To all in our New Wine community
Since we last updated you, we’ve been working hard on plans for our digital event (29 July – 3 August). United Breaks Out is coming to you again this summer and it will be even better than last year – we know that you are going to love the programme we are crafting to serve you! More on that in a moment…
We have also been doing all we can to try and run three smaller physical gatherings in Peterborough – United Elements 1 and 2 and Sixty One. We promised you that we would try. We have. We also promised you that we wouldn’t do anything to put you, our New Wine family, at risk. We honour that promise and have had to conclude that we can’t proceed with United Elements or Sixty One this summer.
We know those of you that have booked (or were planning to) will be disappointed to hear this. We’re sorry, we’re disappointed too. As much as we longed to gather physically with some of you this summer, we cannot let that longing move us to take decisions that are unwise.
John Wimber said that faith is spelt r.i.s.k. We completely stand on the foundation God built us on, so when He tells us to step out in faith on something, we’ll step out obediently and take those risks. But RISK is also spelt r.i.s.k and God has given us leadership wisdom to steward New Wine well and not take risks that He hasn’t directed us to take – ones that could put you and us in harm’s way.
Why have we decided that we can’t proceed?
We made it clear that our physical gatherings were never guaranteed and would depend on a wide variety of factors changing in time. We asked you to book before 30 March so we could know if enough of you felt able to commit to a physical summer event before we commit around £1.7million on non-refundable contracts.
Many of you have booked, but many of you have told us that you don’t have that level of certainty right now. We hear you. Neither do we. The government roadmap gave some certainty, but it hasn’t given us enough to make firm plans for the summer yet.
Some vital things the events industry needed to see change so that we could make summer events happen, haven’t materialised yet. Insurance for covid cover is impossible to secure and local authorities can still close down gatherings of our size with virtually no notice. We have no clarity on whether vaccine certification or negative covid testing would be required for entry to mass gatherings and the results of the trials the government is doing about mass gathering management won’t now report for some months. The New Wine team and the volunteers that make United events happen are good, but we’re not that good and can’t organise three events for over 8,000 people in a few weeks!
In short – it is too risky for New Wine to go ahead with this. We won’t jeopardise our future by trying.
Just as importantly, we’ve heard from some of you that you are anxious emerging from lockdown and won’t feel safe to be around thousands of others this quickly. Our medical team leaders have concluded that there will still be medical risks this year for them and their team, as well as our volunteers and New Wine staff. They also advise that you would be at increased risk of catching and transmitting covid if you aren’t vaccinated and attended an event of this size this summer. We take their advice and recommendation seriously and won’t put you, them or us at risk.
If you have already booked, you will have received an email with all your options. If you haven’t, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There was never any financial risk to you in booking, you can have a full refund or choose to transfer your booking to United 22 at the original United 21 flash-sale ticket price. That’s our way of saying thank you for standing with us and trying to make this happen.
But there won’t be a New Wine gap in your summer ’21:
United Breaks Out again
Launching Thursday 29 July and running until Tuesday 3 August, we have a bumper 6-day programme for you to dig deep into scripture, receive Holy Spirit ministry, get lost in worship and be in New Wine community even while we’re still scattered. Put those dates in your diary if you haven’t already. Building on UBO 20, the Arena, Impact, Kids and Luminosity (youth) channels will be back with everything you loved plus a few additions.
We know that local church communities will want to gather together to experience UBO if they can and of course that’s loads better than sitting in front of a screen at home, if you’re able to. We’re planning to broadcast much of UBO to as many of our New Wine churches that want it and will make that as accessible and as easy for you as we possibly can.
‘Will it be free this year?’ is probably the question you most want answered right now. We’re working on that as I type. If we can find a way to enable our New Wine churches to broadcast UBO for free as they gather locally, we will.
We’ve currently budgeted for almost £500,000 of ticket sales because production teams and speakers will need paying and we have 30 staff plus an organisation to keep running, without which we cannot get United 22 up and ready. But going back to faith is spelt r.i.s.k, we also sense God nudging us to be generous again this year, just like He asked us to be last year.
