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Methodist Festival cannot take place

The Methodist Festival Planning Group is meeting near Frankfurt since April 26th.
For more than two years a working group has prepared a third Festival for Methodist churches in Europe to be held in Kraków, Poland from August 8-12. At the beginning of planning, in September 2010, a deadline was set for 500 registrations before the 1st May 2012 in order to achieve a successful and financially balanced Festival.

At our meeting in Frankfurt, Germany on April 26-27th we have considered the number of registrations so far and the possibility of further registrations. We have prayed together and held a deep and intense discussion. Each member has shared their sense of how the preparations have been going and what is still needed for a successful outcome.

We have had to conclude that there is no prospect of reaching the target of 500 registrations by the end of April since on April 27th there were only 250 actual registrations. This means that we will not reach the target of 850 registrations for the Festival itself which was the number required to break even. The rate of registrations in the last two months is too low to reach that target. At the previous two festivals, Potsdam 2003 and Bratislava 2007 which each reached more than 1000 participants, there were already 600 registrations at the beginning of May.

We discussed an extension of the deadline but realized that this would not change the overall situation, especially in terms of the financial risk and our commitment to good stewardship.
We therefore sadly needed to decide that it is time to cancel the Festival. We do this with heavy hearts but in the knowledge that further delay would cause greater difficulties for participants and those who have volunteered to help.

The purpose of holding the Festival was to make a strong Methodist witness to people in Europe. If we are not going to achieve this we have a responsibility to take a clear decision now.
We wish to thank all those who have offered their services. Many have already contributed their time. We are very grateful. Even more, we are aware that some people have already booked their places and bought their travel tickets. We are deeply conscious of these commitments. We will of course refund all Festival payments.

We continue to meet and discuss arrangements for dismantling the Festival which will cause as little difficulty and suffering as possible. We will take care to reduce inconvenience as much as we can. We will contact everyone who has booked.

We believe that in due course new possibilities will open up for Methodist Churches to share their witness and strengthen links across Europe.

Alexander von Wascinski (EMYC Secretary - EMF Administration Coordinator)
Andrzej Malicki (United Methodist Church in Poland - EMF Logistics Coordinator)
Armin Besserer (EMC Secretary - EMF Administration Coordinator)
Elaine Robinson (Methodist Church in Britain - EMF Programme Coordinator)
Günter Winkmann (EMC Treasurer - EMF Finances Coordinator)
Hans-Martin Kienle (United Methodist Church Tent Mission)
Jozef Bartos (United Methodist Church in Poland - Pastor in Krakow)
Roy Crowder (Methodist Church in Britain, Partnership Coordinator for Europe - EMF Programme Coordinator)
Verona Lasch (United Methodist Church in Germany - EMF Logistics Coordinator)