This is a term adopted in 1844 in place of the Conference resolutions previously listed in the WM Minutes under the heading 'Miscellaneous Orders and Resolutions'. These were mainly temporary, but included some intended to have more permanent effect, e.g. as to annual returns of membership. In the 1844 Minutes this latter group, nine in all, was entitled 'Standing Orders' (following Parliamentary usage), with a separate group of 'Miscellaneous Resolutions' preceding it. The number of Standing Orders increased substantially over the years. Other branches of Methodism similarly adopted General Rules under various names. At Methodist Union in 1932 the new Church adopted a body of some 222 Standing Orders. For later developments see <span class="font-italic">Constitutional Practice and Discipline</span>.
Only the Conference can create, amend, suspend or revoke Standing Orders, except that the Methodist Council now has the general power to do so, pending the following Conference, where this is necessary to ensure conformity with the law of the land.