A new audit tool has been launched to help UK-based charities strengthen safeguarding arrangements overseas.
The tool, developed by CRE North exhibitor thirtyone:eight, is the first of its kind and comes as a response to requests from organisations wanting support in developing safeguarding arrangements and those of overseas partners.
The event followed the Department for International Development (DfID) Safeguarding Summit held in October 2018 in response to revelations of safeguarding failures within the international aid sector.
Karen Eakins (pictured), head of consultancy at thirtyone:eight, said: ‘We are receiving increasing numbers of requests for help within the challenging area of international safeguarding.
‘“Lament” is a word in the Bible which refers to recognising suffering and calling out to God to create change. By lamenting we are challenging the status quo and speaking out for change even where it is seen as culturally unacceptable.’
The audit tool is built around seven core principles which include organisational culture; policy and procedural standards; recruiting safely; training and development; safer working; recognising, responding and reporting concerns; and working with overseas partners. It follows a three-stage process of reviewing the arrangements of the UK organisation, dialogue with the overseas partner organisations and the formulation of an action plan.
It is available at no cost and sits within thirtyone:eight’s range of resources.
• thirtyone:eight are on stand A27 at CRE North
A new Christian conference and training centre, inspired by the works of classic authors Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, is under construction in outer London.
The Amana Trust, owners of a centre near Romford and a bookshop in central London for many years, have purchased a 17-acre woodland site within the M25 and 10 minutes from the Central line tube station. Easily accessible but removed from the busyness of London, the centre will be available for groups of up to 300 people in stylish wooden cabins, most with ensuite bedrooms and several with meeting spaces.
The new centre, and Watchman’s Nee’s legacy, will the focus of a seminar at CRE North.
Watchman Nee’s classics include The Normal Christian Life and The Spiritual Man. In addition, the complete works of Watchman Nee comprises a mostly unknown 62 volumes. More than 15,000 pages of Watchman Nee’s ministry was continued by his closest co-worker, Witness Lee, whose ministry was even more extensive.
The Amana Trust endeavours to help believers grow in the Christian faith, both personally and in groups. Their events include weekend retreats, week-long training and a two-year, full-time residential course.
• The Amana Trust are on stand C22 at CRE North
• Edward Diggines and Stephen Tait of the Amana Trust will speak on The enduring legacy of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee at CRE North (11am, Thu 14 Mar)
The electric snake had claimed dozens of ‘lives’ – but had no answer for the dextrous skills of one CRE visitor.
Sophie Wellbelove took on the Save With Silley Challenge at CRE 2018, reaching the end of the snake without getting ‘electrocuted’ – in just eight seconds.
‘It was an incredibly quick time and the best of the week,’ said Andrew Silley, who specialises in energy procurement, management and consumption reduction for churches and individuals. ‘We were delighted to send £100 to the Turning Point Trust on Sophie’s behalf!’ The trust works with children in Kibera, a vast slum in Nairobi, Kenya where 7,000 children are out of school due to poverty. The trust returns children to school, providing quality education and promoting literacy in the community.
As an energy professional who understands the complexities of the industry, Andrew reviews expenditure and suggests ways we can all make savings.
‘There’s really nothing to do other than decide if you want to save money,’ he said. ‘And there’s no charge for my services. The churches and charities I work with have saved between five and 56 per cent on their energy bills! In fact, I am so confident of finding you the best deal, I guarantee to beat the renewal offer of your current supplier (as detailed in your initial renewal offer letter) or I will make a donation of £75 to the charity of your choice.’
Among the charities Andrew currently supports is The Message, based in Manchester.
‘All the more reason to pay me a visit at Event City!’ said Andrew.
• Andrew Silley is on stand C18 at CRE North
Churches aren’t immune from problems with employees and should consider bringing in trained Human Resources professionals to help navigate difficult situations.
That’s the view of Nicci Birley, director of CRE North exhibitor Cornerstone Resources Ltd.
