First contact with families approaching churches for a wedding, baptism or funeral need not be the last – thanks to new online software that helps develop lasting relationships with parishioners.
The Life Events Diary, a free resource for Church of England churches and developed in partnership with iKnow Church, streamlines administration for classic rites of passage.
‘Every family that approaches a church for a wedding, banns reading, a baptism or a funeral begins a journey with that church,’ explained iKnow Church’s Kyle Cottington. ‘For the family, it can be a time of big emotions and questions. You will want to care for them and make their service the best it can be. Behind that are a huge list of tasks, not just to plan the services but to keep in touch with the families afterwards and encourage them to stay connected. That’s what Life Events Diary is all about.’
Life Events Diary:
• Records legal and personal data of families safely and securely
• Reduces duplication of data-collection and data-entry
• Prints out key information about a service in relevant formats
• Customises, records, and tracks service fees
• Never forgets a significant date for pastoral care, or an opportunity for follow-up after a service, with email reminders
• Shares data, tasks and messages with others in the church to help you direct, delegate and coordinate, wherever you are
• Live Events Diary is available on stand S95 at CRE National 2019
• iKnow Church/Church Edit are on stand S94
Photo: Helen Batt Photography
Every church in the UK should be equipped with great communications tools – and a new award scheme has been launched with deserving churches receiving up to £1000 to make it happen.
CPO chief executive Laura Trenee believes churches have a world-changing message of hope – but often fail to deliver it effectively.
‘Our vision is to see every church in the UK equipped with great communications tools,’ she said. ‘We understand the limitations of budget and time and are delighted that our Church Comms Improvement Project will offer support to those who need it.’
Anyone can nominate a church for support here. All that is needed is the name of the church, its address and a photograph or web address to demonstrate why it needs help.
Awards are to the value of between £50 and £1000, in the form of fully-funded resources and support, depending on the need – such as a new or redesigned website, a brand identity, a set of invitations or posters or even a new noticeboard. The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Mon 1st July.
CPO is a registered charity, and has received seed money for the fund. Donations to enable the project to continue can be made at give.net/churchcommsimprovement, to ensure a sustainable fund for churches that most need help in design and communications.
Based in Worthing, CPO has been working to support the UK church in its communication for more than 60 years.
• CPO are on stand S81 at CRE National 2019
Hand-blown by Muslims, hand-painted by Christians, shipped by Israelis – the ‘three-in-one’ Bethlehem Bauble is returning to CRE National 2019.
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 whilst posted to Jerusalem with the UN, Bethlehem Baubles aims to provide a grass roots, fair living wage to a struggling community.
‘Christmas should be about giving something special to the ones we love and connecting with the things that really matter,’ said Ros. ‘In an age of mass production and commercialisation, Bethlehem Baubles offers you the chance to return to these simple origins and renew the authentic spirit of the season. We’ve paired up with Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans (BFTA) who work closely with Muslim and Christian communities at an individual level in order to produce a unique gift with a direct and meaningful impact. Together we can make a difference for these skilled artisans.’
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.’
• Bethlehem Baubles are on stand S102 at CRE National 2019
Photo: Eleanor Bentall
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.
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 stands S51 and S52 at CRE National 2019