Monthly ArchiveOctober 2018

ByDave Hall

Music in worship: panel aims to diffuse tensions and allay fears

The frequent tension between traditional and contemporary forms of worship will be one of the issues explored during Church Times Live at CRE 2018 (12.30pm, Thu 18 Oct).

Hosted by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Inspiring Music in Worship aims to build mutual respect and trust between worship leaders, musicians and congregations. It will take the form of a panel discussion with the new director of The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris; the Revd Canon Helen Bent, head of ministerial training, RSCM; Alan Mitchell HonRSCM, St Augustine, Bromley and Revd Colin Randall, rector of the Coln River Group, Gloucestershire.

‘We will attempt to allay fears and gently challenge misunderstandings and prejudice,’ said RSCM’s Angela Hamilton. ‘We will also affirm what is good and encourage effective collaboration.’

The new director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris, will share some of his vision for how the RSCM will be working over the next few years to support and develop the worshipping life of the church.

The RSCM resources all kinds of churches: large, small, high, low, formal and informal. It helps church communities discover the best ways of using the resources they have, including through its new publication, also entitled Inspiring Music in Worship. Above all, it stands for the best of church music, in its rich tapestry of guises.

The panel includes

Photo of Helen BentHelen Bent – Helen is head of ministerial training for the RSCM, in partnership with Praxis. She originally trained as a musician, specialising in singing and piano. Following a teaching career, she was ordained in 1998 in Norwich Diocese and has worked in parish ministry, both as a musician and a priest. From 2005 to 2015, she was the Bishop’s Adviser in Music and Worship for Sheffield Diocese. She has also recently written Inspiring Music in Worship, A Short Course of Guided Conversations for Churches, which pioneers something quite different for the RSCM.

Photo of Colin RandallAlan Mitchell – Alan is a lay minister at St Augustine’s, Bromley, and teaches a module on music in worship for the Rochester diocesan lay training scheme. He is as happy playing the violin at Prom Praise with the All Souls Orchestra or for a St Matthew Passion in a cathedral. A former trustee on the RSCM Council and chair of the Rochester Area committee, he encourages churches to widen their encounter with God through music, inspiring robed choirs to explore Stuart Townend and charismatic churches to discover the riches of liturgy!

Photo of Colin RandallColin Randall – Colin is rector of seven rural parishes in the North Cotswolds in Gloucester Diocese and was previously worship adviser for Chester Diocese. He is a member of the Group for the Renewal of Worship (GROW) that produces the Grove Worship booklets.

Photo: Plum leaves

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ByDave Hall

Tooling up for the task

ChurchTools helps you bring people, operations and ministry together in one place with a web app uniquely designed to meet your needs.

‘Our team is passionate about finding good solutions that support churches and associations,’ explains ChurchTools’ Arvaldo Stepanow. ‘We believe that modern tools can help churches to fulfill their mission in an excellent way.’

The ChurchTools vision was first developed by Pastor Jens Martin Rauen, who created a cloud-based administration software for the Elim Church in Hamburg, Germany, in 2004. Since 2010 this software has also been used by other churches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

In 2015 Matthias Huber, who developed ChurchVox, a translation system via WiFi, joined ChurchTools to become the CEO of the recently founded company ChurchTools Innovations UG.

‘Our company has been supporting more and more churches and growing ever since,’ explains Arvaldo. ‘In 2016, we significantly increased the manpower for development, support and marketing and in 2017 broke through the language barriers and began our expansion into other countries, languages and cultures.

‘We love churches and are eager to listen to them closely in order to turn their organisational needs into innovative solutions.’

• ChurchTools are on stand S67 and CRE 2018

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ByDave Hall

How your church can leave CRE app happy

A new version of Church Edit’s church mobile app is released at CRE 2018 – and to celebrate the company is running a special competition at the exhibition.

iKnow church is a cloud-based church management software that helps churches simplify administration, as well as assist with pastoral care.

‘The app is intuitive and ensures churches are supported in all of their organisation, administration and communication,’ explains Church Edit’s Kyle Cottington. ‘To add more benefit, using the latest mobile technology, we’ve built our new mobile app from the ground up. It is a great way to engage your congregation and keep them in the information loop.

‘We’re giving one church the opportunity to improve their systems free of charge and secure a fantastic mobile app. But no one misses out, because there is also a special CRE offer – one year free on iKnow Church and the mobile app (22 months for the price of 10) as well as 50 per cent off the design cost of the mobile app.’

