work hard to separate ‘church’ events and church sponsored events (identified by using ‘Methodist Central Hall Westminster’) and ‘commercial’ bookings in the building (identified by using ‘Central Hall Westminster Ltd’). We will be asking CHW Ltd to liaise with their client as a matter of urgency to properly describe the venue for this event.

Hundreds of events take place in the building each year, and we strive to apply Methodist Standing Orders and Statements fairly and impartially to all bookings, both church and commercial. This results in some events not being able to take place in the building, and in terms of ‘political’ events this particularly relates to organisations about which the Methodist Conference has made a formal statement, or it is a period of a general election – when particular Methodist Standing Orders become ‘active’. In terms of this booking, normal conversations took place between the MCHW Superintendent minister and senior CHW Ltd staff and it was agreed that there was no such reason why the booking should not take place. In recent months a number of CHW Ltd events relating to Brexit have taken place in the building, and these have advocated all the main views found among our divided population at this time. Consequently, it is the case that events take place in the building run by organisations whose views on many significant subjects are not those that some staff – whether commercial or church staff – would share, and sometimes decidedly so. 

Martyn Atkins

(Superintendent Minister)

5 Comment(s)
  • Rosie Chaplin Posted January 13, 2019 1:29 am

    This booking should never have been agreed The views of Nigel Farage and his followers are completely opposite to those of Jesus. This rally booking must be cancelled immediately; if it is not then the Methodist Church will be seen as condoning such opinions. I never thought that I would feel ashamed to be a Methodist but today I feel both ashamed and appalled at your decision.

    • Editor Posted January 15, 2019 8:46 pm

      Dear Rosie,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us. Our Statement on our website provides, we hope, some background to the situation which pertains to Westminster Central Hall, and makes clear that many of the organisations who book commercial events in the building express and represent opinions and views which would not be shared by all staff. You express your own views cogently and we realise you are unlikely to alter those proper views by any information we can share. Suffice it to say that Central Hall Westminster Limited staff (and Church staff) conscientiously strive to abide by Methodist Standing Orders in relation to the kind of activities which can – and cannot – legitimately take place in the building. A number of ‘Brexit’ events have taken place here which together represent the main views held by the general population on this significant issue, which is proving to be divisive throughout society at large. We must remain in prayer as events that affect us all unfold this week.

      Every good wish,

      Staff team – MCHW

  • William Chaplin Posted January 14, 2019 12:00 am

    14/7/14 UKIP Stroud cancelled. Choice money should I be still, they came and no one was left. We; Matthew 18:20, not an earthly structure, are sinners one sin or many. No stones John 8:7, the Hall is a church. Revd Youngson, 9th “Jesus calls …call for respect for human dignity.” I am surprised about the shock. Ban anything regarding Brexit, any meeting held by people with no political standing. In this case Mr Fararge. Non-faith traditions who still care, see an out of touch religion. My faith is flexible but not commercial, this view of the hall is silly semantics one Methodists and others consider a lie. Render unto Caesar; test 1, a coin; test 2. Test 1 do we gain funds? Test 2 coin or church?. You cannot sin because you sinned before.

  • William Chaplin Posted January 14, 2019 12:01 am

    Remove Methodist fro Website or Brexit from Hall.

  • Saul Penfold Posted January 18, 2019 10:46 am

    As a Methodist, I feel ashamed that this event took place at Central Hall. It is deeply embarrassing, especially as Nigel Farage stood up last night and declared to his supporters that; ‘…actually folks, we tonight, here in Westminster, are in the heart of enemy territory’. This kind of language is very poor and should have no place in our politics – if you hold a different view you are not ‘the enemy’. He was of course referring to The Houses of Parliament – the place that he campaigned during the referendum for ‘control’ to be returned to. Oh the irony. However, such comments also reflect very poorly on us as Methodists as they spewed forth from our beautiful Central Hall. I wonder if he was also referring to Central Hall as ‘enemy territory?’

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