The Methodist Church in Britain | Latest News
06/27/2017 01:00 AM
Mission and Ministry in Covenant report published
The Methodist Church in Britain and the Church of England have today published a joint report proposing a new depth of communion between the two Churches which would allow presbyters from each Church to be eligible to serve in the other.
06/27/2017 01:00 AM
Methodist Schools launch new video
A new video highlighting the history, values and impact of Methodist Schools across the country has been launched today at the Methodist Conference.
06/26/2017 01:00 AM
New Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference appointed
Following the recommendation from the Methodist Council, and today’s approval from the Methodist Conference, meeting in Birmingham from June 22-29, the Revd Dr Jonathan R Hustler has been appointed as the Assistant Secretary of the Conference, taking office for a period of six years from 1 September 2017.
06/24/2017 01:00 AM
"Let's change the culture" says new Methodist President in Inaugural Address
In her inaugural address made earlier today, the Revd Loraine N Mellor, the newly elected President of the Methodist Conference, asked: “How are we disturbing the present in the Church today?” as she shared her concerns with the current state of the Church and her vision for taking radical risks to change its culture.
06/09/2017 01:00 AM
Statement following General Election
Following the election results, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Roger L Walton and Ms Rachel Lampard MBE, have issued a statement.
06/01/2017 01:00 AM
Church leaders' statement in advance of the General Election
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church have called for Christians to be guided by their faith in discerning what sort of society they wish the government to create.
05/23/2017 01:00 AM
Statement and prayer following Manchester attack
The Revd Dr Roger Walton, President of the Methodist Conference and Vice-President, Rachel Lampard, have responded to last night's attack in Manchester. With prayers from Andrew Lunn, Chair of Manchester and Stockport District and Paul Martin Chair of Bolton and Rochdale District and a statement from Youth President, Tim Annan.
05/12/2017 01:00 AM
New Director of Online Learning at Wesley House, Cambridge
The recently rededicated Methodist College, Wesley House Cambridge, has taken a step into the digital age in appointing the Revd Hannah Bucke as Director of Online Learning, to help develop accessible resources and flexible patterns of study for online learning.
05/04/2017 01:00 AM
Dr Pauline Webb
It is with sadness that the death has been announced of the former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference (1965–1966), Dr Pauline Webb.
04/26/2017 01:00 AM
Bookings open for 3Generate youth event
Promising to be the biggest 3Generate yet, bookings have now opened for this year’s children and youth assembly of the Methodist Church, taking place at a new, bigger, venue, with up to 1,000 young people and leaders expected to attend.
04/19/2017 01:00 AM
New ONE Intern scheme launched to link faith and work
The Methodist Church is seeking young people to take part in a new scheme to develop their careers and faith. These exciting opportunities for 21-26 year-olds offer a year exploring faith alongside a paid placement with a range of professional organisations across a variety of business sectors.
04/13/2017 01:00 AM
Hope in the midst of despair
More than £340,000 has been given in response to the East Africa Famine Appeal, launched at the end of February by All We Can and the World Church Relationships Team of the Methodist Church in Britain.
04/13/2017 01:00 AM
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Roger Walton and Ms Rachel Lampard MBE, speak about confidence, suffering and hope in this year's Easter Message.
"Do we sometimes race over the reflection on of holy week and the pain of Good Friday, in order to reach the joy of Easter?"
03/22/2017 12:00 AM
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have called for prayer during this time following the attacks in Westminster, London.
03/21/2017 12:00 AM
In readiness for the impending trigger of Article 50, four of the UK’s largest Christian churches, representing three quarters of a million members, are inviting their congregations to take part in discussions across the UK to explore what kind of society we should be seeking to create.
03/16/2017 12:00 AM
A race against time: Communities unite to raise money for famine appeal
Over 7 million people are at serious risk of starvation in Yemen, and millions more are severely malnourished in Somalia and South Sudan. Chronic food insecurity across these nations has led to the grim reality that a huge number of people are at serious risk of dying of hunger.
03/07/2017 12:00 AM
Director of Girls' Brigade to step down
The Director of Girls’ Brigade Ministries and Girls’ Brigade England & Wales, Ruth Gilson, has announced that she'll be stepping down from her role at the end of August 2017 - to prepare for ordained ministry in the Methodist Church.
02/22/2017 12:00 AM
East Africa Famine Appeal
All We Can and the World Church Relationships Team of the Methodist Church in Britain are calling for support for this urgent appeal to respond to immediate needs in South Sudan and to help avert famine in other countries on the verge of disaster.
