In addition to the Class Meeting, the Society Meeting was from the early days an integral party of Methodist organization, admission being by means of the class ticket. Regular meetings of the Society (consisting of all the members in the local place) were seen as important in fostering Christian fellowship and the consideration of the work of God in the congregation and neighbourhood, including the reading of the Pastoral Address of the Conference to the Methodist societies. The meeting gradually came to have other functions, such as the election of representatives to the Leaders' Meeting, but met less regularly, though required to do so once a year.
In the restructuring of the 1970s, the Society Meeting was replaced by the General Church Meeting, again comprising as voting members the lay members of the local church and those ordained persons active in its life and work, but being open also to all other persons on the community roll. It is required to meet at least annually and is for fellowship, consideration of the life of the local church (including financial matters) and election of Church Stewards and representatives to the Church Council and various other bodies.
See also Membership