GLOW Carols by Glowstick

GLOW has been a standout event within Auckland’s Christmas calendar over the last five years. It has brought together Christians as well as those beyond the church’s walls to celebrate the story of hope at the heart of Christmas. We want to acknowledge this wonderful vision as well as the many people within St Paul’s who have made GLOW possible over the years.

Another reality of GLOW is that funding the event has been a significant challenge each year. In response, this year’s fundraising committee determined to raise the funds as early as possible, in order to avoid the usual last minute stress on the core team and congregation.

Unfortunately, the fundraising committee encountered a more challenging headwind than usual, even when we engaged a dedicated and experienced fundraiser to focus on the event. Our goal was to bring to the congregation a hole that could be filled realistically without affecting the church’s existing ministry projects. At our initial fundraising deadline on 17 October that hole was over $100,000. We believed that this was well beyond what was reasonable for a one-off event. Although some funds were secured after our deadline, it became increasingly clear that it was not possible to run GLOW this year without significant financial risk to the church.

As well as the headwind provided by the fundraising challenge, there have been other complicating factors that have confirmed our sense that it is time to pause and draw breath before deciding what the future holds. As a church and staff team we have faced some significant challenges this year, many of which have been unforeseeable.

Although nothing can replace GLOW, this Christmas we will be returning home with full-blooded carol services at St Paul’s during the festive season, including the signature films and spectacular choir that have become central features of GLOW.

GLOW has been an incredible event over these last five years. It has put the Gospel at the forefront of Christmas, while being an amazing and sacrificial gift to the city. The event has been made possible by a group of committed donors, as well as a creative production team who have given up huge amounts of time and energy to make GLOW a unique fixture within Auckland’s festive calendar. Special thanks also to the army of volunteers, singers, musicians and others who have contributed so much to this event.

We want to acknowledge the disappointment felt by many that GLOW 2014 will not be happening, but we look forward to continuing the strong legacy of Christmas celebrations at St Paul’s.

From the team at St Paul's