CMJ UK Conference and Coronavirus Update 2

At this difficult time for many self-isolating, socially distancing, key workers and those mourning the loss of loved ones due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to take a moment to update you about ongoing plans for the CMJ Conference 2020. 

We know many of you have questions about the status of the event.  Will it go ahead as planned, or will it be cancelled?  We now face these hard questions, knowing that it is impossible to forecast the state of the recovery by the time of our event in July. 

The planning committee, Senior Management Team and Trustees are prayerfully monitoring the situation and paying close attention to the directives of government and health agencies. 

Several considerations will factor into our final decision, and chief among them is the health and safety of those attending the Conference, our staff and volunteers, the Conference Centre staff and of course our speakers.

There is much uncertainty at this time (2nd April 2020).  Yet we need to stick to our preparation plans should confirmation be given that the Conference, that we have been looking forward to so much, can go ahead. 

The latest update we can share with you all is that at this stage we are unable to cancel the Conference without incurring a cancellation fee of 75% which amounts to over £30,000.  On top of this, we would be refunding to those who have booked £23,000.  If the Government advise The Hayes, Swanwick, that gatherings of this size are not to go ahead then we will be allowed to cancel without penalty – to date they have only advised cancellations to the end of May 2020.  

We have already investigated options for deferring the event to later in the year but The Hayes at Swanwick do not have any weekends available before mid-December when we could have sole occupancy.  

You may be aware of other large events cancelling for later in the year than our Conference is planned.  The reason larger events are cancelling so early is that they need an extensive, three months or more, preparation time to get all their equipment into place.  If, and we accept it may be a big if, we get clearance by the end of May we should still be able to get everything in place for a successful weekend at the beginning of July.

If you as an individual feel you need to cancel at this stage we will honour that and refund your deposit, or some have generously directed these funds towards the Spring Appeal, Conference Bursary fund or to the Mercy Fund operated by Christ Church, Jerusalem.  For everyone else, when we have a definitive decision on whether we are to go ahead or not, we will discuss options of refunds or carry forward bookings to next year, or an alternative date if we can arrange one. 

We will not be seeking the balance of the payments by the end of April.  We will link this to a timescale when we have certainty about the Conference going ahead in July 2020.  

The arrangements for Day visitors are also caught up in this uncertainty.  We are unable to confirm day visitor spaces until we have confirmation that the Conference can go ahead. 

We sincerely pray our 2020 CMJ Conference can go ahead as planned.  Please join with CMJ UK in praying for those afflicted by the virus, for the healthcare workers valiantly working to save lives, and for our governmental leaders to have wisdom as this pandemic unfolds.  Let’s also take this time to pray that the Gospel would continue to go forth and many would be saved. 

May God continue to pour out His grace, mercy and Shalom on us all.  

Conference Team & Senior Management Team 

Please direct any responses to this email: conference@cmj.org.uk  

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