Monthly Archive September 2018

Dave HallByDave Hall

From hell to Yeldall: How Jesus became ‘Class A’ for Tony

Released from prison three months ago, Tony headed straight to Yeldall Manor.

As a long-term down-and-out, prison had been a routine consequence of his drug addiction. Losing his father at an early age had warped his perception of love – he used Class A drugs an attempt to fill the huge void. Stabbed on five separate occasions, he was estranged from his family, and most hurtfully, young son.

‘In 2015, with fear overwhelming him, he saw no way out of his hell,’ explains Chris Wood, marketing and admissions manager at Yeldall. ‘Slowly but surely he reached out for help, acknowledging that God had been there all his life, saving him from himself.’

A residential rehabilitation centre, Yeldall is set in 38 acres of Berkshire countryside near Reading. For more than 40 years, the centre has been helping men overcome serious drug or alcohol addictions and Tony saw God in the nature, wildlife and creation around Yeldall. He asked for prayer at church and felt on fire!

‘He couldn’t find the words to express the multitude of emotions and feelings running through him,’ recalls Chris. ‘He was sweating, in tears and finally accepted the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit. He is in awe that Christ chose him to forgive and he has peace and hope.’

Staff and peers from Yeldall joined Tony on the beach for his baptism earlier this month.

‘This is the God that loves us all in visible action,’ reflects Chris. ‘Tony is one of hundreds of men saved at Yeldall through that same love.’

• Yeldall Manor are on stand 135 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Tailor-make your visit to world-famous Oberammergau

A picturesque Bavarian village will welcome more than half a million visitors in two years’ time and one exhibitor at CRE 2018 wants you to join them.

The world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed 386 years ago. With neighbouring villages ravaged by the bubonic plague, the villagers vowed to present the drama of Christ’s journey into Jerusalem, his death and resurrection – if the village was spared.

More than 2,000 villagers, an orchestra and a vast stage have enthralled audiences every ten years since.

The last time the play was performed in 2010, Tailored Travel took one in every 10 people who travelled from the UK and Ireland. So, as an independent tour operator with more than 20 years’ experience in putting together escorted holidays, they understand exactly what’s needed to make every aspect of your trip to Oberammergau a success.

• Tailored Travel are on stand S104 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

New Christmas resource gives ringside seat to marginalised people

Outsiders get a ringside seat for the Christmas story in Lifewords’ brand new Advent resource.

OUTSIDE/IN, available at CRE 2018, is a beautifully illustrated FREE booklet telling the Christmas story from the perspective of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and sages. Produced in partnership with Biblica, Livability and Torch Trust, OUTSIDE/IN welcomes everyone into the story.

‘We are challenging churches proactively to consider people marginalised in their own communities,’ explains Matt Currey, Lifewords’ UK development manager. ‘It also provides specific ways to extend access to the Bible for people who are non-hearing or visually impaired, or who have a lower reading age.’

Fellow CRE exhibitor CPO (stand S81) are providing customisable posters, invites and other supporting resources. Biblica’s NIrV translation is used as the text – a version of the Bible accessible to people with reading ages from 7+. Torch Trust (stand B5) have created braille, super-large print and audio CD versions of the story. A new downloadable animation for churches to stream or share is available on social media. The animation tells the OUTSIDE/IN story, with BSL signing included, so the story is accessible to the deaf community.

‘After a record-breaking year of Christmas distribution in 2017, we want to equip local churches to share the Christmas story this year as effectively and accessibly as possible,’ says Matt Currey.

• Lifewords are on stand S40 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

To share or not to share: Understanding the law and gospel freedoms

A new guide, which examines what the law says about our freedom to share the Christian faith, will be available at the Evangelical Alliance stand (S155).

It comes in the wake of the case of nurse Sarah Kuteh (pictured), dismissed from Darent Valley Hospital in Kent because of complaints that she had been imposing her religious beliefs by offering her personal Bible to a patient. Two years later the Nursing and Widwifery Council (NWC) agreed it was in the public interest for her to return to work.

Christian Concern, an organisation providing legal help for Christians in similar situations, took her case on. Ms Kuteh, who had meanwhile found work in a nursing home – under a series of conditions imposed by the NWC – admitted that it was a mistake to give her Bible to a patient, saying she should have used one from the hospital chaplaincy.

Her nursing home supervisor praised her work as ‘kind, caring and honest’ at the recent hearing after which the NWC agreed to lift the restrictions on her. The Kuteh case and other similar experiences on the part of Christians who have been warned or lost their jobs because of witnessing, has led the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship to launch a new guide, Speak Up, which examines what the law says about our freedom to share the gospel of Jesus – with gentleness, kindness and also boldness.

