Spring Harvest

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Spring Harvest

Spring Harvest Logo.JPG

Spring Harvest is part of the Memralife Group
Type The Memralife Group is registered as a British charity and a private company, limited by guarantee with no share capital
Founded 1979 (Spring Harvest) / 2009 (Memralife)
Founder(s) Clive Calver, Peter Meadows
Headquarters
Key people Rt Rev Pete Broadbent (Chair)
Rev Dr Ian White (Vice Chair)
Peter Martin (CEO)
Wendy Beech-Ward (Executive Director)
Malcolm Duncan (Chair of the event planning group)
Area served UK and the World
Focus(es) To serve and enable the Church and to equip and inspire individuals in the Christian faith to live as disciples of Jesus Christ
Method(s) Conferences, events, resources, financial grants
Revenue Decrease£ 5,866,729 (Memralife group, 2011)
Employees 63 (2011)
Motto Equipping the Church for Action
Website www.springharvest.org

Spring Harvest is an inter-denominational Christian conference and gathering in the United Kingdom. Its "Main Event" takes place annually at the Butlins resorts in Minehead and Skegness over the Easter school holiday period.

First held in 1979 as a one-week one-site event at Prestatyn, Spring Harvest rapidly evolved and is now held at Butlins resorts in Minehead and Skegness every year.

The format for 2010 changed to five 'event-weeks' each consisting of 6 days (5 nights) – three event-weeks at Minehead and two at Skegness - one week fewer than in 2009. This pattern remained for 2011, with approximately 28,000 people attending over these five event-weeks, including day visitors.[1] Then in 2012 and 2013 whilst the three Minehead weeks were retained there was only one Skegness week. In 2014 three of the four weeks available were reduced by one day.

The tone is generally evangelical with modern worship music, workshops and Bible study groups. The programme offers different streams for age groups such as children, young people, families, adults, etc. The organization also runs a number of events, conferences and courses and produces a range of resources. Spring Harvest exists to 'equip the Church for action'. Through a range of events, conferences, books and resources, Spring Harvest seeks to enable Christians to make an impact in their local communities and the wider world.[2]

History[edit]

Location and attendance[edit]

  • 1979: The first Spring Harvest event at Prestatyn, North Wales with 2,701 attending.
  • 1986: For the first time Spring Harvest took place at two locations in the UK: Three weeks in Prestatyn, and two weeks in Butlins Minehead.
  • 1988: At the 10th Spring Harvest, the attendance was over 50,000 mark.
  • 1989: Spring Harvest expanded to three locations, opening up a new Centre at Butlin's Ayr, Scotland.
  • 1994: Over 70,000 Christians attended Spring Harvest at its four locations in Ayr, Minehead, Pwllheli and Skegness.
  • 2008: Spring Harvest Main Event take place over five weeks across the Skegness and Minehead sites, to accommodate the varied times of UK schools' Easter holidays.

Social campaigns and fund raising for causes[edit]

  • 1982: At the outbreak of the Falklands War, Spring Harvest sent a telegram to the Prime Minister expressing 'the love and concern felt by Christians for both governments and peoples involved.' £7,800 was collected and sent to the Church in Argentina.
  • 1988: A worship album was launched, with profits going to Christian projects involved in supporting those with HIV/AIDS. It went on to raise over £20,000.
  • 1991: £250,000 was given in voluntary offerings for a wide range of Christian work. £49,000 raised for a 'Greener Burkina' by the youth programme, was used to replant a forest and build a dam to alleviate drought conditions in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
  • 1994 Spring Harvest brought attention to the Yugoslav Wars by sending a film crew to Mostar - a UN designated War Zone.
  • 1999: Spring Harvest raises thousands of pounds to help the victims of brutality in the Kosovo War.
  • 2000: Spring Harvest launches Generation 2000+ at Minehead, the family week, in conjunction with Care for the Family and raises over £1 million for children worldwide through the 'remember me' project.

