New Wine fears for future after cancelling summer events

New Wine draws thousands of Christians together each year

New Wine has been forced to cancel its summer events over the coronavirus pandemic but it fears that the hefty cost will jeopardise its future.

In a statement on Friday, New Wine announced that its United and Luminosity events in July would no longer be taking place. 

It is the first time in New Wine's history that it has cancelled its summer events and it said it had done so with a "very sad heart" in light of recent government advice. 

"As followers of Jesus, our mandate is to love one another. We want to go above and beyond to ensure the physical, spiritual, emotional and financial wellbeing of the New Wine family," it said. 

New Wine is offering to refund ticketholders, but in light of the significant financial impact, is asking them to consider donating all or part of the fee to help the ministry meet the cost of cancelling. 

"We recognise that many members of our family may feel particularly anxious in this turbulent and uncertain time and some will face an extremely difficult financial situation," it said.

"As such, in this extraordinary circumstance, whatever our Terms & Conditions might say, we believe it is the right thing to do to offer full refunds (minus deposit) to all those who request them.

"However, we have already had to outlay or commit to significant fees in preparation for this summer, which we will not be able to recoup at this late stage.

"In offering refunds, we are placing ourselves in your hands and under God's provision. The decision to make refunds available could cost New Wine £1.06million and place not only future New Wine United events at risk, but the ongoing mission of New Wine – training, mentoring, planting and supporting local churches to change nations.

"If you are able to donate all or part of your ticket fee to New Wine, we would be extremely grateful and if you are able to donate additional funds to cover those who aren't in the same position, this would play a huge part in securing the future of New Wine and our mission." 

Earlier this week, Spring Harvest made a similar appeal to ticketholders when it cancelled its four-week event over coronavirus concerns. 

Spring Harvest had been due to get underway on April 4 at Butlins in Minehead. In its announcement, organisers said the financial consequences "will be serious". 

"We are in an unprecedented situation," said Spring Harvest Chair Gavin Calver.

"Please do pray for us and please would you consider donating some of your refund to ensure that Spring Harvest's unique ministry continues? We would be so grateful for any help whatsoever."