Yearly Archive 2017


‘Card-carrying’ gospel duo set for Cindy’s Bar

From Croydon to Esher, via Germany, Italy, Poland, Jamaica and the USA – that’s the journey of Clif and Marie Reid, special guests at CRE 2017.

Surrounded by church choirs from birth, the duo started singing and playing at an early age in south London. Their love for music was further influenced by Thomas Whitfield, The Winans, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and the Clarke Sisters. Accomplished and exuberant vocalists in their own right, Clif is now a sought-after keyboard player. They have also produced their own album, If Only, offering upbeat urban Gospel.

Married in 1998, they have also launched My Truth, a conversational card game for married couples. Marie invented the game after writing subject headings on paper, screwing them up and challenging Clif to share his views on the subjects in question.

‘I was amazed and surprised at some of the insights Clif shared,’ admitted Marie. ‘Even after 17 years of marriage, I really saw his heart on issues more deeply. If this ‘game’ could bring out new insights for us I figured it could do the same for other couples.’

‘Answering the questions really made me dig deep,’ admitted Clif. ‘Marie and I have a strong marriage but this game made it stronger.’

The couple will sing each lunchtime in Cindy’s Bar, a dedicated venue offering entertainment and conversation, hosted by Rev Cindy Kent MBE.

‘CRE is a fantastic place to meet people and discover new ideas and resources,’ said Marie. ‘Seeing so many organisations in one place, focused on strengthening and supporting the church, is truly inspiring. We are honoured to share our music and card game, to help touch and heal hearts and relationships.’


All kinds of everything… for all types of church

Irish singer Dana opened CRE in 1993 (see picture) and, we’re delighted she will do the same again – cutting the tape on an exhibition that offers all kinds of everything for all types of churches.

Dana will be with us for three days, where she will be interviewed by Rev Cindy Kent MBE about her wide-ranging career in music and politics and take part in various special events.

As Ireland’s first winner of the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, the school girl from Derry became an overnight singing star, with a number one record throughout Europe. Years of recording success followed with chart-topping albums and singles and she hosted her own hit series, A Day Out with Dana (BBC), andWake Up Sunday (BBC).

In the midst of a successful mainstream career, Dana started to speak publicly about her faith. She and husband Damien began writing songs together, including Totus Tuus – inspired by the motto of the Late Pope John Paul II.

In 1987, Dana was invited to lead 86,000 young people in singing Totus Tuus for Pope John Paul II in the New Orleans’s Super Dome. Around this time, she was also invited to sing at three of Dr. Billy Graham’s Crusades, two in the US, and one in London’s Wembley Stadium in the UK.

During the 1990s, she entered the world of politics, securing a nomination to run in the 1997 Irish Presidential election, the first non-political, non-party candidate ever to do so. She campaigned on protecting the Christian family values and life enshrined in the Irish Constitution, and earned a respectable 14 per cent of the votes, beating one of Ireland’s major political parties. In 1999, she was subsequently elected as a Member of the European Parliament, representing Ireland’s Connacht-Ulster constituency from 1999 to 2004.

Dana and her husband Damien have their own new music production company called DS Music Productions. She has remained close to her Irish roots, working tirelessly for peace and Christian family values.


Major Messy Church conference at CRE 2017

Whether you’re a start up or a seasoned campaigner, you’ll find what you’re looking for at a special three-day Messy Church conference at CRE 2017.

This highly-successful initiative, using hands-on activities to explore Bible stories, is church for people who don’t do church – providing a ‘safe’ space to encounter the Christian faith. Messy Churches meet at times (and sometimes places) that suit people who don’t already belong to a fellowship. It’s all age. And it’s fun.

We’re delighted that CRE exhibitor BRF, who resource, support and enable the project, will run three, two-hour conferences on the project, one on each day of CRE 2017, looking at different aspects of the Messy phenomenon.

Tue 17 Oct
11am – Starting and sustaining a Messy Church
To include a discipleship pilot report, demos of one or two discipleship pilots and a chance to try out Messy Science

Wed 18 Oct
11am – Theology from the Mess
A ‘Being Messy, Being Church’ forum with another opportunity to try out Messy Science

Thu 19 Oct
11am – The Big Messy Meet-Up
An update of the latest Messy projects, with particular reference to discipleship and vintage pilots and a final opportunity to try out Messy Science

A full list of speakers will available soon.


