A fresh start for Le Pas Opton
We’ve never set out to pay dividends to our shareholders. The generosity and spiritual vision of our investors and Board mean that we are focused on spiritual goals with financial stability. So a non-profit organisation makes more sense in the French context, similar to a registered charity in the UK. A French Association Loi 1901 exists for the benefit of its members, so everyone’s part of the club – guests, team, speakers, friends, Ambassadors. We’re in it together with a common purpose.
A new way of working
Our two French companies continue to own and operate the site. Association Le Pas Opton has an annual contract to deliver guest activities and guest-facing services during the season. This encompasses children's and youth groups, Bible studies and worship, all the services provided in the bar, café, shop and takeaway plus bike and kayak hire.
While most of the professional roles at LPO continue to be fulfilled by salaried employees, any member of Association Le Pas Opton is able to help out in relevant areas. Joining the Association is simple and you don’t even have to holiday with us to be a member. Meet us in May to help set up? You’re welcome. Help with bike hire and repair for a couple of weeks? Yes please.
But we’ve not taken this step primarily to cut staffing costs: we remain committed to employing the best people for key roles on site and to find people locally when possible. The freedom to volunteer however allows us to work together as a community, serving one another with more flexibility and freedom than before.
We’ve taking the opportunity to re-invent our much-loved “courier” team, finally dispensing with an out-of-date name. The new team of Animateurs – animated by the Holy Spirit – are themselves members and working on a voluntary basis. Those who need some money after a summer of serving can benefit from sponsorship from a new UK-based fund administered by our friends at Essential Christian.
As you may know, with very limited exceptions it is no longer permitted for French companies to hire employees from the UK. It is also illegal in France for any company to use volunteer labour. These challenges to our way of working can now be overcome because it’s fine for members from the UK to help out as volunteers.
Will my holiday be different?
Your holiday arrangements will be almost identical. Spring Harvest Holidays Limited in the UK arranges your holiday and passes on an amount from your holiday payment as your membership fee for Association Le Pas Opton. On site, things look and feel very similar: we remain totally committed to giving you a brilliant holiday in a Christian environment. We hope that over time you’ll notice a greater sense of community and participation, helped by the presence of more members in volunteer roles.
Do I need to do anything?
You don’t need to do anything differently. However, you might want to consider volunteering or donating to our sponsorship fund. Of course, if you’ve not yet booked your holiday we’d love you to do that. And please pray for all the team as we work towards another brilliant season.
Who runs the Association?
Association Le Pas Opton is independent of Spring Harvest Holidays and our French operating company. But don't worry, we are good friends and have the same goals. The three voluntary officers are Forest Paget (President), Samuel Péchèr (Treasurer) and Murielle Baugniet (Secretary). All these three are closely involved with our ministry. The Board of the Association also includes SHH Board Chair Jean-Louis Péchèr, SHH CEO Steve May-Miller, park directeur Dave Bentley, Vice President of Agapé Village Michael Gisquet and Patrick & Patricia Berthalon.