STATEMENT BY THE WORLD METHODIST COUNCIL ON THE PASSING OF POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT
XVI

Together with other World Communions, the World Methodist Council extends its condolences
to His Holiness Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church on the death of Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict was a towering intellectual figure who published sixty-six books, three
encyclicals, and three apostolic exhortations. His support of informed theological dialogue
between Churches, including the dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the
Roman Catholic Church, was a hallmark of his pontificate. Pope Benedict’s impact on Christian
unity through prayer and theological discourse is an enduring legacy of his ministry. 

On learning of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s death, the President of the World
Methodist Council, Rev. Dr. JC Park, commented, “His most significant contribution has been
the spiritual and theological retrieval of the uniqueness of Jesus. His magnum opus Jesus of
Nazareth, is the living witness of Jesus ‘who is close to the Father’s heart.’” (John 1:18)

May Benedict rest in peace and rise in glory.

SAD DEMISE OF THE MOST REVD. DR. ANAND CHANDU LAL, FORMER MODERATOR OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA AND FORMER BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF AMRITSAR, CNI

All Partners in Mission,

With much sorrow it is shared that the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal, former Moderator of the Church of North India and former Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar (CNI) departed this life today, Saturday, 17th December, 2022.  

We are thankful to God for the life, witness and leadership of the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal in the Church of North India, especially in the Diocese of Amritsar. We believe that the contribution he made to the Church at large will always be cherished with gratitude.

As Moderator of the Church of North India he brought in new theological dimensions and insights into the process of Ministerial formation in the Rural & Dalit context of the Church by introducing the Towards Holistic Understanding of Mission program at the CNI Synod level which left an indelible imprint on the life, mission and Ministry of the Church.

As Bishop of the Diocese, he raised the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India from scratch and brought about a legal identity and financial stability in the face of many legal & property matters and created a congenial atmosphere to carry out the pastoral care ministry among the Churches in the Diocese. 

On behalf of the entire Church of North India family, especially my brother Bishops and the Office Bearers of the CNI Synod, I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved household. May God grant His peace to all those who are grieving for this great loss.

May the soul of the faithful, the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal rest in peace, and rise in glory.

With prayers 

THE MOST REVD. DR. P. K. SAMANTAROY

GENERAL SECRETARY, CNI SYNOD

We regretfully announce the passing of Bishop Sundo Kim

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.

It is with some considerable sadness that we acknowledge the death of Bishop Sundo Kim (1930-2022), a former Senior Pastor of Kwanglim Methodist Church, Chairperson of World Methodist Council, President Bishop of the Korean Methodist Church and an inspiring leader of our generation to many; a man who combined scholarship with humility, intelligence with grace and Biblical insight with pastoral heart.

Bishop Kim passed away on 25th November 2022 at 12.03am due to old age. Over the next few days and weeks, many of his achievements and accolades, will be told and retold, as we give thanks for his indelible contribution to Korean Methodism and the wider Methodist family across the globe. His funeral service is planned for Monday 28th at 9.30am (Korean time) at Kwanglim Methodist Church. It would be a good commemoration if you send us a video message for the funeral service next Monday. Please shoot the video horizontally if it’s possible. Thank you

With very best wishes,

Rev. Soonjung Kwun

Executive pastor

Pastoral Mission Support Office

Kwanglim Church

Brian Edgar Beck (1933-2022)

It is with great sadness that Wesley House announces the death of the Revd. Dr Brian E Beck, alumnus, former Tutor and Principal of the College.

Brian was educated at the City of London School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Wesley House, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he met and married Margaret Ludlow and together they had three children.

After his theological education at Wesley House Brian was appointed Assistant Tutor at Handsworth College (1957-1959); he was ordained at the Methodist Conference of 1960 while serving as a circuit minister in Suffolk (1959-1962). He served on the staff of Saint Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya (1962-1968) during which time the Methodist Church in Kenya became autonomous from the British Methodist Conference.  Brian was instrumental in drawing up the constitution and standing orders of the new church, many of which still stand, and he is fondly remembered in Kenya today.  Only a couple of weeks ago Brian and Margaret were recalling travelling to Kenya by boat through the Suez Canal, and then their journey home which involved packing their belongings and their children into a small Renault which they then drove from Nairobi to Cape Town!

On his return to Britain Brian was appointed Tutor at Wesley House where he taught New Testament in the college and in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge.  He published two books on the New Testament: Reading the New Testament Today (1977 & 1992), and Christian Character in the Gospel of Luke (1989).  In 1980 Brian became Principal of Wesley House before becoming the Secretary of the Methodist Conference in Britain in 1984 until his retirement in 1998.

From 1969 to 2007 Brian shared in the leadership of the international Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies and during this time he deepened his own interest in Wesleyan theology, which, in retirement, he taught to Wesley House students.  Many of his essays on Wesleyan and Methodist theology were collected into a volume published by Routledge in 2017 entitled, Methodist Heritage and Identity.  He also published,Exploring Methodism’s Heritage, the Story of the Oxford Institute (2004) and contributed to Ashgate’s Research Companion to World Methodism (2013).

In 1993 Brian served as the President of the British Methodist Conference, chairing the difficult debate on human sexuality with great wisdom and patience, that resulted in the six resolutions that for more than 20 years held the church together across deep differences. In his letter to the Methodist people immediately afterwards, he wrote, “The Conference had been invited to adopt resolutions which took divergent views of the issues…. in the event, the Conference did not adopt any of those resolutions. Instead it adopted a pastoral rather than a legal approach and decided to affirm both the traditional moral teaching of the Christian church, and the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church, while leaving decisions about particular cases to be taken by the appropriate committees against this background.”

In 1998, in the year he retired, Brian was awarded the Lambeth DD – a doctorate awarded to eminent and much-published scholars in the field of theology.  He and Margaret retired to Cambridge where Brian continued to serve the connexion in a wide range of capacities, and lead worship in the circuit and in the college until January of this year when he preached his last service at Haslingfield, seventy years after he received his first note to preach.  He was actively involved in college life, teaching Methodism, and on occasion, New Testament Greek.  He looked after the college’s archive and rare books until this summer, only surrendering his keys after the college’s centenary celebrations in July as his health began to decline.

Brian’s spirituality was rooted in the hymns of Charles Wesley.  Of Charles’ work, published as Hymns on the Lord’s Supper in 1745, Brian wrote in 2007 in the Epworth Review, “gratitude is due, not just for the book and its contents but, in the communion of saints, for the one who wrote it… who in the offering of his own poetic gifts exemplified his own words:

Take my soul and body’s powers,

Take my memory, mind, and will,

All my goods, and all my hours,

All I know and all I feel,

All I think, and speak, and do;

Take my heart but make it new”.

Brian also exemplified these words, offering his considerable powers of memory, mind and will, dry humour, kindness and wisdom to the church in the many offices he held, as a scholar, as a liturgist, as a preacher and as a teacher. 

His choice of funeral hymn, (by Charles Wesley, of course), assures us, as his presence with us has for so long, that all is well:

I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade,

My griefs expire, my troubles cease;

Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed

Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.

He died peacefully at home in Cambridge on 18 November in the 90th year of his age and the 66th year of his ministry.