Gather Movement Summit - I see a new city

July 10, 2024

On 17th and 18th June, the Gather Summit brought together individuals, charities, churches and organisations to understand and navigate how cities can be transformed. There is power in churches coming together and connecting with health and civic organisations and partners to transform towns and cities.

The summit featured a diverse lineup of influential speakers, including:

  • Letitia Shelton, founder of City Women & City Free from Porn
  • Dr. Sarah Williams, historian and cultural commentator
  • Tani Omideyi, Senior Pastor at Love and Joy Ministries
  • Andy Frost, Joint CEO of Gather Movement
  • Lord Michael Farmer, advocate for family support
  • Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Prof. Paul Williams, CEO of Bible Society

Gather Movement has a practical tool that can support you in their social action mapping to provide to local authorities with a picture of what churches are doing throughout cities to support children and families. Click here to find out more. This is a great opportunity for local authorities to signpost to the work that churches are doing.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, spoke about the power of networking and the bottom-up action. There is power in church unity and city transformation and this fosters a collaborative environment to drive societal change. 

Tani Omideyi, Chair of Liverpool Lighthouse and current chair of Evangelical Alliance UK, shared a powerful phrase ‘speak up, stand as one’. So often churches are called to one mission area and this is more effective for greater impact and sustainability. Churches can cultivate deep expertise and drive long-term change. As churches collaborate, churches can collectively address a wide range of issues. This depth-over-breadth approach ensures that each mission receives the attention and resources necessary to truly make a difference. This aligns with one of ChurchWork’s aims to speak with the government as one powerful voice, showcasing the work of the church and partners, locally and nationally. 

Jess Foster, head of Church Engagement at Trussell Trust, spoke about how the bible talks about ‘pulling people out the river but the church needs to be there to stop people from falling in.’ This speaks to the Church’s role to address the underlying issues, immediately care and proactively engage in tackling the root causes of society’s problems. Churches are able to support with this structural change while adopting a one city approach, for all sectors, faith, business, social and voluntary to share the journey of transformation.

The Gather summit celebrated diversity and the importance of unity. As ChurchWorks, we have three mission areas for the work of the Commission: anti-poverty, mental health & wellbeing and vulnerable children & families. We have committed to work with each other, with our thousands of churches at grassroots level, and with the government to deliver collaborative action towards the flourishing of all and the protection of the most vulnerable.

Written by
Rianna Ward
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