02/22/2017 12:00 AM
A Place to Call Home
With many churches finding themselves called upon to offer practical support to those in housing crisis, four leading UK churches, with the support of the national Christian charity, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action, have called upon their congregations to hold conversations around housing and homelessness in the UK.
02/22/2017 12:00 AM
Mission in Britain, Winter Grants Announced
Details of the successful applications for the Mission in Britain Fund winter grants round have been announced. In this recent round, over £800,000 has been granted to churches and Christian organisations across England, Wales and Scotland to help fund worship and mission focused projects.
02/20/2017 12:00 AM
Appreciating Church book launch
How can local churches, congregations and communities use their strengths to spark transformation and growth?
That is the question at the heart of a new Appreciating Church website and book launched this month.
02/10/2017 12:00 AM
Church leaders denounce suspension of “Dubs” policy
In a joint letter to the Home Secretary, the leaders of five Churches have expressed their concern at the Government’s announcement that it intends to suspend the programme for the safe re-settlement of unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the United Kingdom.
01/31/2017 12:00 AM
UMC issue statement on Trump immigration order
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Roger Walton and Rachel Lampard MBE, have welcomed Bishop Bruce R. Ough's statement on Trumps immigration order, the president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops.
12/01/2016 12:00 AM
New Methodist Youth President Designate Announced
Michael Pryke, aged 17 from Stamford in Lincolnshire, has been announced as the Methodist Youth President Designate. He was elected at this year’s 3Generate event for young Methodists that took place over the weekend of the 25 and 27 November.
11/21/2016 12:00 AM
“Benefits freeze is putting the poorest in the way of economic harm”
Ahead of the Government’s Autumn Statement, The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church are calling for assurances that families will be protected from the expected rise in inflation.
11/11/2016 12:00 AM
US Presidential Election
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have released the following statement in response to this week's Presidential election.
10/20/2016 12:00 AM
Churches demand action on Aleppo
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church in Wales, the Church of Scotland, Quakers in Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have released a statement calling upon the Syrian and Russian Governments and other forces to stop their bombardment of Aleppo.
09/12/2016 12:00 AM
Methodists Lead Community Sponsorship
The Methodist Church in Birmingham and Birmingham City Council made a landmark announcement on Saturday, 12 September that the city council will be the first local authority to support the community sponsorship of Syrian refugees.
09/12/2016 12:00 AM
Senior religious leaders gather to call for new refugee policy
The Vice President of the Methodist Church, Rachel Lampard, has chaired the launch of a letter from over 200 faith leaders to the Prime Minister calling for more help to be given to refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and other areas of conflict. The launch took place at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London on the 12 September 2016.
08/23/2016 12:00 AM
Methodist Chapel takes leading role in Poldark series 2
The New Room (John Wesley's Chapel) in Broadmead, Bristol, is the location for some of the most dramatic scenes in Poldark series 2. The long awaited second season of the hit show returns to BBC1 on September 4th.
08/01/2016 12:00 AM
All We Can appoints Deputy Chief Executive
To confirm its commitment to expanding its innovative relief and development programmes, All We Can recently welcomed Graeme Hodge as its new Deputy Chief Executive.
07/26/2016 12:00 AM
Letter from the Police
The following letter is from the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Neil Basu QPM, for the attention of all church congregations in the UK.
07/18/2016 12:00 AM
Methodist Investment Unit Unveils New Management Team
The Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church has announced the management team that will assume responsibility when its current Chief Executive, Bill Seddon, steps down at the end of 2016.
07/06/2016 12:00 AM
Methodist Church issues progress report on Past Cases Review
A year after the apology to survivors and victims of abuse, and the publication of Courage, Cost & Hope - the report on the Past Cases Review (PCR), the Methodist Church has given an update to the Methodist Conference, the supreme decision-making body of the Church, about its work over the past 12 months.
07/04/2016 12:00 AM
Made for goodness - a JPIT report on the refugee crisis
The Joint Public Issues Team have created a new briefing looking at the history and consequences of the current humanitarian crisis and highlights four specific areas that Churches can engage with and campaign on.
07/04/2016 12:00 AM
Methodist Young People Heard at Conference
Young people have had their views heard at the Methodist Conference held at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster with a call for the Church to help them explore issues of faith and society.
07/02/2016 12:00 AM
Stop trying to fix the poor says Methodist Vice-President
The newly inducted Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Rachel Lampard MBE, has called for the Church to stop ‘problematising’ and trying to ‘fix’ the poor, but “address the problems and pain that not having enough money brings.”