How to enter

Visit the Church Edit and iKnow church stand S94 at CRE, and enter the competition by simply leaving your details. The winner will be drawn on 26th 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

 

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ByDave Hall

ChurchDesk: mission-based tech at your fingertips

ChurchDesk is a church management system that helps parishes communicate more effectively and build relationships with more people.

‘We’ve made it very easy for you to collect consent, send beautiful digital newsletters and create lists for targeted e-mails,’ explains ChurchDesk founder and CEO Christian Steffensen.

ChurchDesk is a simple to use, all-in-one platform to make administration and communication easier, whilst supporting GDPR compliance. It includes out of the box templates to manage and store consent.

‘We have helped hundreds of churches improve their administration and support their outreach,’ says Christian. ‘We are a mission-based technology to help you meet people where they are.’

The company has produced The Practical Guide to GDPR in Your Church and Parish, which covers:

• Practical steps on GDPR
• When do you need consent and what types of consent are relevant for your church
• How to collect important data on people in your church to communicate better

• ChurchDesk are on stand S79 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

 

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ByDave Hall

No cash? No problem! Introducing the app that makes giving easy

The minister says the offering will be taken during the next hymn and you’ve arrived without any cash.

No problem!

Givt, a new product from Holland making its UK debut at CRE 2018, allows you to give easily – without money in your pocket.

‘We fully believe that giving is more than a financial transaction – it is also a relational transaction,’ explains Givt’s Sjoerd van Oort. ‘All current solutions for donations only provide the financial side of the transaction. We are convinced that if we optimally support the person donating, that person will give more freely. Giving becomes fun.’

Givt allows you to donate safely and anonymously with your smartphone (iOS or Android). As with cash, you decide how much you would like to donate. And you can use Givt in any situation.

‘I open the app and choose my amount. I move my phone past the church collection bag… that’s it!’ explains Sjoerd. ‘When I donate, I want to have one solution for all situations – to the guitar-playing busker on the street, to the charity coming to my door. When I donate, I want it to be fully anonymous and show up on my tax returns.’

Givt provides an overview of where donations have gone. For all charities and situations, only one registration is needed. No complicated logins, long lists of possible charities or annoying top-ups.

‘The speed, ease, and joy of giving cash are retained,’ concludes Sjoerd, ‘so that people can just keep on giving.’

• Givt are on stand S139 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

 

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ByDave Hall

The ‘absorbing’ story of pioneering Chaim

The Aliyah Return Centre, founded in the Galilee, Israel, focuses on building bridges between Jewish and Christian communities.

It does this through Sing Together events, the Ambassador Academy (Shagririm), joint Torah studies and volunteering and internships.

Chaim Malespin, who runs the centre, is a Jewish and Israeli Galilean believer and ‘made Aliyah’ (immigrated to Israel) with his family when he was 15 years old.

‘On that dark night some 20 years ago, when I came to Israel with my family of eight, holding tightly to some ancient prophecies, I didn’t realize I would become part of a physical global “kingdom team-building exercise” to awaken the full destiny of the church, and the revival with no end,’ he admits.

‘I quickly came to realize first hand that the hard part for millions of Jewish people who have relocated to the “land of promise”, is what is known as absorption, for which you need to be a pioneer. I found out that God, in his prophetic word, has specifically called nations to facilitate this!’

Today Chaim runs the centre with his wife Deanna and their team. On almost 14 Galilean acres, the 20-strong team house over 100 people in need, both Arab and Jew. They realize the vital importance of helping the needy immigrants and many others – providing food, clothing, shelter, (‘a hand up not a hand out’) assisting them in opening a business.

‘With a smile and a hug, we believe this to be a priceless way to show God’s love and build eternal relationships,’ says Chaim.

• The Aliyah Return Centre is on stand S66 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

 

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ByDave Hall

Book Aid is back!

You’ve asked for them – and they’ve heeded the call!

The Book Aid van will collect visitors’ used and donated Christian books and bibles. Their mission: to provide Christian literature to areas of the world in need. This is then sent by 20-foot shipping containers to their partner bookshops globally.

In 30 years more than 30 million books and bibles have been dispatched ‘for which we thank God,’ says Books Aid’s Christine Pulsford. ‘This year our van will be at CRE Sandown on the “yellow brick road” outside the main entrance to receive book donations from CRE visitors – so clear your shelves and support international mission at the same time! We’d love to meet you.’

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

 

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ByDave Hall

Acts of God and man: is your church sufficiently insured?

In today’s litigious world, churches face risks far beyond property damage.

