Children’s charity World Vision are inviting church leaders to a special lunch presentation on the first day of CRE North (Wed 13 Mar).
Attendees will hear how two thirds of British adults fail to see the positive difference the Church is making globally or locally, according to the UK Church in Action report commissioned by World Vision UK in partnership with insight specialists Barna Global.
While 52 per cent of all Christians interviewed agree the Church has a positive impact in their communities, less than half (or 49 per cent) believe this is happening on a global scale. The study also found that 81 per cent of non-Christians don’t believe or don’t know how the Church is making any difference whatsoever to society.
‘Along with Barna Global, we are inviting church leaders to come and hear the latest research which gets to the heart of what social justice and mission mean today to church leaders and Christians,’ said Justin Bloomfield, the charity’s church relationships manager. ‘The report will enable attendees to better understand World Vision’s distinct calling to support churches in global mission. We hope to be able to help them improve strategies and partnerships. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet with other local church leaders from the region with shared interests.’
A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be served and attendees will also receive free entry to CRE North. Spaces are limited so if you are a Christian leader email Justin Bloomfield or call Ally Wenham on 01908 244590 by Friday 1st March.
• World Vision are on stand A16 at CRE North 2019 and stand S41 at CRE 2019
Photo ©2017 Jiro Ose/World Vision. Distribution at Imvepi refugee settlement, Uganda
Let’s get out of our church buildings and join in with our local communities through sport.
That’s the challenge issued by Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, national director of Scripture Union England and Wales. If we do, maintains Tim, we will be able to ‘offer hope, build meaningful relationships and share God’s good news.’
Tim was commenting on Mission through Sport, in which SU supports churches as they go into local parks and MUGA’s (Multi-Use Games Areas) to run weekly detached sports projects, as well as non-residential and residential sports camps. Training, resources and ‘how to’ guides have all been produced to best support churches in running exciting, simple yet safe sports activities. SU are at CRE North to show churches how it all works.
Several other exhibitors, including Christians In Sport, Sports Chaplaincy UK and the C of E Ministry of Sport, will show us how to make the most of other opportunities – previewing National Sports Sunday (19th May 2019).
• Christians in Sport (Sports Ministries UK) are on stand A36 at CRE North
Tens of thousands of people recline on his chairs daily but Gavin Duignan will never forget the moment a pontiff graced one of his carved creations.
Pope Francis entered the Apparition Chapel in Knock on an historic morning last August, perched on Gavin’s chair and prayed silently for a few moments. Specially-commissioned, the chair had been designed by Gavin of Irish Contract Seating (ICS) Furniture.
For many weeks the project was quietly worked on by skilled craftsmen at ICS in Dromod. Gavin delivered the chair himself to Knock just before the visit, calling it ‘one of the proudest moments of my career.’
ICS was started by Gavin’s father Charlie Duignan and still operates out of the same premises. Now employing 18 staff members, the company have completed over 3000 projects to date including the complete seating refurbishment of Knock Basilica in 2016, Christchurch Cathedral, as well as bespoke pieces for St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Ground Zero in New York.
The company has diversified into seating for public places, schools and conference facilities. One ICS design has just been named as a finalist in the Irish Design Institute Awards 2018. The ICON 40 chair (see below) was picked from over 350 entries to the competition.
‘It’s a great honour to have a chair nominated for an Irish Design Institute award and it means that the ICON 40 now ticks all the boxes for both functionality and aesthetic appeal,’ explained Gavin. ‘For now we must sit tight (sorry!) and see what happens on January 24th.’
• ICS are on stand B1 at CRE North 2019 and stand S142 at CRE 2019
It’s the colourful outreach tool that is bucking the trend towards digital media.
UK monthly newspaper Good News has sold almost one million copies every year for the past six years. Used by churches of all denominations, the colourful, breezy publication features stories about celebrities and ‘ordinary’ people – showing how the Christian faith transforms lives.
Run by a small team as a registered charity, Good News started from scratch in 2001 and now sells more than 77,000 copies every month, with the Christmas edition rising to more than 100,000.
