Salt & Light Advance are attending together, as a family of churches, Wildfires and Big Church Festival (BCF) 2023, both events on the beautiful Wiston House estate in West Sussex.
As Advance we’re trying to get as many people as possible there for Wildfires, as this was the event that seemed to have most impact on our people and churches. However, some people may want to do both, or one or the other. You’re free to choose. If you book for Wildfires, BCF is free – two festivals for the price of one!
We will camp together for each event, and for 2023 plan to have an improved ‘Advance marquee’ as a community hub/village hall.
DON’T book directly on the Wildfires or BCF websites, rather please use these special booking links, which will enable us to camp as a group:
- To book for Wildfires (tickets include BCF): bctickets.group/wildfires-2023/salt-light-advance
- To book for BCF only: bigchurch.group/2023/salt-light-advance
Find out more about the events
Why are we going as S&L Advance to Wildfires/BCF?
We last camped together as S&L Advance in summer 2019 for ‘Supernatural Advance’. We are keen to gather again, in a festival/camping environment, to allow us to connect relationally, to worship God together and to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.
With all the uncertainties of the pandemic we have not been able to plan ahead with any certainty to organise our own event, and the suggestion was made that we go together to a larger event.
After attending Wildfires 2022, we saw that it had been a great success, with many personal testimonies and an overflow of spiritual life into our churches. We agreed to attend again in 2023. (Further details of our 2023 strategy for events was emailed to church leaders.)
What is Wildfires and BCF – and how do the 2 different events flow together?
Wildfires is a 3-day ‘Bible week camp’ organised by 24-7 Prayer with other partner churches/streams. There are groups for children and young people. 4,500 people attended in 2022.
BCF is a 48 hours Christian music festival organised by Tim Jupp, formerly of Delirious? 35,000 people attended in 2022.
The two events run back-to-back in the spring half-term, including the bank holiday.
- BCF 2023 is Sat 27 / Sun 28 May 2023
(*we assume arrival on Fri 26, depart Mon 29)
- Wildfires 2023 is 29-31 May 2023
(*we assume arrival Mon 29, depart Thu 1 Jun)
*Further details will be published as available.
Wildfires tickets include free entry and ongoing camping/caravan for BCDO.
Should I come to Wildfires, BCF, or both?
You’re free to book for one, the other, or both. If you’re hoping to come with others from your church you may want to check in and agree plans with them 😉
Will it be like previous S&L Advance or S&L UK summer camps?
Wildfires is more like our own summer camps, with worship, teaching, prayer and children and youth activities. Some details of camping are different. The site is entirely car-free, for safety reasons. For that reason, caravans are on a different campsite. People from the same group (for us that will be Advance) will camp or caravan together.
BCF is a very different event, more of a family festival than a Bible week. Lots of people from our churches have been, and had a great time, so why not talk to one of them, or check out the BCF website www.bigchurchdayout.com
For both events there are a plethora of stalls serving street food for all tastes throughout both events for those who may not wish to cater for themselves.
How will we get together as Advance during Wildfires/BCF?
We will camp together, and that gives us unhurried time to eat, drink and chat together! As a special concession with our large group, the organisers have very kindly made it possible for those us camping for Wildfires and for BCF (or both) to camp in the same area.
For 2023 we are planning to have an upgraded Advance community hub/’village hall’ comprising some gazebos and central facilities, as well as on-site Advance hosts.
Caravans will be in a slightly different area, as there are no cars allowed, at all, on the tent camping areas, but this Caravan area is also close our designated tent camping area. Hookups are available for caravans only, or for medical reasons, although there will be power in the Advance village hub.
We can attend Wildfires sessions together with friends from our own church or other Advance church groups.
I’ve already booked for Wildfires or BCF 2023 – how do I get to camp with the rest of you?
For existing BCF bookings who now want to also do Wildfires please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your BCDO order number, quoting “Salt & Light Advance group booking”. These will be refunded (minus the service charge) and you will then need to book Wildfires tickets.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to refund existing BCF bookings but the BCF office can assign your booking to our group. Please email email@example.com with your BCF order number, quoting “Salt & Light Advance group booking”.
What about future Advance events?
In 2023 we will attend Wildfires together again, as well as running various of our own events. For details please visit our event page.
- Advance celebrations provide the most accessible opportunities for members of our churches to gather and connect with the wider Advance family.
- The Advance conference gathers a wide level of leaders for equipping, connection and share vision.
- We are also retaining some ‘bandwidth’ to refocus on our mission, both in the UK and overseas.
Further details of our 2023 strategy for events was emailed to church leaders.