Justice, Dignity, Solidarity

The Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (formerly Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) was adopted by the Methodist Conference in 2021, and sets out our intention as a Church to celebrate the rich diversity of people within the Methodist Church; to eradicate all discrimination, and treat all people justly and with dignity across the breadth of the Methodist Church; and for a profound change in the culture, practices and attitudes of the Methodist Church so that all Methodists are able to be full participants in the Church’s life.

The Methodist Church therefore is working to be an all-inclusive justice-seeking Church. The JDS strategy is founded on the belief that all human beings are created in the image of God and therefore they should be treated with the same dignity that God treats them with.

The Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity seeks  to change  the culture, practices and attitudes of the Methodist Church through training. There is a guide to the strategy that was published  in 2021 and you might find some in  your Churches.

Our Calling as Methodists has always included a calling to social justice, but we have often failed to live that out because we have excluded people based on prejudices. These might be people who live with a disability, or a different ethnicity, sexuality, age, gender, or life experience from ourselves. Sometimes we might deliberately exclude someone for one of these reasons because of a prejudice that we hold. Sometimes our biases are unconscious, and we do not realise the negative impact of our words and behaviours on another person. Yet the belief that all human beings are loved by and created in the image of God is fundamental to who we are as Christians. Our behaviour needs to witness to our beliefs.’

Working towards a fully inclusive Methodist Church: User Guide to the Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity, p.3

The Strategy includes mandatory actions for local churches, circuits, districts and the Methodist Council which are all designed to embed a culture of respect for all, as equal partners in the Gospel. All key leaders in the Methodist church are encouraged to do Unconscious Bias Training.

Unconscious bias refers to the hidden beliefs that impact our perceptions of others. We all have our own bias and therefore we end up offending other people even when we are not aware of it. It is important for you to become aware of the biases you may have and understand the impact of unconscious bias in the Church or any other place. Please attend the training when you are invited to; it help us learn about ourselves and how to treat others better.

The Secretary of the Methodist Church Conference says this about JDS:

“As a Church, we have made significant progress across all protected characteristics. However, discrimination on issues of race, sexuality, gender and disability remains a major challenge. The adoption and implementation of this strategy will enable us to become a more fully inclusive Methodist Church and will include organisational, structural and cultural changes required for us to say, in truth, that all are welcome.”

For more detailed information about Church’s commitment  to Justice, Dignity and Solidarity, please visit the following links:

The Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (The Connexion Website)
User Guide to the Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity
Connexional Resources
Training for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (including Unconscious Bias training)

The Law on Discrimination
The Equality Act 2010  offers protection to people with ‘protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

You can read News stories from our District on the topic of Justice, Dignity and Solidarity here.