At the invitation of the MMS, representatives from 28 countries came together in May 1961 for a week-long 'Connexional Overseas Consultation'. At a time when colonial territories were emerging as independent nations and mission fields maturing into churches with strong indigenous leaders, the increasing ease of air-travel made such a gathering both desirable and possible. The one hundred or so participants came from all the overseas Districts of the British Conference and the five CSI Dioceses with historic Methodist ties, together with connexional officers from Britain and Ireland, ecumenical consultants including a panel of women, and MMS officers and administrative staff. It was a landmark event in which experiences from around the world - not least from China, which could not be represented at that time in its history - were shared and lessons learned. It paved the way for the autonomy of the remaining overseas Districts and explored how resources - human, material and spiritual - should be shared. Follow-up consultations were held in Manchester in 1969 and Brazil in 1996.