‘Church leaders are not only required to provide spiritual leadership but have to act as CEO of a small charity,’ she said. ‘Maybe someone isn’t performing, or money needs to be saved by making an employee redundant. It’s during these difficult times that the emotional as well as financial cost can be extremely high.’
Having someone you can rely on and trust who is not only trained in managing people issues but also a Christian can be invaluable, believes Nicci, founder of Cornerstone Resources Limited, an independent HR organisation.
‘In a Christian setting, we know how important relationships are and even when the right decision is to part company with someone, you’ll want to ensure where possible that the relationship doesn’t break down because of it,’ she said. ‘With many years of experience, not only in the professional HR world but also in churches and charities, we bring an understanding of church life and leadership and work closely with clients to understand their culture and vision – so we can find the right solution for all concerned.’
• Cornerstone Resources Ltd are on stand D9 (sharing with Phasic)
Saint Paul and the ‘big’ missionaries grab the headlines but we can learn a lot from the less-celebrated apostles in Acts.
‘We need to think carefully about our audiences,’ maintains Mike Penny, founder of the Open Bible Trust. ‘Why didn’t the apostle Peter go to any Gentiles, other than Cornelius? Should we be as selective in whom we witness to? Philip seemed to be doing a good job in Samaria so why did he need help from Peter and John? And taking principles from these apostles, what help do we need?’
In his seminar at CRE North, Mike will also consider the speech of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
‘We need to ask where he went wrong and learn from him,’ said Mike. ‘And who formed the churches in Rome, Spain and Egypt? Did some of the 3,000 saved on the day of Pentecost take the message back to their own cities? We should do likewise. There is no need to go abroad today to reach people for Christ.’
Looking for that ‘missing something’ between deep theology and daily reading notes sparked the Open Bible Trust into being.
‘A group of us set out in the 1980s to encourage people to widen their interest in the whole Bible,’ said Mike. The newly-formed trust created a bi-monthly magazine, Reach, which offered a number of Bible studies and opened up biblical books in an easy-to-understand manner. Several more publications followed. A former director of maths and business studies, Michael spent nine years as the minister of a church in America. Now 75, his vision has not dimmed and his seminars at CRE are usually oversubscribed.
• The Open Bible Trust are on stand A15 at CRE North
• Mike Penny will speak on Missionaries before Paul (12pm, Thu 14 Mar)
A team of award-winning programme makers and business executives have come together to launch a new discipleship resource called Little Worship Company.
Their range of products will help children and grown-ups discover God together, through easy to use DVDs, devotionals and a digital App called ‘The Little Worship Company World’. Aimed at 0 to 6-year-olds, the interactive resources are based on a curriculum suitable for churches and schools.
‘Each DVD is hosted by Hal and his parents Mr and Mrs Looyah!’ explains Jo Sunderland of Wonderborn Studios, makers of the series. ‘The Looyahs take children through a journey of worship and scripture, helping them explore God and their identity in him, grounded in biblical truths.’
Grown-ups are invited to make use of an all-age devotional, with activities and crafts for adults and children, helping them both grow in faith together. The App also offers prayers and songs.
Led by Toby Hughes, a former technology and media entrepreneur, the Wonderborn team is made up of an advisory panel, expert consultants and in-house development, production, digital and marketing teams.
• Little Worship Company will be on stand C32 at CRE North
A Methodist minister wants to take dozens of church members to CRE North – to celebrate her first five years in office.
Rev Hilary Howarth (pictured) of the Triangle Community Methodist Church, Bolton, visited the last CRE at Event City five years ago.
‘It was so brilliant I know it can make a lot of difference to church life,’ she said. ‘Our departmental leaders and helpers will get fresh ideas. We are working on our vision for the next five years and the resources on show at CRE will be a real inspiration.’
A local preacher for many years, Hilary became a minister in 2002 and served in Chorley and Northwick and Winsford circuits before returning to her roots in Bolton to lead The Triangle Community – three fellowships that came together to form a new church.
When CRE opens on March 13, Hilary wants to be there with at least 50 people – ‘so we can share together as a group and get even more out of it.’ The first day of the exhibition appeals to her because it will be open until 8pm – giving some people time to attend for a few hours after finishing work.
