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Alliance of Radical Methodists (ARM)

The precursor of ARM was the Methodist Renewal Group, formed in 1960 on the initiative of Brian Duckworth, Robin Sharp and John Vincent. In 1970, the Group merged into the ecumenical One for Christian Renewal. Norwyn Denny and John Vincent called together a group that wanted to develop the Methodist radical witness and the Alliance of Radical Methodists was formed at a conference at Cliff College in May 1971, with John Vincent, Ron Gibbins, Anthony Wesson, Ron Marshall and Peter D. Smith as officers. Eight Regional Groups were formed, and a bi-annual publication called ARM, with an issue each June at the annual Methodist Conference.

A typical issue of ARM in June 1973 contained a critical survey of Methodism at the time—A Future Methodism (John Vincent), the Home Missions Division (Dave Winwood), Methodist Schools (John Newbury), the Division of Finance (David Haslam), and the Social Responsibility Division (Cliff Warren). A typical conference was on 'Evangelicals and Radicals' at Cliff College in September 1973, led by Donald English and John Vincent. Other issues urged A Women’s Division in Methodism, Alternative Theological Education, The Priority of Inner City Ministry, and the Programme to Combat Racism.

In 1980, ARM became one of the founding members of Christian Organisations for Social, Political and Economic Change, and co-operated in several conferences and publications on political issues, especially at the time of the 1983 General Election. In 1987, it published Gentle Angry People, a collection of ‘Songs of Protest and Praise’. From 1980 until 2003, an issue of ARMPrint was published at each Methodist Conference, becoming a popular daily feature.

ARM itself was brought to a close in June 2004.

Sources

  • Joerg Rieger and John Vincent (eds.), Methodist and Radical (Nashville, 2003)

Entry written by: JJV
Category: Organisation

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