London is one of the most influential cities in the world. We are encouraged to see local leaders taking initiative and planning Movement Day London (MDL) October 6-7, 2017. Last week Roger Sutton, leader of the GATHER movement and one of the key organizers of Movement Day London 2017 shared more about bringing the vision of MDL to fruition.
What’s the gospel landscape like in London?
London, like other places in the UK, has suffered from significant church decline over the last 100 years. Secularism and consumerism have undermined people’s faith perspective significantly, with only 8% of people now attending church regularly. However, in recent years we have started to see some new growth, with decline being halted and new churches being planted. We are thankful to the influx of Christian migrants from Africa and other countries that have increased the faith, prayer and boldness levels in our city. We have some very large churches now with national and international ministry focuses; several have played a very impactful role in helping build a sense of unity for transformation movements within our city.
Why is London significant, globally? Gospel-wise?
Recent studies by Forbes have placed London as the most influential city in the world, citing it as a global leader in financial services, culture, academia, travel hub, multinational HQ”s, media, advertising, music and fashion. London’s gospel significance lies in its struggle with rampant secularism and the challenge of doing gospel in a very difficult environment. The case studies being done on missions coming out of the UK and London will have significant influence in the western mission context.
Tell us more about who is involved in building a Movement Day London and the broader London gospel movement?
We are seeking to build a very wide collaboration of partners across the UK to deliver the Movement Day London event. For it to be a success it must belong to many and not just a few ministries. It must also come out of the very successful Gospel movements that are in about 120 cities and towns across the UK.
What was the outcome of your December meeting with local and global leaders?
The December meetings were one of several conversations we are having with all the partners connected to Movement Day. At the moment everyone is very supportive of the event and the vision behind it. The aim for Movement Day London is to impact the whole country and inspire cities in Europe. This event is not just an “event” but a 3-year project to accelerate the work of gospel movements with some hopeful key outcomes, including beginning new movements and starting significant networks in diverse spheres.
What is the significance of hosting Movement Day London at Methodist Central Hall Westminster?
This was very much an answer to prayer and the result of years of strong relationships in London that has given way to a strategic and coordinated approach to mission. The building is in such a strategic place in the city overlooking Parliament, near all the main government buildings and next to Westminster Abbey.
What is needed for Movement Day London to be successful?
At the moment we need to continue to build a wide partnership, to raise the necessary finances and to inspire Christians in various spheres to participate.
How can the broader Movement Day community connect with London’s story of gospel movement?
If gospel movements can take root in the UK, especially London, then they can grow in every place in the world. London is the bridge to Europe and increasingly to the Far East.