Monthly Archive October 2018

Dave HallByDave Hall

Bringing the Bible to life… including waterlogged apostles

Cheering when a ship gets wrecked is not generally encouraged in school – but Year 3 pupils could be forgiven on this occasion. Open the Book’s Nefyn team, in Gwynedd, Wales, acted out the story of Paul’s shipwreck at their school in June.

‘It seemed quite complicated to stage at first, but proved to be a huge success, with a clear message as children echoed Paul’s response to danger – trust God,’ said Barbara Custance, leader of the team.

The production was helped by the group’s chief prop support person whose vessel made its maiden voyage in the school hall.

‘Mike is skilled at creating visually effective props that can be dismantled and packed into portable units,’ explains Barbara. ‘It also helped having the story and materials in Welsh which was appreciated by the children and staff at the school.’

Open the Book’s Nefyn team is one of hundreds across England and Wales which regularly help 700,000 hear Bible stories in a dramatic way. Using props and costumes to recreate Bible stories during assemblies, some 14,800 volunteers from thousands of local churches are currently reaching 2,600 primary schools. Many children are hearing Bible stories for the first time.

Part of Bible Society, Open the Book’s long-term aim is to bring the Bible to life to all 4.5 million pupils in 18,280 schools across England and Wales.

‘CRE provides a great platform to spread Bible storytelling into new parts of the country,’ says Julie Jefferies, the organisation’s development and training manager. ‘We meet storytellers, find out local news, and receive helpful feedback.’

‘It is also the ideal place for people to discover how they can set up a local group,’ says Val Ralston, Open the Book’s promotion and training officer.

• Open the Book are on stand S43 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

Maintain your building, improve your mission

Tackle those essential maintenance tasks sooner rather than later and you reduce your longer term costs significantly.

That’s the message from CRE 2018 exhibitor the National Churches Trust, who believe a well-maintained place of worship is an important tool for mission and outreach.

‘No matter how important it is to them, congregations frequently find it difficult to look after their building cost-effectively and in particular how to fund any major works,’ says the trust’s Cicely Barnett. ‘At its most extreme this can lead to closure or demolition and the possible end of the local church itself.’

As of this month (Sep 2018), the trust’s new free, web-based maintenance service, MaintenanceBooker, is available across England and Wales following a pilot project in Yorkshire in 2017.

Cicely has been working with project manager Janet Edmond, alongside several denominations across the UK. They are available on Stand S100 at CRE 2018.

‘There has been a lot of support for MaintenanceBooker as a way to help faith volunteers and staff find qualified contractors more easily,’ she explains. ‘MaintenanceBooker can help groups of churches, too and this can significantly lower maintenance costs.’

‘Maintaining your church building is the bedrock of keeping it open,’ believes Becky Clark, director of churches and cathedrals at the Church of England. ‘Simple tasks like keeping gutters and drains clear, identifying problems with trees and properly maintaining them and ensuring stonework is well looked after, will help prevent unexpected large repair bills.’

Churches and chapels of all denominations can use the MaintenanceBooker service to request online quotes for essential maintenance services from qualified contractors before going on to book the job.

Grants have been made available by The Pilgrim Trust and the National Churches Trust to help congregations to get started. They are easy to apply for through the MaintenanceBooker website and applicants will also receive a quick decision on their application. You can find out more about MaintenanceBooker at CRE 2018 and by watching an introductory video here.

* The National Churches Trust are on stand S100 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

Discover the CRE stand that’s just the job

Whether you are looking for a new challenge or have a vacancy to post, CRE 2018 is where jobs meet candidates.

In partnership with OSCAR, dozens of unfilled positions will be displayed on the CRE Jobs Board.

If you have a vacancy in your church, charity or business you can post it for all visitors to see for just £30.

Or if you are looking for a job with a church or parachurch organisation, be sure to check out the Jobs Board at CRE 2018.

‘We know many highly-motivated and well qualified visitors come to the exhibition considering new opportunities in their careers,’ explains CRE event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘It is an important shop window for work opportunities in both commercial and vocational situations.’

To book an advert on the CRE Jobs Board click here.

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

Fifty years on: the Christingle candle burns ever brighter

Hundreds of churches, schools and more than 30 cathedrals are stocking up on oranges – to celebrate 50 years of Christingle.

The Children’s Society’s John Pensom, known as ‘Mr Christingle’, is credited with adapting the Moravian tradition and introducing it to the Church of England as a way of raising money for the society’s work with vulnerable children and young people.

‘We’d love people to come to our stand at CRE (FC32) to hear more about our plans for the 50th anniversary,’ says the Children’s Society’s Tracey Messenger. ‘We will have free resources available to make your Christingle celebrations this year the best ever! And if you’re quick, you may also receive one of our special bags of dolly mixtures!’

The first Christingle service took place at Lincoln Cathedral in December 1968. Only 300 people were expected but as many as 1500 turned up. Since then, Christingle has become a well-loved Christmas tradition, with more than 6,000 held in the UK last year. Many find it to be one of the most popular services of the year, attracting children and families who don’t normally attend church.

‘Christingle season begins at Advent and continues through until Candlemas,’ explains Tracey. ‘We’ve teamed up with tutors and ordinands at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, who have produced a suite of all-age seasonal resources, with prayers and all-age talks for Christingle services suitable for use on Advent Sunday, Christmas Eve, Epiphany and Candlemas.’

For children’s groups, there is a Messy Church Christingle session from Lucy Moore, and a Diddy Disciples resource for under 7s developed by Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin-Mumby. A new song, ‘Light a Candle’, has been composed exclusively for the anniversary by Louise Drewett, a young composer currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music. The words have been written by British poet Clare Shaw.

‘Whether you are a school choir, amateur singing group, professional, cathedral or church choir, or just love singing, ‘Light a Candle’ is the perfect way to raise your voice in celebration,’ says Tracey.

Download ‘Light a Candle’ here.

• The Children’s Society are on stand FC32 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

Add years to your life – go to church!

Going to church regularly can help ease stress and add years to your life, a new study shows.

‘Attending church is actually good for your health, particularly people between 40 and 65,’ explains Prof Marino Bruce, a social and behavioural scientist who led the study. ‘Middle-aged adults reduce their risk of dying by 55 per cent. Those who do not attend church at all are twice as likely to die prematurely than those who attended church at some point in the past year.’

The survey findings show that churches – which includes temples, mosques and other faith establishments in the attendance category – are ‘encouraging individuals to participate in something,’ said Prof Bruce, a Baptist minister and research associate professor of medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

His findings provide a backdrop for three seminars at CRE 2018 where experts will speak about encouraging elderly people and involving them in the work of the local church.

Louise Morse, from Pilgrims’ Friend Society, will look at ways to help church leaders empower and enable older people to discover the role God has planned for them (11am, Tue 16 Oct). More here

Peter Meadows and Dave Fenton, from AfterWorkNet, will point out the opportunities retired people have to serve the church and others without overburdening themselves (3pm, Tue 16 Oct). More here

Alex Burn from BRF will outline the latest move from Messy Church –Messy Vintage: The Gift of Years. She will explain how churches can not only help those living with dementia and their carers but show why ministry among older people really matters and makes a difference (2pm, Wed 17 Oct). More here

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