Independent review launched into links between New Wine and Mike Pilavachi

Mike Pilavachi founded Soul Survivor in 1993.(Photo: Soul Survivor)

An independent review is to be carried out into whether there are any links between allegations against Soul Survivor founder Mike Pilavachi and New Wine. 

New Wine trustees have commissioned Fiona Scolding KC to conduct the review, which will include an audit into the nature and extent of the relationship between the evangelical church network and Pilavachi.

Bishop Jill Duff, chair of New Wine trustees, said the investigation was being launched to ascertain whether any allegations against Pilavachi concerned his conduct at New Wine events, and "to highlight what we can learn for the future".

"Many have been hurt by Mike Pilavachi's behaviour," she said.

"We are in the process of doing this and will report as soon as possible. In the meantime, I would again urge anyone affected to seek the support and care that is available.

"Our priority is to enable a safe space for survivors to come forward, be heard and be cared for."

New Wine said it intended to publish Scolding's findings in full.

Scolding, a leading safeguarding barrister, is already conducting a review into Soul Survivor but the two are separate and information will not be shared between them, New Wine said. 

A separate investigation by the Church of England's National Safeguarding Team (NST) and the Diocese of St Albans concluded earlier this year. It found that Pilavachi's conduct fell short "of that expected of a priest in the Church of England". The investigation concerned a complaint about his verbal interactions with a vulnerable person.

Other allegations against Pilavachi have included inappropriate behaviour with young men while at Soul Survivor, including lengthy wrestling matches and oil massages. 

Anyone affected by the issues raised in this story can contact Safe Spaces for free, confidential and independent support at