07/02/2016 12:00 AM
New Methodist President Calls for Holiness
In his inaugural address made earlier today, 2 July, the Revd Dr Roger Walton, the newly elected President of the Methodist Conference, has reminded the Church of its calling to spread holiness.
06/24/2016 12:00 AM
Statement on EU referendum
The Revd Steve Wild and Jill Barber, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have released the following joint statement following the EU referendum.
06/17/2016 12:00 AM
Murder of Jo Cox MP
The Secretary of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Gareth Powell, has written to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to express his condolences on behalf of the Methodist Church following the murder of Jo Cox MP.
Reactions have also been made by the local Methodist communities within Jo Cox's constituency.
06/13/2016 12:00 AM
The Revd Steven Wild and Dr Jill Barber, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have made a statement adding their prayers to millions across the world in response to the horrific mass shooting at a gay night club on Sunday 12 June in Orlando, Florida.
04/29/2016 12:00 AM
Bombing in Aleppo
A statement from the Revd Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have made a statement following the recent deaths of at least 200 civilians in Aleppo.
04/27/2016 12:00 AM
A joint statement from the Presidents of Churches Together in the Merseyside Region in response to the Hillsborough Inquest.
04/21/2016 12:00 AM
The Queen's Birthday
The country and Commonwealth are celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday today.
04/20/2016 12:00 AM
Refreshed Guide to Methodism Released
The Methodist Church has launched an updated resource to help new, existing and potential Methodists with their journey of faith.
04/14/2016 12:00 AM
Spring Council Report
Methodist Council Meeting
2 to 4 April 2016
Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa
04/13/2016 12:00 AM
Great success for event remembering an 'American saint'
Hundreds of people attended a day of special events at the Black County Living Museum, Dudley, on Saturday 9 April to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the death of a local man who helped shape modern America, Bishop Francis Asbury.
04/07/2016 12:00 AM
An Address to the Bishop of Rome
Secretary of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Gareth J Powell, with other senior Methodist representatives from around the world, was received by Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican last week, on the morning of Thursday 7 April.
03/24/2016 12:00 AM
Presidential Easter Message
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have reminded people of the central Easter message of hope, passion and joy in the midst of despair.
12/17/2015 12:00 AM
The Presidential Christmas message
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have reminded people of the importance of 'welcome' in this year's Presidential Christmas Message.
12/16/2015 12:00 AM
COP21 Climate Change Summit - Statement
The Methodist Church in Britain have released a statement regarding the recent agreements made at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris which concluded on Saturday.
12/07/2015 12:00 AM
The Methodist Church is joining with organisations and individuals across the country to help those affected by flooding in Cumbria. The Revd Richard Teal, Cumbria District Chair, comparing this incident with the last major flooding in 2009 said: "The devastation this time is far worse than before". Read on for how you can respond and how you can donate to the fundraising appeal.
12/04/2015 12:00 AM
Don’t forget Iain Duncan Smith this Christmas
UK Churches are encouraging people to add Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to their Christmas card list and include a personal greeting asking the minister to ensure that every family and child has enough this Christmas.
12/02/2015 12:00 AM
Statement on Syria
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church in Britain and the United Reformed Church have released a joint statement on military action in Syria
11/23/2015 12:00 AM
Tim Annan to be next Methodist Youth President
Tim Annan has been elected as Methodist Youth President designate to begin his term in September 2016, following his election at this year’s 3Generate, the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly, which took place from 20-23 November.
11/18/2015 12:00 AM
Share A Gift this Christmas - new resource out now
In a time where your advent calendar is more likely to feature a pet than Jesus and almost half of people in the UK feel the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas, the Methodist Church has produced a new booklet going back to the roots of the festive season.
10/22/2015 12:00 AM
DWP “stubbornly ignoring” calls for sanctions review
A coalition of national Churches and charities has criticised the Department for Work and Pensions over its refusal to undertake a full review of the benefit sanctions system. The DWP has issued its overdue response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions, but has failed to commit to a review as recommended.
10/09/2015 12:00 AM
Hope is coming this advent
A free advent resource, ‘Keeping Hope Alive’, has been released today by the Methodist Church.
09/22/2015 12:00 AM
Statement on Israel and the West Bank
In the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have issued this statement on Israel and the West Bank.
09/11/2015 12:00 AM
The death of the Revd David Gamble
It is with deep sadness that the death is announced of former President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd David Gamble.
