New Wine ‘Disappointed’ at Mike Pilavachi Investigation Findings: The New Wine festival which originated from Rev David Pytches-led St. Andrews Chorleywood along with Soul Survivor has issued a statement in response to the findings of the internal investigation into Soul Survivor’s founding pastor, Mike Pilavachi, describing the investigation’s results as “shocking and deeply disappointing.
In addition to expressing sadness over the internal investigation findings, The organization, whose family festivals took place in the same location as Soul Survivor, acknowledged in a statement the courage of those who shared their stories with the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team (NST).“
We want to express our sadness and empathy with the pain so many are feeling and recognize and commend the courage of the victims, those who have bravely shared their stories, and those seeking to make the church safer for all,” the statement read.
The group’s comment however has sparked reactions on social media more because of what they lack than what they include.
Some victims and former attendees of both festivals contend the statement falls short of what was needed as a result of their failure to acknowledge the close connection between Mike Pilavachi and the family church network.
According to the Premier report, the first New Wine festival took place in Shepton Mallet in 1989, with Mike Pilavachi leading the work with young people. In 1993, St. Andrew’s planted Soul Survivor church in Watford. Mike Pilavachi was part of a group of eleven people, including the current chair of trustees David Mitchell, and Ken and Jeannie Morgan. That same year, Soul Survivor launched its eponymous festival, which hosted 1,896 attendees in the first year. It grew rapidly and became a popular no destination for up to 30,000 thousand Christian young people a year in the decades that followed.
For years, the leadership team at both festivals supported each other, with Mike Pilavachi, Matt Redman, and Beth Redman being regular attendees at both. In 2014, Soul Survivor and New Wine published a songbook together.