Under new management that looks very familiar, the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) returns to Sandown Park, Surrey next year (Tue 17 to Thu 19 Oct 2017).
The largest annual exhibition of its kind in Europe, CRE is now owned by Stephen Goddard, its media consultant for more than 25 years.
'In May, the Bible Society decided to focus on its core mission of offering the Bible to the world and purposed to find a new home for CRE or close it down,' said Goddard. 'Offering a host of new ideas and initiatives in a fast-changing world, CRE is a strategic event in the ecclesiastical calendar. We have therefore pulled together a team with vast experience of running the exhibition successfully.'
CRE's founder, Gospatric Home, is its new honorary president. Brett Pitchfork returns as event director. All the sales and administrative staff have worked at some time for one or both of CRE's previous two owners.
'The first thing we did was to listen to hundreds of exhibitors, the majority of whom wanted CRE to return to Sandown Park, its home for 28 years until 2014,' said Goddard. 'They also asked if it could run for three rather than four days. We therefore decided not to take up the dates reserved at ExCeL in May 2017 and instead return to Sandown Park (Oct 17-19, 2017).
'We are working hard to put together an exhibition which builds on the experience of the past yet will present fresh ideas, products and suppliers to church leaders and members.'
A floorplan will be available to view from Tue 3 Jan 2017 and exhibitors are invited to contact sales manager Carol Malpass from that date.
There are tentative plans to take CRE back to regional cities. Since 1985 it has been held in places afar apart as Exeter and Edinburgh, Belfast and Bristol, Manchester and Harrogate.
'CRE will continue to serve all those who care about the future of the local church and its ministry in the community and world at large,' said Goddard. 'Our aim is simple: to offer inspiration and innovation for the whole congregation.'