Linked initiatives[edit]

  • 1993: Spring Harvest Word Alive was launched in-conjunction with the Keswick Convention, Proclamation Trust and UCCF.
  • 1996: Spring Harvest launched an initiative with Focus, and Holy Trinity, Brompton.
  • 1998: Spring Harvest unveils plans to develop its activities, the first new initiative 'At Work Together' a conference for Leaders planned for September 1998. Alongside the developments a new Corporate Identity is also launched.
  • 2003: Spring Harvest Holidays is launched with the holiday site in the Vendée, western France, opening to its first visitors. The first 'Youthwork the conference' takes place in Southport in November 2003.
  • 2007: Spring Harvest Word Alive takes place for the final time following a communication to its partners by Spring Harvest that it was no longer possible to continue the format. Word Alive will be continuing without Spring Harvest under the name New Word Alive.

Governance[edit]

  • 1993: Spring Harvest became a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
  • 2009: Spring Harvest and ICC Media Group complete merger to form Memralife Group.[3]
  • 2009: Pilgrim Hall Christian Conference Centre in Sussex becomes latest member of the Memralife Group.[4]
  • 2010: After 20 years as CEO, Alan Johnson retires. Peter Martin appointed acting CEO of Memralife Group, this appointment being made permanent later in the year.

Main event annual themes[edit]

Each year’s main event has a teaching theme.

  • 2015 : Immeasurably More
  • 2014 : Unbelievable
  • 2013 : The Source - Encountering Jesus Today
  • 2012 : Church Actually - God's Brilliant Idea
  • 2011 : Route 66 - Biblical direction for the road we travel
  • 2010 : Different Eyes - Living distinctively in a time of uncertainty
  • 2009 : Apprentice = Walking the way of Christ
  • 2008 : One Hope
  • 2007 : One People
  • 2006 : One God : (The first event in a series of Three [THE BIG STORY])
  • 2005 : Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land
  • 2004 : Grace Academy : Losing to Win.
  • 2003 : Shepherd's Bush to King's Cross: Your connection to the mission of God.
  • 2002 : You've Got Mail : Jesus writes to His Church - Looking at the seven churches in the Book of Revelation.
  • 2001 : King of the Hill : looking at the Sermon on the Mount.
  • 2000 : A Royal Banquet : The inspiration for the Millennium – Looking at John’s Gospel.
  • 1999 : Past Imperfect Future Tense
  • 1998 : Across the border line
  • 1997 : Solid Rock : The Ten Commandments.
  • 1996 : Beyond Belief
  • 1995 : Take off your shoes
  • 1994 : Dancing in the dark
  • 1993 : Living on the edge
  • 1992 : Meanwhile back at the cross
  • 1991 : Shaken but not Stirred
  • 1990 : Uncage the Lion
  • 1989 : Deckchairs on the Titanic : What influences the church today.
  • 1988 : Who’s pulling your strings : Looking at the forces and pressures which influence the world.
  • 1987 : Where Truth and Justice Meet
  • 1986 : This is your God
  • 1985 : Lights to the World
  • 1984 : The Servant King
  • 1983 : The Power and the Glory

Media coverage[edit]

  • In Week 2 at Minehead in 2003, Spring Harvest was featured on the BBC programme Songs of Praise. The first 'week' (week 1), still in Minehead, Spring Harvest was featured on both local and national news as a sickness bug spread rapidly around the event.[5]
  • In Week 3 at Minehead in 2006, the BBC returned to pre-record a Pentecost edition of Songs of Praise, and also to transmit a live Easter morning service from the event.
  • Spring Harvest has also featured in other media, including BBC radio, and also regularly in Christian media.

Impact on Churches[edit]

Hylson-Smith comments that non-denominational activities such as Spring Harvest did much to encourage pan-evangelicalism which tended to minimise historical differences between denominations[6] and Bebbington sees it as bringing together keen charismatics and non-charismatics at a time when tensions were still high between the two groups.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Memralife Group Financial Statements (to 30 November 2011). 
  2. ^ Spring Harvest Web Site
  3. ^ ICC Media Group and Spring Harvest merge at the Wayback Machine (archived March 29, 2009)
  4. ^ Pilgrim Hall Christian Conference Centre at the Wayback Machine (archived May 20, 2010)
  5. ^ "More hit by holiday camp virus". BBC News. 17 April 2003. 
  6. ^ Hylson-Smith, Kenneth. Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 Edinburgh:T & T Clark (1988) p.292
  7. ^ Bebbington, David. Evangelicalism in Modern Britain Routledge (1989) p.247

External links[edit]