‘They should regularly consider the situation and be comfortable that they have sufficient insurance and risk management arrangements in place,’ says Russell Hickman, church specialist at Access Insurance.

Access serve over 2,500 churches in the UK, providing advice on getting the right cover in place, as well as helping in the event that a claim needs to be made. From the last 1,000 claims Access have helped church clients to make, several stand out as warnings to other churches.

‘In one case a woman fell down a flight of stairs after the lights were turned out, in an apparent attempt to encourage people to leave the premises. The compensation she received for her injuries was over £70,000,’ recalls Russell. ‘Thankfully the church had adequate insurance.’

In another, cameras were damaged as volunteers packed them away. The £5,500 claimed was paid out quickly and the projection, recording and broadcasting was able to continue. Often claims happen due to outside sources totally beyond the control of the church. In one instance, Access assisted a client after a hit-and-run driver caused severe damage to their building. Repairs costing over £13,000 (22 per cent of the church’s income) were paid for.

‘It’s best to consult and take advice from an expert when arranging church insurance,’ says Russell. ‘The feedback we get is that we understand the context in which churches operate and pay attention to detail. Probably the fact that I’m a church secretary helps me immensely!’

The faith of Access’ leaders informs the way that business is conducted as they aim to have a positive impact for the Kingdom. By 2025 Access aim to be giving £500,000 to charity each year. They are also in the process of setting up a fund churches can apply to for small grants for community, outreach and evangelism projects.

• Access Insurance are on stand S154 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

 

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ByDave Hall

Five good reasons to browse our bookshop

Every visitor to the CLC Bookshop at CRE 2018 can take away a free book from a special selection of five (see below) – simply for registering to receive CLC’s regular newsletter.

‘Be sure to make visiting the bookshop a priority during your day at Sandown Park,’ says CLC’s Daryl Wearring. ‘Virtually everything will be at reduced prices, and we will have a range of the best new titles, church resources, children’s books, Advent reading, gifts, bibles – and much more.’

A number of authors will be signing their books in the café opposite the bookshop. Full details are in the exhibition handbook which is free and can be picked up in the foyer on arrival.

‘And every purchase helps support global mission projects around the world,’ continues Daryl. ‘These include the creation of the first-ever Burmese study bible, printing 10,000 affordable Portuguese bibles for Mozambique, providing print-on-demand machines for Kenya, Sierra Leone, Myanmar and the Philippines and publishing an easy-to-read Thai language Bible.’

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

 

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ByDave Hall

Church Times Live: Seeking the truth on youth

Youth workers, researchers and teenagers have been sharing their views on the declining number of young people in Anglican churches in Church Times – and the debate continues on Youth Day (Thu 18 Oct) at next week’s CRE.

The demographic statistics in the C of E are stark. In London, a city with more than 300,000 11-18s, just 2000 are in C of E churches. Across the country, the average Anglican church has just three children attending, and the smallest 25 per cent have none at all.

‘There is talk of a church in crisis,’ said Madeleine Davies, features editor at Church Times, the UK’s leading Christian weekly. ‘We began 2018 with a month-long series exploring the trends under-pinning these numbers.’

The debate continues when Madeleine chairs a discussion with youth workers at CRE. She will ask what can be done and if there are any reasons to be hopeful.

‘We’ll consider the clues in history, sociology and other fields to explain current trends,’ she said. ‘Our experts will share their insights into how we can reach an increasingly unchurched population – and why panic isn’t the right response!’

The debate will be opened up to the floor, giving CRE visitors an opportunity to share their stories and ask the panel for advice.

CRE 2018 will once again host a Youth Zone featuring a number of specialist agencies (see below). The seminar programme covers youth and children’s issues on all three days, culminating in a range of subjects on Youth Day. For a full list of seminars click here.

• Where are all the young people? 2.15pm, Thu 18 Oct. Church Times panel of youth workers share their insights into how to reach an increasingly unchurched generation. With Ali Campbell, Savannah John-Leighton and Polly Baker. Chaired by Madeleine Davies, features editor at Church Times

CRE Youth Zone exhibitors

Youthscape
Pulse Ministries
Every Day God Encounters
Breaking the Power of Secularism
Hope UK
Demco Europe Ltd (Articles of faith)
Hope Now
Bible Educational Services 
Kisumu Children Trust 
Word for Word Bible Comic
acet UK
Youth For Christ

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

 

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Save the date for CRE 2018!
Join us at Sandown Park: 16-18 October 2018