So, we are re-working our ticketing plans and will announce in mid-April exactly how you can access UBO. We may have to charge adults a small ticket price for accessing the whole of the programme on demand back at home if they want to see things their churches aren’t showing that day, or they want to watch something again. We have already committed that under 18s can join in with UBO for free, even though the Youth team will still need a large budget for their pizza competitions!
Give so that we can sow
At this point, if you can support us financially as a church or as an individual then please give generously at new-wine.org/give. If God is indeed asking us to give UBO away and make a loss on ticket sales that our budget sorely needs, then we know that He’s already releasing that provision to enable it. Perhaps you are part of that provision to enable thousands of us to join to worship this summer.
UBO reached 50,000 people last year. We know that many of those will never be able to afford to buy digital tickets and are desperate to be in some form of community and meet with the Lord again at UBO this summer. We’re looking for partners to provide for us so that we can provide for them.
Give generously so that we can give away what we have. That target of £500K is achievable if lots of us give a little. If some are called to give more, then New Wine will not only be able to give UBO away again this year but we’ll also be able to continue expanding our other work; we haven’t just been focusing on the summer.
Supporting leaders, supporting you
We just gathered 2,000 church leaders for our digital leadership conference in March. The feedback brought us to tears of joy at how the Holy Spirit met with leaders and ministered to them; testimonies of leaders being renewed, restored, healed; those that were about to give up being strengthened and refreshed with ministry and prophetic words as God met them where they were at. We know that God is not limited online and we have seen him bless his sons and daughters in beautiful ways through our digital content.
We have also been accelerating a strategy God gave us last year to resource all our New Wine community all year round. If you haven’t yet heard about New Wine Online then head over to new-wine.org/hub to check it out. We’ve built this for you. We’ll be able to meet you there all year round. Your New Wine Online membership will give you access to guided pathways to make space for the Spirit plus a massive library of past New Wine material. Thousands of you bought your USB stick of all the United talks every year. Well for less than that you can now access video United material from a number of years.
But this isn’t about history, or entertainment. This is about Word and Spirit discipleship for mission and equipping you in that. As we get funding to support this new venture, we’ll continue releasing new material, new live conversations and use this as a place for all-year-round New Wine connection and equipping. It’s going to be a place to step away from the busyness and intentionally step into New Wine connection, community and content. We don’t go to New Wine, we are New Wine – and this isn’t a place just to consume content, it’s a space to engage with our community all year round.
New Wine Online has just been launched. Listen out for more details coming soon and ask your church leaders if they’ve bought their membership yet (and what they would recommend to you). We launched it to the church leadership conference first so they’ve had a bit longer to look around, but now you can join too! We can’t wait to see you online soon.
We’ve just given you a massive update, with a lot to take in. To recap:
- We’re so sorry that United Elements and Sixty One can’t happen this year. We have tried our hardest to make it happen but it just wasn’t meant to be.
- Don’t forget to save the date for United Breaks Out: 29 July – 3 August and keep coming back to the website for more news and details on how to join in. Tell your church to get ready because we’ll help them to gather around UBO if they want to, including support for kids and youth.
- Give generously if you can. We’re looking for partners to provide for us so that we can provide for the wider New Wine family again this summer. We’ll make UBO as accessible as we can and sacrifice the ticket sales we’ve budgeted for if God confirms this to us and asks us to trust in his provision via donations: new-wine.org/give.
- Check out New Wine Online at new-wine.org/hub and get an annual pass if you like what you see. You don’t have to wait until July to experience United again if you don’t want to!
We continue to pray for you in these times. Please continue to pray for us and all the New Wine leaders as we make our best, God-directed decisions together and seek to continue serving our local churches for the sake of this nation.
We are #alwaysunited with you,
Paul Harcourt (National Leader) & Jules Morgan (Executive Director)