Monthly Archive September 2018

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.’

“Jonathan

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.

“Marilyn

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

 

Dave HallByDave Hall

Time to get your hands on the new Youth Bible

Bible Society and Youth for Christ will introduce a new Bible at CRE 2018 that meets the needs of young people and connects with their world.

‘We listened to the ideas and suggestions of dozens of young people, who told us what they would love to see in this new production,’ says Bible Society’s Jack Imbert-Terry.

‘Their suggestions included information to help them dig deeper into the message of Scripture. They also asked for challenges to encourage them to focus on what they read and tools to help them act on it, with time to reflect and space to create – through journalling, drawing and adding colour.’

The result is a Good News Bible Youth Edition, released in time for CRE 2018, with extra features especially written by the team from Youth for Christ, including:

• More than 400 creative ‘interactions’ in the margins of the Bible, with plenty of room for notes and drawings.

• A full-page introduction to every book of the Bible, explaining what it’s about, why we should read it and how it fits with the whole story, spotlighting key characters.

• 32 colour pages including journalling ideas, information on what the Bible is and how it came together, as well as a timeline of events and Bible-based advice on issues challenging young people in today’s society.

Another major feature, directly linked to the Bible, will be a dedicated YouTube channel, with 30 videos about the Bible and how young people can apply it to their own lives today.

‘We are deeply excited about the Good News Bible Youth Edition,’ says Laura Hancock, church resources director at Youth for Christ. ‘Our heart is to see young people’s lives changed by Jesus, and this Bible is all about that!’

• The Good News Bible will be on stand S18 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

Introducing the positive Halloween treat that’s right on the button

The 2018 Meaningful Treat Pack will be available at CRE, with the eve of All Saints – or Halloween – in mind.

Building on the success of last year’s initiative, the pack has a new challenge activity poster to help young people focus on being a hero and a light in the world. There is also a bag of Swiss Fairtrade milk chocolate buttons in every pack.

‘At £1 a head and with all new content, the pack is suitable for light parties, outreach events, schools, or for children who trick or treat on 31st October,’ says Meaningful Chocolate founder David Marshall. ‘Each case of 30 packs includes a leader’s guide with ideas. There is also a national competition asking children to nominate their leading lights.’

The activity poster, which can be used in groups or at home, has eight challenges which include picture puzzles, a word search, a call to buy Fairtrade, say a prayer and leading light competition with a prize.

‘It also challenges children to give a treat to someone less well off by donating to a children’s charity,’ says David, ‘while encouraging the journey of faith – taking a similar approach to our Real Easter Eggs and Real Advent Calendars.’

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

Christian venues: Hiring a room is now just a click away

A new project that enables organisations to find and hire quality Christian venues will be introduced at CRE 2018.

‘All places of worship and allied venues can have a free listing on the website, detailing basic information,’ says Nick Gazard, of freshSPRING, the organisation behind the initiative.

People search the website for suitable venues – helping churches listed generate more income. While some websites currently identify venues in particular areas, they do not tend to deal with the possibilities of renting a room for a special occasion, business meeting or family get-together.

‘Even if they have space available, they rarely identify essential items, such as the size of the room and the number of tables available,’ says Nick. ‘Often, there isn’t even a photograph to view.’

The new website offers an easy-to-follow search system and identifies what is available, at what price.

Christian Venues is a project of non-profit freshSPRING Design, in partnership with local churches and Tortilla Hosting.

Graphic designers by profession, the company makes websites for charities, churches and small businesses as a non-profit and recently revamped Your Catholic Legacy.

‘We started up when I realised many churches were creating websites at large cost and with very little help,’ says Nick. ‘We offered advice on design, graphics and marketing – including specialist courses. We try to create an ongoing relationship, to continue to the next level.’

• freshSPRING Design are on stand S35 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

From pew potatoes to daring disciples

Our commission is to make disciples, not pew potatoes – and Discipleship Wednesday at CRE 2018 will help us understand the difference.

Three seminars, taking different approaches to the same subject, are scheduled for Wednesday 17 October.

11am: How to make disciples who make disciples – Rev Brian Richardson, of Siloam Christian Ministries, talks about how Evangelism Explosion trains church members to effectively share their faith in everyday life.

12pm: Dare to disciple and see your church grow – Rev Cris Rogers, of All Hallows Church, Tower Hamlets, says our commission is to make disciples, not church attenders. How do we do it?

3pm: Holy Habits – Rev Andrew Roberts of BRF introduces the methodology behind a new and effective missional discipleship resource.

‘It is vital we help churches activate a thriving discipleship culture,’ says Rev Cris Rogers, Rector of All Hallows in Bow, East London.

