TF24

Together for 24

On Saturday 16th November 2024, we are inviting Christians across the Black Country:

To GATHER with the Church of the Black Country, to make a statement to our children and young people about the size of the Body of Christ to which they belong.

To CELEBRATE what God is already doing through our togetherness across our region.

To IMAGINE together what else God could do if we will stand and work as one.

“Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)

In 2020, we gathered at Bethel Convention Centre. In 2022 and 2023, we came together for the inspiring Together Festivals. Now, in 2024, we are calling again for Church to gather once more.

This year, our movement wrestled to secure a venue for our 2024 Festival. But out of that disappointment came, what we believe, is divine call to host another one-night indoor Celebration, like in we did in 2020.

TOGETHER FOR 24

NOVEMBER 16th BETHEL CONVENTION CENTRE

We would encourage people of all ages – children, teenagers, adults and those older in years – to join as one. We envisage a true representation of the size and diversity of the Body of Christ in the Black Country, so please come and represent that unique element of the Church you alone can deliver.

This gathering for all denominations, is more than just a night out. It’s about keeping the flame of Christian oneness alive in the Black Country. God desperately desires his church to be in ‘togetherness’ with himself and each other.

Why? Because it speaks to a hurting world in a way nothing else can. It’s something Jesus prayed for, it’s something that has a voice without words, and it’s a privilege to honour God by responding to this teaching.

Together for 24 is a Kingdom moment – an opportunity to share stories of God’s work in our region, to worship, and to remind ourselves that we are part of something greater than our imaginings.

This night is a catalyst – to propel the Kingdom. Where? Truthfully, we don’t know. But we realise it’s a time where lives can be unified by purpose and inspired to be part of an unprecedented move of God. A time, perhaps, where we dare dream what could be . . .not just a great evening, but a legacy that shapes generations to come.

 

The night is for everyone, a service for all generations brought together by a profound truth: We are stronger together than apart.

With Together Festival in 2025 just around the corner, we can’t wait for the opportunity to gather celebrate and imagine all together in a powerful, poignant night that continues to knit together  the family of God.

Over 2,500 people can be seated at Bethel, and so mark your diary for Saturday, November, 16, 2024 at Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich.

 

More than Gathering, an opportunity for mission.

Gathering is about more than simple attendance: It’s about working together, listening to God and pursuing transformation.

Being together isn't our end goal. We believe oneness in the Church will release an unprecedented move of God in our region. We have seen together create opportunities to grow the church, reach non-Christians, relieve poverty, improve mental health awareness and support the next generation in the Black Country.

What about beyond the Black Country? We cannot warehouse the blessing of God’s togetherness; it carries a responsibility to share its benefits. To this end we are currently working with Compassion UK to twin the Black Country with Cochabamba in Bolivia.

The region has much in common with the Black Country - an industrial heartland with a rich heritage with the same desire as us, to throw their arms around the next generation.

Just two weeks before November 16, a team of Black Country folk are travelling to Cochabamba to meet the people, the projects and needs and receive the blessings our new twins have for us too – no partnership is one way.

As we do what the Lord has called us to do and throw our arms around the next generation in the Black Country, but we must never lose light of the "ends of the Earth".

During the evening we will have opportunity to create this twinning of our regions through Compassion's child sponsorship programme, which enables two-way communication and blessing between Black Country sponsors and Cochabamba's youth and children.

 

What can I expect to see and do?

There will be Street Food vans on the carpark for event-goers to enjoy before and after the main event. You are also welcome to bring your own food and picnic together.

We’re expecting festive crafts tables in the Christmas Makers' Market and there’ll be plenty of time to browse gifts for loved ones

Not least there’ll be an opportunity to meet our incredible sponsors and check out the amazing work they do in our region.

The main event will include contemporary worship, a gospel choir, engaging performances for children, testimonies of what God is doing in the Black Country and how we hope to throw our arms around the next generation, both in the UK and abroad.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Accessibility:

We welcome those with additional needs to be part of our time together. There will be a section of seating available which will accommodate those who may need a less stimulating environment and where there is some freedom to move around. Please ask stewards to show you to this area. Our stewards are aware of the sunflower lanyard scheme or other means of identification, so please bring them if you wish to do so.

British Sign Language (BSL): The evening will be interpreted

Lighting: The evening will include some lighting effects.

Sound: Although the sound will meet standard health and safety guidelines, due to the size of the venue, it may appear to be unavoidably loud. For those who may be sensitive to loud sounds we recommend bringing your own ear defenders. We will have a limited number of ear plugs available at the entrance..

Wheelchair and mobility - The venue is full accessible with lifts, ramps and space for wheelchair users, our stewards will be able to guide you.

Parking

By far the best way to get to the venue would be to share a coach as a church, or even with other churches.

However, there is some parking on site, including disabled parking on a first come first served basis. We have an agreement with A local school (West Bromwich Collegiate Academy) which has 300 spaces a 6 minute walk from the venue. The main road (Kelvin Way) has roughly 200 free spaces, past the college. There are other carparks nearby, between 10-20 minute walks away.

Coaches

Contact tim@thenet.org.uk who has negotiated a group discount churches and organisations can use to hire coaches. Tim will also be able to connect you with a church to share the coaches too.

Information for parents

Information for parents: We welcome children of all ages to join us. All we ask, is all children are always looked after by a responsible adult.

There will be a range of activities and entertainment for children and young people. The first 45 minutes of the main gathering will be especially suitable and engaging for younger members of the audience. We understand not all children will be able to stay for the whole evening and have planned breaks every 45 minutes the first, a 15 minute break, and the second a 30 minute break. 

The final 45 minutes of the evening will have a focus on the next generation and will feature young people taking to the stage to take part in various ways. We urge young people to stay and be a part of this time too, and we ask that everyone remains as part of the gathering too as we want to bless our young people and honour The Lord in so doing.

What time can I leave?

You can leave at any time, there are planned intermissions every 45 minutes. The first a 15 minute break the second a 30 minute break.

This is for all christians, what style or tradition will the evening be in?

We want to bring all traditions together, and appreciate the diversity of styles in the regional body of Christ.  We believe there is more that brings us together than drives us apart, we believe that oneness is more than agreeing on a set of issues. We may not agree on every word or direct theology on the night - but we will content to be together and one, lead by Christ. We will have elements throughout the evening from a range of traditions. Our speakers will represent many different traditions. Our worship will be with contemporary music, as in our experience the majority of our networks have some understanding of that style and it is in particular engaging for the next generation. Undoubtedly, church unity has its challenges, both cultural and spiritual. It requires, grace and humility, we pray everyone joining us will come in that spirit. 

First Aid

There will be first aiders on site, ask a steward to direct you.

Partner Churches

In order to gather a mass representation of the Body of Christ from across the Black Country, we asked individual congregations to become Partner Churches.

Church partnership involved 2 main factors:

  1. Bringing people along.

Bethel Convention Centre is not big enough to handle cars for 2000+ people. Coming together on coaches and minibus' will not only create a exciting sense of 'coming together as a church' but improve your congregations access the event and prevent them having to park and walk a long way. Love Black Country have negotiated a discounted rate for churches or groups. Some churches will even share! If you would like to be part of sharing please contact tim@thenet.org.uk

  1. Helping support the costs of the evening

This is optional as we do not wish charge for the evening, but in the spirit of partnership, we suggest a ‘notional expense’ of £3pp. However we were happy for people to support as they felt led. The remainder of our budget will be raised from an offering on the night, and the support and sponsorship of business and charities.