08/06/2015 12:00 AM
Church leaders commemorate Hiroshima bombing saying ‘never again’
At an interfaith commemoration service held today (6 August) at the Friend’s Meeting House in Central London, religious leaders from many faiths, including several Christian denominations, gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
07/02/2015 12:00 AM
“Where’s the review?” say Churches and charities
It has been 100 days since the Work and Pensions Select Committee called for a full independent review of the benefit sanctions system, but the Government has not indicated any intention to conduct a review. A group of Churches and charities is calling urgently for the Government to heed the Committee’s report and act on its recommendations.
07/01/2015 12:00 AM
Church must celebrate and learn from diversity, says report
The Methodist Fellowship Groups, congregations of Methodists united by a shared ethnicity or language, announced their intention to grow in deeper relationships, mutual partnerships and genuine integration in a report to the Methodist Conference.
07/01/2015 12:00 AM
Churches encouraged to offer support to migrants
Following on from a Notice of Motion presented to this year’s Methodist Conference, all Methodist churches are being encouraged to provide support to at least one individual or family crossing Europe from the Mediterranean fleeing from conflict.
06/29/2015 12:00 AM
Let's talk about sex, say Methodist youth
Young Methodists have challenged the Church to be more open and willing to discuss issues of sexual identity, pornography and sexual relationships in a report to the Methodist Conference.
05/23/2015 12:00 AM
'Mutual cooperation, not mutual destruction' say Churches
An unprecedented 107 nations have signed a pledge to "stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks" at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York. Four major UK Churches have welcomed the news, but called on the UK Government to unblock discussion of new multilateral disarmament initiatives.
04/13/2015 12:00 AM
Church to tackle bullying and harassment
The Methodist Council has pledged to tackle issues of bullying and harassment within the Church. The move is a response to concerns raised about the vulnerability of churches to destructive patterns of behaviour and affirms the desire for the Church to be a safe and inclusive community for all.
03/24/2015 12:00 AM
Churches welcome call for benefit sanctions review
A coalition of major UK Churches, with a combined membership of more than 800,000 people, has welcomed the call for a full independent review of the benefit sanctions system. The recommendation comes in a report from the Work and Pensions Select Committee that has been released today.
02/11/2015 12:00 AM
Churches launch major credit union
A group of major Churches is promoting access to responsible credit and savings with the launch of the Churches Mutual Credit Union Ltd. (CMCU).
12/19/2014 12:00 AM
Make space for Jesus this Christmas
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have urged people to make space in their homes and lives for Jesus this Christmas.
12/17/2014 12:00 AM
Go-ahead for major church credit union
Fair returns to savers, fair interest rates on loans and the aspiration to be a flagship credit union are among the aims of the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union Ltd (CMCU) which received formal authorisation from the regulatory authorities yesterday.
11/17/2014 12:00 AM
Warm welcome for women bishops vote
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have welcomed the General Synod's vote to adopt legislation to ordain women as bishops.
11/11/2014 12:00 AM
Celebrate the second half of life, say Churches
In today’s society, growing older is often seen as a reason for sadness or regret. But the Church of England and the Methodist Church have published a new resource which urges Christians to celebrate and affirm the ‘second half of life’.
10/23/2014 12:00 AM
Faith in politics but less faith in politicians, say Church young people
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church asked Christian young people about their attitudes to voting and politics. The young people were clear – they cared about politics, their faith had a major impact on how they voted – but they didn’t think their voices were heard or have faith that politicians would deliver positive change.
10/07/2014 12:00 AM
Ecumenical Day of Reflection on Mining
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the President of the Methodist Conference today hosted an Ecumenical Day of Reflection on Mining with representatives of leading mining companies, as well as representatives from non-governmental and other faith-based organisations at Lambeth Palace.
10/05/2014 12:00 AM
Response to the murder of Alan Henning
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference issue a statement in response to the murder of Alan Henning by Islamic State militants.
09/25/2014 12:00 AM
How good are you at watching and waiting?
In a ‘want it all, want it now’ culture, the art of watching and waiting can get lost in the melee of consumerism and instant gratification. Yet Advent can also bring us closer to God, and to the effects of God’s justice and love in the world today.
09/24/2014 12:00 AM
Islamic State cannot be defeated by military action alone, say major Church leaders
Leaders of two of Britain’s major Churches say that the UK Government must not give into the rhetoric that Islamic State can simply be bombed out of existence.
In a statement released today, leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Methodist Church in Britain say that the case for military intervention can only be supported as one part of a broader political and economic strategy to tackle the ideology of IS.
09/12/2014 12:00 AM
Statement on the death of Ian Paisley
The Revd Ken Howcroft, President of the Methodist Conference, and Ms Gill Dascombe, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have issued a statement on the death of Ian Paisley.
