The organisers behind Big Church Day Out (BCDO) have announced that the BCDO North event "will be cancelled in 2019 and beyond" due to "financial uncertainty".
In a statement, issued on Saturday, BCDO said the projected numbers attending had failed to materialise.
Please liaise with BCDO directly if you have booked tickets for BCDO 2019. BCDO South will go ahead as planned.
Here is the statement from BCDO in full:
Big Church Day Out 2019 and Beyond to be Cancelled
It is with enormous sadness and disappointment that the trustees and team at the Big Church Day Out are announcing that BCDO North will be cancelled in 2019 and beyond. 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 that to continue with the event would create such a level of financial uncertainty for the charity that it would be irresponsible to put the charity in such a position if we were to move forward with BCDO North.
First, we want to say the most enormous thank you to all those in the North West that have shared our vision and journeyed with us over these past two years to help create two amazing events that we know impacted many lives. The commitment and support from those that came was incredible, and we are so grateful to the many that invested both practically and financially into a vision for the church that we had every hope and intention of being around for many years to come. We were excited that in year one 12,000 attended, and almost the same number again in 2018. However, 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, one of which is the incredible amount of donor funding that has been so generously given in an attempt to create a sustainable event that we had intended to be around for a long time.
The projected numbers that were needed to build the event longer term, were 15,000 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. We are very aware that events the size of BCDO need a few years to grow to a sustainable level but sadly because of the lower than projected numbers in the first two years we have 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 in 2019, and we will be in touch with all ticket holders to discuss whether you like to come to BCDO South or receive a full refund for the 2019 event.
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 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.
Once again, we are truly sorry for having to publish this very sad news and want to thank you in advance for your understanding.
With a grateful heart
Tim Jupp and the BCDO Trustees