Hop across to the Big Church Day Out’s Facebook page and you’ll be told that the BCDO is ‘the UK’s largest annual gathering of the wider church that creates a space for all denominations and ages to gather each year for two exciting days of worship and celebration.’
Oh, and that one can buy tickets for next year’s northern event at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire in 2019.
Except you can’t buy tickets because the organisers have announced on their official website that:
It’s with enormous sadness and disappointment that the Big Church Day Out Trustees and Team are announcing that BCDO North will be cancelled in 2019 and beyond.
Someone called Tim Jupp, above, posted the announcement of the cancellation, explaining that:
Having recently met to pray and discuss at length the future viability of continuing with the Big Church Day Out North, the Trustees have come to the conclusion this would create such a level of financial uncertainty that it would be irresponsible to put the charity in such a position if we were to move forward with BCDO North …The projected numbers that were needed to build the North event longer term were 15,000 attendees in year one and then a healthy increase in year two. Unfortunately, we only achieved 12,000 in year one and then very surprisingly to us and many others, we did, in fact, have a few hundred less in year two, and saw no growth.
As many of you know, the Big Church Day Out is a hugely expensive event to put on, and whilst we have never looked at tickets sales to cover all of our costs, we do nonetheless need a certain critical mass to offset the other income streams.
We are very aware that events the size of BCDO need a few years to grow to a sustainable level, but because of the lower than projected numbers in the first two years, we have sadly not been able to afford the luxury of having enough time to keep building.
If you have already purchased a ticket for BCDO North 2019 we would love to see you at BCDO South 2019. We will be in touch with all ticket holders to discuss whether you’d like to come to BCDO South or receive a full refund.
Unfortunately the cancellation doesn’t spell the complete demise of this festival of fools.
The Team and Trustees remain more committed than ever to the original vision of BCDO; that through creating a space for unity, worship and evangelism, the Big Church Day Out might be a light on a hill for the church in the UK for a long time to come. We will be throwing all our efforts into developing the site at Wiston House [in West Sussex] over the next few years, which has the capacity to double in size, and look forward to welcoming people from all over the UK on the May Bank Holiday weekend each year.