Festival unity movement growing
An initiative that aims to spread unity between different churches and Christian groups across is set to reach more than 120,000 people at UK Christian festivals this year
The 17.21 project is taking place at a variety of Christian festivals and events in 2017, and is based on the Bible verse John 17:21 ‘May they all be one that the world might believe’. It offers Christians a chance to celebrate what unites them in Jesus and the calling to share the transforming power of the gospel.
Each participating event reads the same Bible reading, prayer of commitment, a declaration of a shared life in Christ and plays the same worship song. An artistic symbol of unity - a scroll full of thumb prints filling in the word "ONE" alongside the 17:21 verse - is transported to each event.
17.21 launched at Spring Harvest in March and runs until November, and has already been to events such as Word Alive and the Big Church Day Out.
David Coffey, former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, helped to develop the initiative alongside Lyndon Bowring (Executive Chairman of CARE), Nola Leach (CEO of CARE) and Steve Clifford (General Director of The Evangelical Alliance).
He said, ‘The differing emphases of the annual festivals and bible conventions represent a breadth of Christian witness, but it has been inspiring to see them uniting in a commitment to fulfill the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21.'
Nola described 17:21 as ‘one of the most exciting initiatives towards unity across Christian groups that we have seen in our lifetime.’
'It’s been great to see so many different Christian festivals and conferences want to take part in this initiative,' she said.
'It’s a significant reminder of just how much we share by believing in Jesus, and what we can achieve when we are united.’
17.21 is still to go to the Keswick Convention, New Wine, and Creationfest and before finishing at the FIEC Leaders' Conference in November.
Steve Clifford added, ‘It has been a wonderful privilege to see unfold before our eyes this amazing expression of unity across the diversity of the evangelical church here in the UK.
‘We trust 17:21 will cause there to be smiles in heaven and greater effectiveness in God's mission here on earth.’
Mike Quantick, the former BMS World Mission Corporate Services Manager, is the 17:21 Logistics Co-ordinator.
For more information, including church resources, visit: https://1721.org.uk/