The EA’s Richard Godden and Flavio Guaratto will also lead a seminar on the subject (2pm, Thu 18 Oct), highlighting the pitfalls of stepping out of line when witnessing – and the challenges to speak up with honesty and understanding.

As John Glass, chair of the EA council, and former general superintendent of Elim UK, said in the booklet: ‘Those who are serious about sharing their faith owe a huge debt of gratitude to the authors of this timely publication which serves two purposes. On one hand it allays the fears of those who are anxious about infringing legislation and, on the other, rightly reminds us to always witness with sensitivity and respect.’

The law and our gospel freedoms – 2pm, Thu 18 Oct, EA Room

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Worship resource that’s easy for Sunday morning

The ultimate legal source of words and sheet music for worship – that’s how CCLI describes its popular SongSelect website.

SongSelect features official song resources for more than 100,000 worship songs and hymns. Available to any church which holds a Church Copyright Licence (CCL) for the projection/reproduction of song words, SongSelect subscriptions start from just £34 a year. All subscriptions are church-based and allow unlimited access for as many people as required within the church’s music and projection/multimedia teams.

‘We’ve made many improvements in response to customer feedback,’ said CCLI’s Rich Burrough. ‘As well as lyrics and transposable lead and chord sheets, the site now includes thousands of transposable multi-part vocal sheets. We’ve also added many resources to help churches discover and learn new and popular songs.’

SongSelect is fully responsive for mobiles devices and integrates with a growing number of leading song planning and projection software packages, including OnSong, MediaShout and ProPresenter.

‘This makes song planning and delivery much easier, whether you’re preparing in advance or responding in the moment,’ added Rich. ‘You can find out more at CRE, and even try it before you buy it!’

• CCLI are on stand S8 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

A swing and a prayer: New project helps faith last into adulthood

Only half of the children growing up in Christian homes keep their faith as adults – but a new initiative aims to change all that.

‘It isn’t always easy for parents to nurture faith in their offspring, so the Kitchen Table Project chips in with considerable help and understanding,’ explains project manager Becky Benharder. ‘It brings together a growing movement of mums, dads and carers who want to inspire a faith that lasts in their children.’

The Care for the Family stand at CRE 2018 (S162) will have helpful literature and resources, including Raising Faith, a new book by Andy Frost, director of Share Jesus International and Katherine Hill, UK director for Care for the Family. It is packed with practical tips and stories to encourage sharing faith at home.

Church leaders can also find ways to set up groups of parents nurturing faith in their homes. These include sermon outlines to encourage congregations to work together to see their children grow up in the faith.

‘You will find a starting point with our Inspire Session – a 90-minute small group discussion that helps parents start talking about how important it is to introduce their children to God,’ says Becky. ‘The session comes with a leader’s guide, a pack of discussion cards and a short 10-minute video to help start the conversation.

‘One church has bought copies of the book to give to every parent in the congregation. That is how serious they felt about the subject.’

• Care for the Family are on stand S162 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Church planting: Sittingbourne sows and Stewardship tends

Church planting can be a costly business – but a new support team can help people over those first financial hurdles.

In the past 12 months, 25 new churches have been launched using Stewardship’s services, including Sittingbourne in Kent. Another 92 plants are currently in discussion with the organisation.

‘Our pioneering guide informs church planters,’ explains Stewardship’s John Keskeys. ‘It also highlights numerous pitfalls that many new church leaders are unaware of. We provide free one-to-one consultations with them and their teams.’

Visitors to Stand S38 at CRE 2018 will be given a pack of cards to help identify practical things that may be relevant to them, whether they are involved with a church plant or not.

‘We help more than 2,000 churches and Christian charities each year but still 80 per cent of the people we meet do not realise the full extent of what we do,’ says John. ‘We are committed to growing healthy and sustainable churches, so the world can encounter Jesus through the generosity of his church.’

Stewardship, which has been around since 1906, supports every part of church life. In particular, the organisation makes financial giving easier and enables churches to make the best possible use of Gift Aid legislation. It also offers help to that unsung local hero – the church treasurer! Areas covered include church payroll, accounts, annual audits and property management.

Gordon Watson was sent by Cornerstone City Church to launch Hope Church in Sittingbourne (pictured).

‘Stewardship have been wonderfully helpful as we have gone about establishing a pioneering work,’ he recounts. ‘We’ve opened a Stewardship account which has enabled us to receive Gift Aided donations from a wide pool of friends and family via social media who weren’t already supporting us financially.

‘We’re confident that as the work grows Stewardship will provide us with the tools to ensure we are financially sound and managing growth well. It’s a genuine blessing to be in partnership with them!’

• Stewardship are on stand S38 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Milk and mission: Send a Cow celebrates 30 years and two million people supported

A charity born because UK farmers were forced to slaughter healthy dairy cows, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

In 1988, many UK dairy farmers were outraged by strict EU milk quotas which forced them to throw away good quality milk and even slaughter their herds. At the same time, families in Uganda were recovering from the country’s brutal civil war which had destroyed farm land and livestock.

