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Christian summer festival hangs in balance over £100k shortfall

by Donna Birrell
Creation Fest two.png - Banner image
Creation Fest

A Christian summer worship event in Cornwall is currently facing a £100k deficit for its event this year. 

Organisers of the Creation Fest Big Weekend, which is due to be held on 30th July - 1st August, are urging people to pray for guidance as they are facing increasing costs because of the pandemic.

Sarah Yardley, Mission lead of Creation Fest, told Premier the last few months have created extra challenges:  

"At the time that we made the decision to move forward, we were incredibly hopeful that the guidance would be clear and easy. And secondly, that as an in-person gathered event, that there would be a real hunger and appetite from the audience of Christians nationally to gather and get together. And we just haven't seen that translate into the numbers that we originally expected."

So far, only 35 per cent of the campaign space at the site at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge has been booked.

Sarah Yardley, who is also a canon at Truro Cathedral, says other challenges are putting pressure on this year's event, such as the need for social distancing and requirements around sanitising stations and bubbles to work with children. 

"But the reality is, the event has just cost us significantly more than we originally budgeted. And so we want to make the final decision about this Summer in a way that honours everyone who's involved."

Sarah acknowledges that many others organising events are facing similar challenges. But she is asking Christians to pray for wisdom on how to move forward with this year's event : 

"After the 18 months that we have all had, I do feel there's such a deep sense of longing for embodied community. I've engaged with Zoom gatherings and I tuned into the online conferences. But there's something about being in the presence of the family of God and being able to see the laughter on someone's face or the tears in someone's eyes - that I think is something we're all longing for in different ways. And so, my prayer is that whatever the format looks like this summer, even if it's just content playing out in churches and church hubs around the country, that there'll be a sense of the embodied family of God, representing the love of God in ways that are incarnational."

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