‘We are not publicising these sales figures to crow about them but to let local congregations struggling to reach their communities know that other churches have found a way to do it,’ said editor Andrew Halloway. ‘Good News distribution is a tried and tested method.’
The team receive a regular flow of responses from readers who have made faith commitments and from churches who relate how Good News provides opportunities for meaningful conversations.
One user in Orpington, Kent, said: ‘Praise the Lord that you keep the paper interesting to non-church folk. I deliver it to a number of people who live nearby and out of 80 people I’ve asked so far, more than 70 per cent like to read it, and only 26 per cent say they don’t want it.’
Free sample copies will be available at CRE North.
Sold out signs went up just before Christmas with more than 130 organisations taking all the original space earmarked for CRE North (Event City, Manchester, 13/14 Mar 2019).
The first exhibition in the north for five years will be opened by Irish singer and former MEP Dana. A choir from St Leonard’s C of E school in Padiham, Lancashire will serenade the former Eurovision Song Contest winner with ‘All Kinds of Everything – for your church and you.’
The Bishop of Bolton, Rev Mark Ashcroft, will speak on church growth in areas of deprivation. In a world dominated by Brexit, Andy Flannagan from Christians in Politics will lead a discussion on how churches can help bridge the divide and bring people together again.
There will also be more than 20 free seminars on a range of practical subjects from job searching to safeguarding.
Special features include CRE’s first-ever Study Zone where representatives from eight colleges will guide visitors through the academic maze, offering one-to-one consultations on all aspects of theological study. There’s the Compassion Experience, a walk-through African slum and the biggest exhibit in our 33-year history (bar the odd inflatable church!) Not forgetting a special focus on social engagement and sports projects, a youth and children’s work trail – and entertainment in our first-ever Inflatable Theatre, hosted by the redoubtable Rev Cindy Kent MBE.
‘Entry to the show is just £4 if you book in advance here,’ explains CRE event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘That’s a saving of 50 per cent on the day-of-entry cost of £8. Groups of three or more can pre-register for just £3 each.’
And there’s good news for organisations who still want to take space.
‘Through subtle manipulation of the floor plan, we’ve been able to squeeze another eight stands into an already packed hall,’ said Brett. ‘So do call Carol (0161) 250 2467 or James (0161) 250 2306 soon, if you have not yet booked a stand for your organisation at CRE North.
‘We look forward to welcoming everyone to Event City, whether they travel by car, train – or donkey.’
With relationships and sex education statutory in schools since September, Sarah Smith (pictured) will be at CRE North to help Christian educators deliver this important topic in schools, churches and other youth settings.
In her seminar ‘A Guide to Growing Up: how to have honest conversations with young people about puberty, sex and God’ (date and time tbc), visitors will gain an insight into the relational and sexual health issues young people face today.
‘It is vital that parents/carers and youth leaders tackle topics often seen as taboo and become more effective in talking about bodies, relationships and sex,’ said Sarah, CEO of acet UK, a Christian charity delivering relationships and sex education in secondary schools and training to youth workers, teachers and parents.
Her book A Guide to Growing Up is published by CRE North exhibitor Lion Hudson, and features detailed chapters on topics such as masturbation and same-sex attraction. A Guide to Growing Up aims to support parents in talking to their children and is an essential guide in any young person’s journey – ‘a guide they can go back to time and again.’
* Lion Hudson are on stand B7 at CRE North 2018
Providing quality Christian artists for your church event – that’s the thinking behind CRE North exhibitor Ministry of Music.
‘School missions, worship services, youth outreach, café churches, conferences, festivals and training workshops/seminars. We do the lot!’ said founder Mike Maidment.
With more than 20 years’ experience in Christian music and events, Mike is in an ideal position to work alongside artists and event organisers. He is supported by an experienced team including bookings manager Kim Dopson, an artist review team and a group of trustees. To date they have facilitated more than 450 Christian events.
A number of Mike’s artists will perform in Cindy’s Theatre, including Voices Beyond (pictured), a Manchester-based gospel collective of singers and musicians passionate about sharing the good news through a unique sound which appeals to both Christians and non-Christians.
