Commemoration Fund

The proposals for Methodist Union published in 1924 included the creation of a fund to cover the transitional costs of the three churches coming together. Originally set at £250,000, the target was eventually raised to £500,000 and the fund was officially launched as 'the Commemoration Fund' at the Uniting Conference of 1932. A capital sum of £200,000 was earmarked to deal with imbalances in the Auxiliary Funds of the three churches (for supernumeraries' and widows' pensions), the interest being used for the first ten years to ease the stationing of ministers on different pre-Union stipend scales in circuits of another tradition, and to adjust the assessment burden where circuits of different traditions (and different levels of assessment) amalgamated. The remainder of the fund was to be used to assist in the adaptation of buildings for new work where churches amalgamated, for extension of Methodism into new areas, and for new initiatives in evangelism (one of which was the use of cinema vans).

The appeal was formally closed in 1936, although contributions under deed of covenant and other promises continued until 1942. In the end just under half the hoped-for £500,000 was raised. Only £50,000 was actually required for the Auxiliary Fund, and the balance was distributed to the Home Mission and other funds and to the general costs of union, including the 1939 Methodist Church Act which set up the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes.