The General Purposes Committee was constituted at Methodist Union in 1932, the membership consisting of certain ex-officio members, a Treasurer, ministerial and lay representation from each District and members elected by the Conference. It took over the functions of the WM Committee of Privileges, and the relevant functions of the PM General Connexional Committee and the UMC Connexional Committee. It was authorised to act as the Conference between Conferences and to deal with matters not referred to other committees, with power to delegate to an executive and other sub-committees. It administered the General Purposes Fund, to meet connexional expenses not chargeable elsewhere.
The war-time Conferences of 1942-1944 appointed it, with certain additional members, as the Conference Executive Committee, to exercise all powers vested in the Conference which could lawfully be delegated.
In 1964 it became the 'General Purposes and Policy Committee', with additional responsibilities to keep in review the life of the church and its work and witness, to indicate ways to increase its effectiveness and to give spiritual leadership. With the creation of the President's Council in 1971, it reverted to its former name and functions. In 1994, it was abolished, its functions being once again amalgamated with the policy functions of the President's Council (which was also abolished) in the Methodist Council.
See also Restructuring