Nothing beats sitting on it, wearing it, tasting it…

Offering a host of new ideas and initiatives in a fast-changing world, CRE returns to Sandown Park in the Autumn (17 to 19 October 2017).

‘While we discover products and services online, discerning customers will always want to try before they buy, meet the person behind the product, the man behind the mission,’ said event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘Put simply, nothing beats sitting on it, wearing it, listening to it, tasting it – and comparing it to other options. You can only do all of that, under one roof, at CRE.

‘We are putting together an exhibition which builds on the quality and experience of the past, yet presents fresh ideas, products and suppliers to local church leaders and members.’

Among new features at CRE 2017 are:

Museum of the Bible – an innovative, global, educational feature inviting us to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible

The Compassion Experience – a unique, interactive trailer presenting the lives of two real children living in abject poverty

Messy Church – a conference for everyone connected with this highly-successful initiative, from seasoned campaigners to start ups

A keynote speaker at CRE will be George Verwer, who founded and led Operation Mobilisation for more than 40 years. ‘It’s a great time in history for the Church,’ he said, ‘and I’ll be at CRE to tell visitors what is God doing through the Church, around the world.’

Rev Cindy Kent MBE returns to host Cindy’s Sofa, her popular lunchtime chat show featuring music, drama and a range of special guests. UCB Radio will broadcast live from the show floor.

‘CRE is a place to build and develop important relationships with local church leaders and provide solutions as they reach out to their communities,’ said Andy Moreman, CEO of CPO. ‘We look forward meeting members of hundreds of churches in October.’

To receive regular news updates about CRE 2017, click here.

If you represent an organisation considering a stand at CRE, click here.


Discover a purpose-built slum… in leafy Surrey

A unique, interactive presentation of the lives of two real children living in poverty – that’s the Compassion Experience, a special walk-through feature at the next CRE (Oct 17-19, 2017, Sandown Park, Esher).

‘Thousands of visitors will experience another world without leaving theirs – the daily life of poverty faced by millions,’ said Compassion UK’s Caroline Cameron. ‘Most importantly, the presentation will offer a message of hope for children sponsored through our world-class child development programme.’

The Compassion Experience, currently being made in the USA before being shipped to the UK, will be one of the most ambitious features ever staged at CRE. After three days at Sandown, the Experience will visit churches, schools and other venues across the UK.

Photo of the Compassion Experience, coming to CRE 2017

Photo of the Compassion Experience, coming to CRE 2017

‘We have worked closely with Compassion to bring this unique presentation to Sandown Park,’ said Brett Pitchfork, CRE’s event director. ‘We hope many thousands of ordained clergy and lay leaders will see how it can be used in their own localities.’

‘CRE gives us the opportunity to meet hundreds of church leaders and inspire them with the difference they and their churches can make in the lives of children living in poverty,’ said Nick Harris, director of marketing at Compassion UK. ‘That’s why CRE was the first event we booked into our diaries when launching the Compassion Experience.’

To receive regular news updates about CRE 2017, click here.

If you represent an organisation considering a stand at CRE, click here.


From the end of the world to… Esher

Somewhere in the world today you will find George Verwer — a man with the energy of someone half his age — wearing his trademark globe jacket, speaking next to an inflated globe of the world.

One moment he will bound across the stage, making his audience laugh, then without warning, prick their consciences with the need to reach unreached people with the Christian message.

Verwer founded and led Operation Mobilisation for more than 40 years before stepping down in August 2003. He will be a keynote speaker at the next CRE (Oct 17-19 2017).

Today the organisation has two ships and more than 4,000 people working in over 80 nations.

‘It’s a great time in history for the Church,’ said Verwer, ‘and I’ll be at CRE to tell visitors what is God doing through it, around the world.’

To receive regular news updates about CRE 2017, click here.

If you represent an organisation considering a stand at CRE, click here.


CRE now taking stand enquiries

Stand enquires are now invited for CRE 2017 at Sandown Park (17-19 October).

A floorplan is available to view and exhibitors are invited to contact the sales team (see below).

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 CRE managing director Steve Goddard. ‘Our aim is simple: to offer inspiration and innovation for the whole congregation.’

To discuss your exhibition requirements, please contact one of the sales team.


Carol Malpass, Sales Manager
0161 250 2467

Brett Pitchfork, Event Director
0161 250 6297

Steve Goddard, Managing Director
0161 250 2701

David Ramsay, Sales Manager

Photo: Cremetti Commercial