08/10/2014 12:00 AM
Presumed Consent: What happens to your body after you die?
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Methodist Church in Britain, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church has produced a free resource on the ethics of organ donation ahead of a change in the law in Wales.
07/28/2014 12:00 AM
Secretary of the Conference
The Methodist Church is seeking to appoint its next Secretary of the Conference, who will succeed The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins on 1 September 2015.
07/03/2014 12:00 AM
Boobs aren’t news, says Methodist Conference
Sign the No More Page 3 petition
The Methodist Conference has today pledged its support for the
No More Page 3 campaign, and is asking all of its members to sign
the campaign's petition.
07/03/2014 12:00 AM
Church marks 20 years since genocide in Rwanda
Nearly one million Rwandans were slaughtered during 100 days of genocidal killing twenty years ago. Today, representatives of the Methodist Conference meeting in Birmingham prayed for lasting peace during a commemorative service led by Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, the leader of the Methodist Church in Rwanda.
07/02/2014 12:00 AM
Get serious about mental health, young Methodists urge Church
Methodist Children and Youth Assembly
Watch the 3Generate video
Young Methodists are challenging the Church to take mental
health issues seriously, and are calling for children's and youth
workers to receive relevant training.
07/02/2014 12:00 AM
Methodist Conference receives report on same-sex marriage
The Methodist Church has committed to a two year period of listening, reflecting and discernment following the legislation of same-sex marriage in England, Wales and Scotland earlier this year. A report exploring the issues around same-sex marriage was brought by a working party to the Methodist Conference meeting today in Birmingham.
06/28/2014 12:00 AM
Back to the Bible, forward to the world: Inaugural address of the Methodist President
In his inaugural address as President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Kenneth Howcroft spoke of the "desperate need" for the Church to "speak biblically to serve the present age." He encouraged Conference representatives to turn outwards to face the world with renewed self-confidence in their Methodist identity.
06/11/2014 12:00 AM
Exploring the Family Ministry Landscape: Major UK research project
A major research project will reveal the scope of families work in the majority of UK Churches. Exploring the Family Ministry Landscape is thought to be the first project of its kind in the UK and will look at what churches are doing to support families, as well as the range of training and resources that are already available for families work.
04/30/2014 12:00 AM
Church leaders: "The UK government has missed opportunities to make progress on disarmament"
The leaders of the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church are pushing the government to make progress on disarmament at the Non Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting in New York this week. They are concerned that the UK government has failed to live up to commitments made at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010.
04/05/2014 12:00 AM
Methodist General Secretary to step down in 2015
The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church and Secretary of the Methodist Conference today announced his intention to step down from his current post in August 2015.
04/04/2014 12:00 AM
Church offers young people exam stress support
As the exam period looms large, for young people facing GCSEs, A-Levels and other exams, this can be a very stressful and difficult time. The Methodist Church in Britain hopes to ease some of this pain by offering advice for young people facing exams as well as guidance for youth leaders.
04/03/2014 12:00 AM
Take a spin on the Wheel of Generosity
People are being encouraged to spin an online Wheel of Generosity and commit to small acts of kindness as part of a new campaign from the Methodist Church.
04/02/2014 12:00 AM
Church welcomes UK ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
Leaders of the Methodist Church in Britain have welcomed the UK Government's ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty today. The President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Ruth Gee, said that the move was a "legal milestone that should help to protect those who are abused and oppressed".
03/28/2014 12:00 AM
Street Child World Cup Kicks Off Today in Brazil
Over the past two years, Methodist children and young people have been encouraging local churches to help raise £30,000 for the SCWC by organising fundraising events of their own.
03/10/2014 12:00 AM
Helping young people navigate the Bible
Why bother with the Bible? Can we trust it? What difference does it make to life today? Navigate is a free resource designed to help teenagers explore these questions and engage with the Bible.
02/12/2014 12:00 AM
Tribute paid to Revd Dr Kenneth Greet
Tribute has been paid to the Revd Dr Kenneth Greet, former Secretary and President of the Methodist Conference, who died yesterday.
02/11/2014 12:00 AM
Is there a Methodist in your family?
The family history show - Who Do You Think You Are? - is returning to London with its annual live event and the Methodist Heritage team will be there.
02/04/2014 12:00 AM
Church responds to government alcohol announcement
Paul Morrison, policy adviser for the Methodist Church in
Britain, said: "Today the government has announced that it will ban
below-cost alcohol sales. This is a pale reflection of the Minimum
Unit Pricing policy, which the government originally co...