‘Ministry of Music is a great “one stop” resource to help churches find the right musicians for the right event,’ said fellow musician Bryn Haworth. ‘It’s also great to see a place where new artists can bring their musical talents and put them to good use through the wider church. This kind of platform has been missing for many a year.’
* Ministry of Music are on Stand D40 at CRE North
A re-purposed tour bus, providing emergency shelter and support to vulnerable adults in Greater Manchester, will be on display at CRE North.
‘Our 14 berths mean 5,110 nights off the street in one year,’ explains Embassy bus founder Sid Williams. ‘It’s a creative response to an urgent need. Homelessness is growing and finding new beds or building hostels takes time and significant investment.’
Before launching the project, Sid consulted with people who work with homeless people and assessed the immediate need on the streets.
‘Our first vehicle is for vulnerable males,’ he says. ‘With more funding, other buses could be deployed in future to help more groups. We would love to meet people at CRE North who share our vision.’
The bus is staffed with a skilled permanent manager and a team of highly-trained and caring volunteers – though more are always needed. It provides safety and rest to help people face the process of finding permanent accommodation and restoration. It also gives them a place to make connections to other organisations and agencies, empowering them to get back on their feet.
‘We provide physical, mental and spiritual rest and care with a Christian faith-based focus,’ concludes Sid. ‘Have a look around the bus outside Event City and then come and talk to us on our stand.’
* The Embassy Bus will be stationed outside the entrance to Hall 1 at Event City with representatives of the project on stand P7
Facing more competition than ever, how do you successfully find the right job?
‘Specialisation, mobility, education and the breakneck pace of technological advancements mean that “choosing a job” is likely to be something most of us will do several times in our lives,’ explains James Everall of CRE North exhibitor Christian Jobs. ‘We need to begin with God. As obvious as that sounds, the fact is that most Christians don’t begin job searches there. They begin with themselves.’
James, who has more than 12 years of executive and RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) experience across a number of industries, formed the organisation with Robert Mumford, to connect Christians with Christian organisations. In the past seven weeks alone some 4000 unique visitors have visited the Christian Jobs website every week with more than 200 opportunities advertised and 140 organisations supported.
James will lead a seminar on job hunting in the digital age at CRE North.
‘There is no simple equation that will always lead you to find the best job but I’ll pose a number of questions to help people develop a framework of thinking about what is most important, which opportunities should be ruled out and which ones you should be pursuing. The principles laid out are not determinative, but I hope they are helpful.’
The buzz is back – an exclamation heard many times at CRE 2018 in October, as 4381 visitors and exhibitor staff poured through the doors of Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey to discover some 210 organisations.
‘Most importantly, our pre-registration statistics reveal that 29 per cent (more than one in four) were visiting the exhibition for the very first time!’ said owner and MD Steve Goddard. ‘It encouraged us to believe there are still thousands of church-goers yet to find out about us.’
Such was the impact that, in a few short weeks, 111 stands for CRE 2019 (Oct 15-17, Sandown Park) have already been sold.
The organisers’ attention is now very much on CRE North at Event City, Manchester (13/14 Mar 2019) – their first visit to the north since 2014. Almost 90 per cent of the floor space has been sold, thanks in part to the backing of the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker.
‘Manchester is world famous as a place where the best is showcased and creative ideas and technologies are quickly adopted,’ he said. ‘Dozens of organisations will bring their skills, services, ideas and resources back to the north west and for members of all church traditions to come and draw inspiration from them. We look forward to welcoming CRE again.’
Everything from computers to communion wine, chair manufacturers to children’s charities are expected to be on display at Event City. A series of seminars, given by both regional and national experts, will cover issues of vital concern to local church leaders and members of all kinds – from parish magazine editors to treasurers, youth workers to worship leaders.
‘Event City offers great transport links and thousands of free parking places in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere,’ said CRE event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘And its location next to the Trafford Centre makes it easy to find.’
CRE North will be opened by Irish singer and former MEP Dana, who also opened CRE 2017 at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey.