Methodist Conference concludes later today. By now you may have already picked up the news that Conference earlier this week approved the Fruitful Field proposals which include plans to withdraw from WSC Durham by 2015. Obviously, I think that this is a short-sighted decision, not least in light of Durham University’s selection as HE partner for the Common Awards scheme, and worked hard with colleagues in Conference and behind the scenes to explore alternatives proposals. Regrettably Conference has made its decision.
I imagine that there may be many questions arising in light of this decision and the impact it may have on your formation and study here. It is important to note that in the short term the life and work of WSC will continue pretty much as it is at the moment. We look forward to welcoming new undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students in a few months time and who will complete their formation with us as they have done in past years. In addition, there are a number of conversations to be had exploring precisely how the Methodist Church will maintain a relationship to and presence within Durham University in light of Durham University’s selection as HE partner for the new Common Awards scheme which the Connexion wishes to join.
In the mean time, whilst we at WSC are disappointed with the decision that Conference has made, we recognise that we have a number of years of important and significant work ahead of us and will continue to apply ourselves to those responsibilities with diligence.
You are about to join a student body which has handled the last few months of uncertainty with exceptional grace and courage. They have been a great body of students with whom to work. I can only hope that we can face the next few months with similar resolve and courage as we work with University and Connexional colleagues to explore what possibilities the future might hold.