Motivated to help, a small group of Christian dairy farmers from the west country decided to donate some of their own dairy cows to rural families in Uganda. It was a massive step of faith, supported in prayer.

On 4 July 1988, 32 cows were flown from Gatwick Airport to Entebbe, Uganda and given to struggling families living in the Mityana region. With nutritious milk to drink and sell and manure to nourish the soil and boost crop yields, the families and the cows thrived. Send a Cow was born.

The charity continued to send livestock from the UK to Uganda until 1996 when the BSE crisis took hold. Since then, the charity has sourced all livestock from within Africa. Comprehensive training in animal husbandry and welfare is also provided, ensuring the animals are well cared for and productive.

Send a Cow works in six countries in Africa and provides a proven package of support and training in farming, hygiene, business skills and gender equality. More than two thirds of the people supported are women. Working with families for up to five years, the organisation helps people to grow their own food, earn an income and lift themselves out of poverty permanently. Two million people across Africa have been supported by the international development charity since it began.

‘The charity now does much more than provide cows and works with rural communities to make the most of their most precious resource – the soil beneath their feet,’ says Send a Cow’s Ann Hatton.

• To find out more how your church can partner with Send a Cow visit stand FC14 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Guess the age of the lectern built to last

Comedian Steve Coogan may have aged a little over the years – but his lectern probably looks as new as the day it left the workshop in Weston-super-Mare.

In fact, Fuller’s Finer Furniture have seen their lecterns graced by members of the royal family, two Archbishops of Canterbury and the man who made Alan Partridge a fictional national treasure. Coogan takes his own Fuller’s lectern with him on all his UK speaking tours.

‘The advantage of being both designer and manufacturer is that we can gauge trends as technology and requirements change,’ explains Paul Fuller, who founded the company in 1985. ‘Two recent developments have been the inclusion of a monitor and tablet rest on the desk top.’

And to show their lecterns stand the test of time, Paul is offering CRE 2018 visitors a chance to win a high street shopping voucher worth £40 in a special competition at Sandown Park.

‘We are demonstrating how well our lecterns age by borrowing back several in service for years,’ continues Paul. ‘These will not be available post show. Their owners do not wish to part with them!’

For your chance to win the voucher simply collect an entry form from Fullers on stand 133, visit the seminar rooms where the lecterns are being used and guess the age of each one, together with that of the lectern displayed on Stand S133. Complete the form with your estimates, together with your contact details and hand them to a member of staff on Stand S133 by 3pm on Thu 18 Oct. The winner will be drawn from the correct entries at 3.30 pm on the same afternoon.

• Fullers Finer Furniture are on stand S133 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Twelve-year-old Jonathan will speak up for the speechless

A 12-year-old best-selling author will help open CRE – and speak up for the speechless.

Jonathan Bryan, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is entirely non-verbal. He uses an alphabet board to spell out everything he wants to say and in his book, Eye Can Write, reflects on his Christian faith.

Jonathan’s father, Rev Christopher Bryan is rector of Gauzebrook and area dean of North Wilts. His son’s faith, rooted in a profound experience of the life to come, is both ‘hugely inspiring and challenging. The prospect of going to be with Christ is such a strong and real thing it totally informs his attitude to death, getting ill and everything. That really makes you think about your own attitude.’


In the days after Jonathan’s birth, and for the first time in her life, Jonathan’s mother, Chantal, prayed until she was ‘spent’, joined by others over the country — strangers, in many instances.

‘God answered our prayers,’ she told the Church Times. ‘Jonathan survived, and, OK, he is stuck in a body here that doesn’t work very well, but, actually, what has been transformed out of that is something that none of us would have thought of in the early days. His faith encourages others. I say now sometimes that he is more healed, in a way, than the rest of us. A lot of people are still trying to find out who they are and what they are, and he is happy with who he is.’

The Bryan family have set up a charity, Teach Us Too (a panel about the organisation will be on display at CRE), promoting the right for all children to be taught to read and write, whatever their label or diagnosis. Three more organisations will exhibit under the Churches for All banner – each committed to improving universal access to church buildings and programmes. Count Everyone In, The Lodge Trust, and Torch Trust will offer visitors a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues.


Opening the exhibition will be singer/songwriter Marilyn Baker, blind almost from birth, who will be accompanied by a choir from Notre Dame school in Cobham, using Makaton, a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate.

Gordon Temple, executive officer for Churches for All, says: ‘CRE presents a great opportunity to support and encourage churches as they strive to welcome, include and involve people living with disabilities in every aspect of church life.’

• Churches for All will hold a seminar at CRE 2018 (12pm, Tue 16 Oct)

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3