‘Some of us struggle with the term “discipleship” and use “spiritual formation”. I will look at the differences between the evangelical understanding of discipleship and the more Catholic understanding of spiritual formation. Neither deliver biblical discipleship on their own but when the two merge we get a biblical picture of Jesus’ understanding of discipleship and formation.’

In Rev Brian Richardson’s seminar (11am) you will discover how Evangelism Explosion training, developed over the past 50 years, equips church members to make disciples.

‘I would like people to talk away with one key phrase in their mind,’ says Brian. ‘The key to discipleship is on the job training.’

Rev Andrew Roberts will introduce Holy Habits (3pm), a new resource to help churches engage more intentionally with discipleship. Based around 10 habits, the course is an easy-to-use, intergenerational approach to discipleship, and can be taken at the user’s own pace, though Andrew estimates the full course takes about two years.

‘And I’ll be offering some practical suggestions and ideas to introduce the initiative in your church,’ he explains.

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

Additional needs: Churches have a huge ministry opportunity

Three organisations will exhibit under the Churches for All banner at CRE 2018 – each committed to improving universal access to church buildings and programmes.

The initiative comes at a time when 10 million adults in the UK have a recognised disability – about one in five of the adult population. A further 700,000 children have one or more disabilities.

Exhibiting on stand B5, Churches for All is a partnership of UK Christian disability organisations. Count Everyone In, The Lodge Trust, and Torch Trust, all members of the association, will be at CRE offering visitors a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues.

Churches for All’s Mark Arnold has a son with additional needs.

‘Additional or special needs parenting is tough because there is so much more to cope with,’ he says. ‘An increasing numbers of diagnoses in children at one end of the age range, coupled with an increasing older population at the other, present a huge ministry area for churches that is growing all the time.

‘Everyone, including those with additional needs and disabilities, should be included and valued in church. I hope to inspire CRE visitors as their churches plan to become fully-inclusive.’

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.’

The Torch Trust is promoting Sight Loss Friendly Church, a new initiative to enable churches to become more inclusive of people with sight loss. Count Everyone In aims to enthuse local churches about being more welcoming and relevant to people with learning disabilities through their new Know and Grow training while the Lodge Trust provides spiritual support to adults with learning disabilities.

• Mark Arnold and team will speak on Churches for All at 12pm on 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

 

Dave HallByDave Hall

Curvy Casala: Not so shabby at the abbey

When Westminster Abbey were looking for a functional chair that fitted in with the venue’s aesthetics, a CRE 2018 exhibitor took up the challenge.

‘The resulting product is based on our Curvy chair,’ explains Casala’s Jemma Veal. ‘The seat and backrest are made in oak veneer, stained with a predetermined colour that is candlewax resistant and we modified the features to meet the abbey’s requirements.’

The outside of the backrest is engraved with the abbey’s crest. Subtle bump rubbers on both sides of the frame, and sound-stack protection mounted on the underside of the seat, reduce sound during set up, storage and stacking procedures as well as when they are in use during services and ceremonies.

‘We are very proud our chairs are in the most famous cathedral in the world,’ says Jemma. ‘They are used for services attended by many famous people and members of the Royal Family.’

The transport dolly has a storage capacity for 90 chairs. Because of their heavy weight in combination with an uneven floor, castors with a large diameter help to move the transport dolly easily.

A recent report in the Daily Telegraph called on churches to keep their traditional pews. ‘Modern churches are more than just a place for contemplation and reflection,’ maintains Jemma. ‘Increasingly, they are developing into multifunctional buildings for a wide range of occasions: from seminars to concerts, from lectures to workshops. Whatever goal you have in mind with the furnishing of your church, we have the furniture to suit it.’

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

O little bauble of Bethlehem

They’re hand-blown by Muslims in Hebron, hand-painted by Christians in Bethlehem, and shipped by Israelis from Ashdod.

Bethlehem Baubles seeks to renew the authentic Christmas spirit by offering an original and thoughtful gift that represents a deep sense of connection and community.

Each bauble arrives on a bed of straw in its own presentation box along with a certificate of origin. No plastic is used – and it’s made from recycled materials!

Founded by Ros Pollock while posted to Jerusalem with the UN, Bethlehem Baubles aims to provide a grass roots, fair living wage to a struggling community.

‘Together we can make a difference for these skilled artisans,’ she says.

With a unique design for the collection each year, Ros believes Bethlehem Baubles have the potential to become an intrinsic and abiding part of the Christmas experience – perfect for stocking fillers and ‘that tricky relative who you never know what to get.’

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

 

Save the date for CRE National 2019!
Join us at Sandown Park
15-17 October 2019