22 February 2012
Gather conference brings unity movements together
Christian leaders passionate about working together to transform their towns and cities with the good news of Christ met at the first ever Gather conference last week.
Gather is an emerging national network of vibrant unity movements in towns and cities across the UK.
It exists to network and equip groups of churches and Christian organisations working together with a heart for their local areas.
Around 140 people from areas including Newcastle, Liverpool, Reading and Stoke met for the three-day conference at Swanwick between 22 and 24 February.
The conference was a creative mix of teaching, worship, conversation, prayer and worship and included testimonies of how God has been moving in different towns and cities across the country.
Roger Sutton, who leads Gather and is an ambassador for the Evangelical Alliance, said: “"What an extraordinary meeting of people who are actively engaged in building a new expression of unity for the sake of mission.
“We heard story after story of creative, inspiring and effective unity-building that is resulting in changed lives and changed places. There is a growing belief in many places that they see themselves as one Church with many congregations.
“This growing expression of unity is built on long lasting friendships and sustained prayer and the mission it is creating is creative and substantial. When the leaders of these movements say statements such as ‘what is mine is yours’ and ‘geography first, denomination second’, we are living in a new and exciting world where the witness to Christ has moved on to a more significant stage."
Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, added: “It was such an encouragement to hear stories coming in from all over the country of God at work in our towns and cities. It was like finding hidden treasure as one after another people told their stories. Christian leaders coming together, praying, planning, acting in unity to see their communities transformed. It feels like a God movement impacting every area of society.”
For more on Gather, visit www.wegather.co.uk