Christian youth festival founder, who once received an award from the Archbishop of Canterbury, quits charity over claims of ‘inappropriate intimate relationships’ with young people
- Department bosses are investigating “protection” complaints against Mike Pilavachi
- No claim to be subject to ‘criminal investigation’ or ‘clergy disciplinary case’
A founder of an MBE-awarded Christian youth festival accused of giving ‘inappropriate massages’ has resigned from the charity he founded.
Ministry bosses have already said they are investigating “protection” complaints filed against Rev. Canon Mike Pilavachi, who founded the Soul Survivor series of summer festivals.
Companies House documents available for public viewing online show that he resigned from his position as director of Soul Survivor on April 4.
The allegations relate to ‘non-recent’ cases and there is no suggestion that the situation was the subject of a ‘criminal investigation’ or a ‘clergy disciplinary case’.
Ministry bosses said they are investigating “protection” complaints filed against Rev. Canon Mike Pilavachi, who founded the Soul Survivor summer festival series
However, Reverend Canon Pilavachi is said to have engaged in “inappropriate intimate relationships” with young people related to the Soul61 plan – a Christian gap year project that trains young adults to become disciples.
The 65-year-old was awarded an MBE for services to young people in 2019 and is best known for hosting the Soul Survivor festival, which ran for more than a quarter of a century from 1993, attracting around 30,000 teens each summer.
The following year he received an award from Archbishop Justin Welby at Lambeth Palace for ‘his outstanding contribution to evangelism and discipleship among young people in the United Kingdom’.
Reverend Canon Pilavachi allegedly engaged in ‘inappropriate intimate relationships’ with youth linked to the Soul61 program – a Christian gap year project that trains young adults to become disciples
The statement read to his congregation confirmed that “non-recent security concerns regarding Mike Pilavachi have been reported to the national church” and that the claims were being investigated under CofE’s House of Bishops guidelines.
The statement added: ‘It was mutually agreed with Mike that he would step back from all ministries while this investigation is being conducted. We want to emphasize that the police are not involved; this is not a criminal investigation and Mike is not suspended.
“It is not currently a disciplinary matter for clergy either.
“We can’t say anything more during this process, but we can assure you that support will be provided to all involved.”
The Rev. Canon Pilavachi has been contacted for comment.