1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/United Methodist Church
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, or United Methodists, and English Nonconformist community formed in 1907 by the union of the Methodist New Connexion (1797), the Bible Christians (1815), and the United Methodist Free Churches (1857). The act of parliament which enabled this amalgamation received the royal assent on the 26th of July 1907, and authorized the union “to deal with real and personal property belonging to the said three churches or denominations, to provide for the vesting of the said property in trust for the United Church so formed and for the assimilation of the trusts thereof, and for other purposes.” The union was completed on the 16th of September 1907 in Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London. The Church gives power of speech and vote in its meetings to every member of 18 years of age and upwards. Its principal courts are constituted of an equal number of ministers and laymen. The Church had theological colleges at Manchester and Sheffield, boys' schools at Shebbear, in Devonshire, and at Harrogate, and a girls' school at Bideford. It issues a weekly and two monthly journals. In 1908 its statistics showed 2343 chapels with accommodation for 714,793 persons, 848 ministers and 5621 local preachers, 165,463 church members and 332,756 Sunday scholars; there were 55 foreign missionaries, and about 30,000 church members and probationers in the foreign field.