MEDIA ALERT: Helping Churches To Make A Positive Difference In Their Communities


For the first time since the pandemic, the Gather Movement ( will host a national Summit bringing church unity groups together from across the nation, from Sunderland and Southampton to Lincoln and London. Andy Burnham, the Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester, will address the Summit to explore how the Church can play a role in the recovery from Covid and in the present cost of living crisis. The Summit will take place at Audacious Church in Manchester from 21-22 June. More details can be found at and tickets can be booked at Ticket prices range from £52.50 to £75.

The Gather Movement is a relational network of 160+ church unity groups in towns, cities, and regions who are passionate about working together to see our places improved socially, culturally, environmentally, and spiritually. Over the last two years, many of these groups have been working with their civic leaders, serving their communities practically and this Summit will provide the opportunity to come together to reflect on what has been achieved and be envisioned for the future.

Andy Burnham will be commenting on the ‘Movement for Recovery’ that has emerged as a significant Gather Movement project helping church unity groups respond in a strategic and co-ordinated way to the needs of people in our cities and towns. In London, a Movement for Recovery was launched in May addressing specifically the mental health and wellbeing needs that have become particularly prevalent. With addresses from both Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, and Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, churches across the capital were inspired to better serve their communities.

Andy Frost, co-CEO of Gather Movement, commented,

We are delighted to be hosting the Summit in person this year and we look forward to hearing stories of how church unity groups have served their communities over the past two years. We are delighted to be welcoming Andy Burnham to hear of the present needs and how we can work better with civic leaders. Our prayer is that this Summit will be a catalyst to help churches continue to collaborate in partnership with civic leaders to serve their communities.

Rev. Ian Rutherford, City Centre Minister at Methodist Central Hall Manchester, will be interviewing Andy Burnham at the Summit. He added, “it has been great to work with Andy Burnham as his Faith Sector Lead on Homelessness and Housing and on Food Security and to launch Movement for Recovery in Greater Manchester in 2020 to mobilise churches and charities to contribute on his shared missions across the region. We look forward to his address to the Summit exploring how the Church can play its part in the recovery process.”

Contributors to this event include: Andy Burnham, Dr. Tani Omideyi, Linda Ward, Rev Stephen Sutton, Professor Paul Williams, Rev Celia Apeagyei-Collins, Rachael Heffer, Dai Goodridge, Andy Flannagan, Tony Vino, and the Victory Outreach Worship Band. A full list can be found at

Written by: Rhoda Hardie

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