25 JULY 1931, Page 3

Methodist Union The Wesleyan Methodist Conference in Birmingham adopted last

week, by a decisive majority of 558 to 14, the long debated scheme for union with the Primitive Methodists and the United Methodists. The two smaller Churches had already sanctioned the scheme by still larger majorities, and Parliament has passed an Enabling Bill. Next year the reunion of the three Churches will be effected at a joint conference, and the Methodists, like the Scottish Presbyterians, will, with few exceptions, be gathered again into a single communion. The Wesleyan Methodist Conference advanced a further step this week in accepting the Archbishop's invitation to the Free Churches to discuss the possibility of Christian reunion. But the Conference made it clear that Methodist principles must be maintained. There could not, in other words, be any reversion to Wesley's earlier position as a loyal member of the Church of England. The Bishop of Birmingham, who addressed the Conference, revealed his personal distaste for the efforts of one section of his fellow-churchmen to establish closer relations with the Eastern Churches. The difficulties multiply as this question of reunion is more squarely faced.