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Methodism is not “by law established”, so it has no inherent special place in the country’s legal system; it is in law simply an unincorporated association of individuals, like a club. Both before and after the Methodist movement became a church its legal substructure consisted for much of its history in private documents – primarily conference resolutions and the trust deeds under which property was held. Although matters could have been ordered otherwise the system which emerged was one in which different aspects of church life at society and circuit level were the responsibility of separate bodies. In particular property (and for many years also children’s work) were outside the control of the Leaders’ Meeting. Property was vested in, and administered by, separate and self-perpetuating bodies of trustees [ CPD -The Genesis of the Methodist Church Act 1976]