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Methodist diaconal order


In the Methodist Church of Great Britain, deacons are only created as members of a permanent order called the Methodist Diaconal Order (MDO). The MDO is therefore both a religious order and an Order of Ministry, or in other words, an order of Clerks Regular.

One distinctive feature of the Methodist ecclesiology is that a deacon has a permanent ministry as a deacon. It is seen as an equal but offering something different from that of the presbyteral ministry.

Unlike the position in the Roman Catholic Church, and formerly in the Church of England, in the Methodist Church the term deaconess simply means a female deacon, and is not a distinct from the male order.

General character

History of the Order

Form of address

Formerly, deaconesses were addressed as Sister, but since the admission of men to the order, and once it became an order of ministry as well as a religious order all members are now called "deacon". Other titles such as "sister" may still be used in a local situation, but is not the official title. The term "deaconess" is no longer used."


The formal uniform of a methodist deacon is a navy blue suit with a white shirt or blouse.

Deacons wear the cross of the MDO, given at their ordination.

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