Monthly Archive October 2019

Dave HallByDave Hall

Torch Trust sets sights on 50,000 UK churches

Some 250 people a day are diagnosed with sight loss – but a click on this mapreveals much of the UK population miles from a church offering inclusive facilities.

CRE National 2019 exhibitor Torch Trust aims to change all that. Currently celebrating 60 years of seeing those living with sight loss grow in faith and thrive in Christian community, the trust is looking to partner with more than 50,000 churches across the UK. It will present Sight Loss Friendly Church at CRE National 2019 – an initiative to equip and enable churches to consider the needs of those with sight loss, providing free expert advice and guidance, workshops, training and accessible Christian literature and resources. 

‘We can’t wait to meet you at Sandown Park (stand B4) as part of Churches for All,’ said Torch Trust’s Melissa Armstrong.‘Don’t leave CRE without chatting about the particular needs in your church.’

For the first time, the CRE visitor handbook will be available in large print and braille versions (at the reception and at the Churches for All stands), courtesy of CRE and Torch Trust.Torch Trust also produce a wide range of helpful material including braille and large print bibles, audio and electronic media. It also runs a postal library providing a regular supply of Christian books.

• The Torch Trust (stand B4) are part of Churches for All (stands B3 to B5) at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Study Zone: Deepen your learning, sharpen your skills

Several colleges will come together to form a Study Zone at CRE National 2019.

The initiative is for people of all ages interested in theological study and its practical implementation at every level – from short courses to doctorates, summer schools to evening classes, residential or online. 

‘We are delighted so many organisations are taking the opportunity to showcase all they have to offer our visitors,’ said CRE MD Steve Goddard. ‘If you’ve thought about studying further but never got round to it, Sandown Park is where you’ll discover the options available.’

The zone will be situated around a bespoke seminar area, where participating colleges will contribute short presentations on the whys and wherefores of theological study and life-long learning. Several college representatives, including two principals, Rev Dr David Hilborn of Moorlands and Andy Dipper, of All Nations, will contribute to the general seminar and CRED talk programme. Click here for the full seminar schedule.

‘It’s never too late to begin, though studying Greek and Hebrew when I was 20 gave me a much deeper understand of the Christian faith,’ said Steve. ‘We were also given a range of tasks to apply our faith in a practical way – and that was just as important. Whatever academic qualifications you have, or don’t have, one or other of the colleges will provide a way forward.’ 

The colleges taking part in the Study Zone at CRE National 2019 are:

All Nations Christian College
London School of Theology
Moorlands College
Oak Hill College
Waverley Abbey College

• The Study Zone runs from stands SZ1 to SZ5 at CRE National 2019

Photo: Oak Hill College students, Eleanor Bentall

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Mental health: High time churches ‘learned the language’

An eight-week course, taking participants on a journey discussing faith and mental health, will be introduced at CRE National 2019.

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, from Vancouver, Canada, have found their message is crossing continents – hence their first visit to Sandown Park.

‘Churches rarely have the language to talk about the subject, and this has meant that people experiencing mental health challenges have felt isolated and misunderstood,’ explained Sanctuary’s Kate Dewhurst.

The course challenges the stigma associated with mental health and considers the importance of companionship, self-care and the community in the recovery journey.

When a preacher’s daughter was diagnosed with bipolar II diagnosis, she felt exposed to the stigma surrounding mental illness and was convinced the church would be no different.

‘Ashamed, fearful of judgment and convinced I was the only one struggling, I kept my diagnosis under wraps,’ she admitted. ‘I self-stigmatized. Why wasn’t my faith enough to balance the chemical makeup of my brain or calm my worries? From the beginning, Sanctuary’s passion for spreading mental health awareness within faith communities was evident. Words cannot express the freedom that comes from knowing that one is not weak, not of little faith, and most importantly, not alone.’

The Sanctuary Course, with an introductory 60 per cent off available to visitors at CRE National 2019, is a small group resource designed to help initiate and guide conversations about mental health and faith. 

‘It is a starting point, creating a base of shared knowledge from which churches can explore the next steps,’ said Kate Dewhurst. ‘Perhaps most importantly, through the simple act of talking openly, the course helps churches create safe spaces for people to share their mental health stories and receive support in community.’

• Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries are on stand S109 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Oberammergau: Make next year, your year

A picturesque Bavarian village will welcome more than half a million visitors next year and one exhibitor at CRE National 2019 wants you to join them.

The world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed 386 years ago. With neighbouring villages ravaged by the bubonic plague, the villagers vowed to present the drama of Christ’s journey into Jerusalem, his death and resurrection – if the village was spared.

More than 2,000 villagers, an orchestra and a vast stage have enthralled audiences every ten years since. 

‘Now is the time to act if you would like book your place as limited space remains on escorted group departures from May to September 2020,’ said McCabe Pilgrimages’ Paul Ellerby. McCabe is one of the only UK travel companies to include top category tickets for the play with accommodation in Oberammergau village itself. 

‘You’ll enjoy a one-week holiday, combining a stay in Austria with one or two nights in Oberammergau,’ said Paul. ‘All holidays include an excursion programme with a pilgrimage theme and opportunities for worship.’

• McCabe Pilgrimage are on stand S125 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Now first contact needn’t be the last

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 is a free tool for Anglican churches, making it easier for them to follow the latest data-protection laws and keep information in one, safe place. It also includes tools to help with pastoral care, offering timely reminders of anniversaries and helping administrators stay in touch with occasional visitors.

Developed by the Church of England in conjunction with iKnow Church (Church Edit), it has already become an essential part of ministry for many churches with lots of positive feedback. The C of E’s Tom Pearson will speak on the subject at CRE National 2019 (3pm, Wed 16 Oct).

‘Visitors will get an insight into the many opportunities Church of England churches have to build relationships with those who come to them for their services,’ said Tom. ‘And they’ll walk away with a clear understanding of how engagement, relationship and follow up is so important.’

• Life Events are on stand S95 and iKnow Church are on stand S94 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Hope springs eternal for south coast station

Situated in the Original Cindy’s Bar throughout CRE National 2019, Hope FM will broadcast the best of this year’s exhibition to Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch – and internationally over the internet.

From its base in Bournemouth YMCA, the station has been operative for 12 years, featuring local celebrities and broadcasting from major Christian events. Interviews have been conducted with well-known figures like Pam Rhodes, Noel Tredinnick, Matt Redman, Peter Meadows, Andy Flanagan, Canon Andrew White, Dr Tony Campolo, Sir Cliff Richard, Glen Campbell, Matt Redman, Daniel O’Donnell, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and many others. It has also featured the work of scores of Christian ministries.

‘Next year we have a unique opportunity to develop the station,’ said Hope FM’s founder and president Blair Crawford. ‘Talks are currently taking place about the possibility of moving to a new location so the station will be even better placed to serve its local, national and international audience, sponsors and supporters.’

• Hope FM will be in Cindy’s Bar at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Twenty more reasons to discover CLC at CRE

A new initiative that enables participants to save 20 per cent on all purchases will be launched by Christian Literature Crusade (CLC) at CRE National 2019. 

Called Equip, those signing up at the CLC stand (S17) will also take away a free book.

‘The scheme has been designed to give easy access to the best resources for ministry,’ said CLC’s Daryl Wearring, ‘at our stores, online or at events where CLC exhibit.’

By signing up you will also be told of special events at bookshops, receive regular e-newsletters about new church resources and get seasonal brochures highlighting key books and resources.

Among the free books on offer at CRE are: I’d like you more if you were more like me (John Ortberg), Out of darkness (Stormie Omartian), O Holy Night: A Christmas colouring book and The Very First Christmas

‘With books, bibles, music, DVDs, children’s materials and a wide range of church resources this is an offer not to be missed and a chance to bless your church or Christian friends with the latest in Christian literature or music at a reduced price,’ said Daryl. ‘And every purchase at CLC helps support global mission projects around the world.’

• The CLC bookshop is on stand S17 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Franklin Graham: ‘Only Jesus Christ offers lasting purpose’

Sixty-five years after Billy Graham’s first historic UK missions his son, Franklin, will conduct eight evangelistic meetings around the UK in 2020 – with the London launch this year on Saturday 26 October.

