Dear Partners and Friends,
After not being in the UK for two years because of the COVID restrictions, I finally made it back last November 2022 for our Ministers Conference at our headquarters in Walsall. I really enjoyed being back. It was a powerful conference and well attended by ministers from many different nations. It reminded me that the Lord put a special love for the UK in my heart many years ago. We had a very successful meeting in London before this with almost 1500 people in attendance as well. We believe the UK is ready for even bigger ministry events!
I’ve decided to start our Grace and Faith conferences up again this coming June 2023. However, we’ve had to make a change in the location. The Telford International Centre that we used for the last several years before Covid is not an option this year.
I made a decision at the end of 2021 not to have the conference over the bank holiday in 2022 because of the continuing uncertainty regarding ongoing restrictions at that time. It takes a lot of planning and effort to pull a conference of that size together. So, due to the facts at that time, I cancelled the meeting. The UK government unexpectedly removed their restrictions on gatherings in March of 2022, but it was too late for us to advertise and put on a conference of that size. The Telford venue said we had to have the conference or pay a cancellation fee. I told them that if they did we would not be back. They charged us for the cancellation fee of almost £40,000 so we had to move on.
We have moved to the NEC in Birmingham for this year’s conference. The venue is much bigger with more facilities, and better accommodation and transportation links which we feel will draw more people to come. The venue’s expenses are higher than the Telford venue but it’s closer to our headquarters in Walsall and we should be able to save some money on accommodations for all our workers. But it is still very expensive to put on a conference of this magnitude and that’s the reason for this letter. I would really appreciate it if you could help us with the finances in advance as many of you have done so before.
We have to put a first initial security deposit of £11,000+VAT in December 2022, and another £11,000+VAT in February 2023, with other larger amounts in both March 2023, and April 2023. The total expenses for this conference will be over £160,000. We went in the red for these Grace and Faith conferences for many years until I went to you, our partners, and asked for some help up front, before the event. Because of your response, the last three years in Telford we actually covered all of the increasing expenses. What a blessing. Would you like to support us by sowing into this work again??
Duane and Sue Sheriff will be with me again as well as Mike and Carrie Pickett. Of course, Charlie and Jill LeBlanc will be leading the praise and worship again and I believe this is going to be better than ever. We’ve seen awesome things in the past, and I’ve learned the Lord never serves dessert first. There is always something sweeter to come. So, I’m excited about doing the Grace and Faith conference at the NEC and would love to see you there.
We’ve changed some things. The conference will start on Thursday night and conclude on Saturday evening. We will have a graduation service for all our Charis schools in the UK on Saturday afternoon. Mike and Carrie Pickett will be ministering along with Duane and myself. You are going to love the Picketts. They head up all our Charis schools worldwide. They are a special couple that will touch your heart with their love for the Lord and you.
So, please make plans to join me and the team for our 2023 Grace and Faith conference in Birmingham this year. And if you can help us with this deposit and finances towards the conference, we would really appreciate it.