‘I’m passionate about growing healthy churches where Christ is central to our faith,’ she said, ‘and our love for him is expressed in relationships we share not only with those in the church family but within our communities and wider world.’
As a supporter of Bolton Wanderers FC, she may also spend a little time visiting Christians in Sport, Ambassadors Football, Sports Chaplaincy UK and the C of E Ministry of Sport.
Children’s charity World Vision are inviting church leaders to a special lunch presentation on the first day of CRE North (Wed 13 Mar).
Attendees will hear how two thirds of British adults fail to see the positive difference the Church is making globally or locally, according to the UK Church in Action report commissioned by World Vision UK in partnership with insight specialists Barna Global.
While 52 per cent of all Christians interviewed agree the Church has a positive impact in their communities, less than half (or 49 per cent) believe this is happening on a global scale. The study also found that 81 per cent of non-Christians don’t believe or don’t know how the Church is making any difference whatsoever to society.
‘Along with Barna Global, we are inviting church leaders to come and hear the latest research which gets to the heart of what social justice and mission mean today to church leaders and Christians,’ said Justin Bloomfield, the charity’s church relationships manager. ‘The report will enable attendees to better understand World Vision’s distinct calling to support churches in global mission. We hope to be able to help them improve strategies and partnerships. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet with other local church leaders from the region with shared interests.’
A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be served and attendees will also receive free entry to CRE North. Spaces are limited so if you are a Christian leader email Justin Bloomfield or call Ally Wenham on 01908 244590 by Friday 1st March.
• World Vision are on stand A16 at CRE North 2019 and stand S41 at CRE 2019
Photo ©2017 Jiro Ose/World Vision. Distribution at Imvepi refugee settlement, Uganda
Let’s get out of our church buildings and join in with our local communities through sport.
That’s the challenge issued by Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, national director of Scripture Union England and Wales. If we do, maintains Tim, we will be able to ‘offer hope, build meaningful relationships and share God’s good news.’
Tim was commenting on Mission through Sport, in which SU supports churches as they go into local parks and MUGA’s (Multi-Use Games Areas) to run weekly detached sports projects, as well as non-residential and residential sports camps. Training, resources and ‘how to’ guides have all been produced to best support churches in running exciting, simple yet safe sports activities. SU are at CRE North to show churches how it all works.
Several other exhibitors, including Christians In Sport, Sports Chaplaincy UK and the C of E Ministry of Sport, will show us how to make the most of other opportunities – previewing National Sports Sunday (19th May 2019).
• Christians in Sport (Sports Ministries UK) are on stand A36 at CRE North
Tens of thousands of people recline on his chairs daily but Gavin Duignan will never forget the moment a pontiff graced one of his carved creations.
Pope Francis entered the Apparition Chapel in Knock on an historic morning last August, perched on Gavin’s chair and prayed silently for a few moments. Specially-commissioned, the chair had been designed by Gavin of Irish Contract Seating (ICS) Furniture.
For many weeks the project was quietly worked on by skilled craftsmen at ICS in Dromod. Gavin delivered the chair himself to Knock just before the visit, calling it ‘one of the proudest moments of my career.’
ICS was started by Gavin’s father Charlie Duignan and still operates out of the same premises. Now employing 18 staff members, the company have completed over 3000 projects to date including the complete seating refurbishment of Knock Basilica in 2016, Christchurch Cathedral, as well as bespoke pieces for St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Ground Zero in New York.
The company has diversified into seating for public places, schools and conference facilities. One ICS design has just been named as a finalist in the Irish Design Institute Awards 2018. The ICON 40 chair (see below) was picked from over 350 entries to the competition.
‘It’s a great honour to have a chair nominated for an Irish Design Institute award and it means that the ICON 40 now ticks all the boxes for both functionality and aesthetic appeal,’ explained Gavin. ‘For now we must sit tight (sorry!) and see what happens on January 24th.’
• ICS are on stand B1 at CRE North 2019 and stand S142 at CRE 2019