In an advance message, Franklin said: ‘Two-thirds of people in the UK say they are unfulfilled and nearly 20 per cent struggle with constant loneliness. Only Jesus Christ offers lasting purpose, in this life and for eternity. He is our only hope – and you can reach your community with his love.’

Franklin has devoted his life to proclaiming the gospel and serves as president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). His first evangelistic event with the ministry was in 1989 and since then he has held 197 events in 188 cities and 51 countries.

The tour, which will feature a message from Franklin and live music from Michael W. Smith and Planetshakers, doesn’t start until summer 2020. However, visitors to CRE National 2019 will be invited to the London launch (7pm, Westminster Chapel) on Sat 26 Oct 2019, where they can find out how to be a part of the tour and the build up to it.

‘We are calling on those attending CRE National to get involved by spreading the word of the tour in their churches and local communities, praying for revival, and then inviting others to the event,’ said Jeremy Meyer of BGEA (UK).

The list of other launch meetings across the country are:

Birmingham, October 19, 10.30am, Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU

Cardiff, October 22, 7.30pm, All Nations Centre, Sachville Avenue, CF14 3NY

Glasgow, October 15, 7pm Double Tree by Hilton, Cambridge Street, G2 3HN

Liverpool, October 25, 7pm, Liverpool Football Club, Anfield Road, Anfield, L4 0TH

Milton Keynes, October 24, 7pm, MKCC, Strudwick Drive, MK6 2TG

Newcastle, October 16, 7.30 pm, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, Bottle Bank, NE8 2AR

Sheffield, October 17, 7pm, St Thomas Philadelphia, 6 Gilpin Street, S6 3BL

• The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are on stand S27 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

UK Jewish students ‘encountering prejudice and hostility’

Many Jewish students in the UK believe it is now not just a matter of whetherthey should go to Israel but when.

That was the message to the recent Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) conference in Eastbourne from Jonathan Farrell, director of student affairs for StandWithUs UK, who told 300 visitors that many Jewish students in UK university campuses encounter anti-Semitic prejudice and hostility. The organisation is now trying to focus on the next generation of students ‘so that the Jewish community, and also other communities, have a set of leaders with a fair education about Israel and the chance to work within a community feeling under threat.’

At the same conference Dr Calvin L Smith, of King’s Evangelical Divinity School, highlighted the importance of considering the ‘big picture’ that emerges from the Bible, to keep everything in context. He clarified that, in talking about Israel, he was referring to the Jewish people in a very broad sense and that Israel is an enduring biblical theme that starts in the book of Genesis and runs right through to the book of Revelation.

He touched on some of the prophecies which suggest that, far from being replaced by the church, Israel as a nation still has an important role to play in God’s plans and that he works at a national level, as well as at the levels of the individual, community and cosmos.

• Christian Friends of Israel are on stand S61 at CRE National 2019

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Dave HallByDave Hall

Glad tidings! Christmas Comms Clinic launched at CRE

If you’re tired of doing the same thing every Christmas at your church, the first-ever CRE Christmas Comms Clinic is for you!

CPO, who have supported churches with communications for more than 60 years, are offering visitors a free 20-minute consultation with a member of their friendly and knowledgeable team at CRE National 2019.

‘Your church has a hugely exciting piece of news to share,’ said CPO’s Jo Swinney. ‘We want to help you be the best at welcoming visitors to hear the Christmas message.’

Many churches are scared to change what they have always done because of limited time and budgets – but CPO do not believe these are barriers to communicating well. 

‘What you want to do with your 20-minute consultation is up to you,’ said Jo. ‘We recommend you bring along examples of previous Christmas outreach resources, ideas for this year, or if you are super organised, your design concepts. Whether you want to talk about printed resources, your website or digital resources as a whole, we’ll be delighted to help you plan for this pivotal time of the year.’

There are only 36 consultations available over the three days of CRE National 2019. If you are interested in meeting with our team please email CPO and they will let you know what slots are available. 

‘To avoid disappointment, get in touch as soon as possible as these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis,’ said Jo.

• The Christmas Comms Clinic is on stands E1/E2 at CRE National 2019
• CPO are on stand S81 at CRE National 2019

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Join us at CRE National 2019!
Sandown Park, 15-17 October 2019