Monthly Archive October 2020

Dave HallByDave Hall

One small step to effective mission

The beginning of a major church building project can seem daunting but Phil Winch of CPL Architects thinks the simple answer is – take the first step.

Architectural design, technical complexity, site constraints, complex approvals, funding, procurement – what do you when faced with a challenge of this scale?

‘The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” It’s the same for many churches,’ explained Phil. ‘The beginning of a major building project can often seem like beginning a journey of a thousand miles.’ 

The answer is to put one foot in front of the other.

There is a well‐established process for the design and procurement of building projects, defined most famously by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the Plan of Work, namely:

  • the envisioning and briefing process
  • feasibility analysis and research
  • option appraisal
  • consultation and concept design development 

After this comes statutory and other approvals, technical design and production information. Finally, there’s project procurement, with contractor selection, tendering, construction and handover. 

‘These are all significant steps in the design and construction process to deliver a first class building to meet the needs identified in the initial vision of a church project,’ said Phil. ‘You might say that building design is in fact a journey of a thousand small steps.’

One way in which this scheme can be applied is in the phasing of construction projects where funding is limited or being raised over a period time. 

‘We have been working with members of Dunchurch Baptist Church (pictured) in Rugby,’ said Phil. ‘They have a vision for a new building to replace an old, prefabricated structure. Phase One, the weatherproof shell is now complete, allowing Phase Two, the internal fit‐out work, to proceed under separate contract to suit funding at their own pace.’

Phasing is a simple and yet powerful way of achieving a significant building project, in a series of manageable steps.

‘If you have a vision for a new building project, do let us know if we can help you take that first step,’ said Phil.

Click here for more information

• CPL Architects will be exhibiting at CRE South West 2021 (17-18 Mar 2021) and CRE National 2021 (12-14 Oct, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey)

Photo: Dunchurch Baptist Church, Rugby

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
23-24 June 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Drug abuse: church is not a safe haven

At a time when one in three of all UK school pupils have been offered drugs, the chances are that many of the young people in your church have already been targeted.

So says Sarah Brighton, CEO of Hope UK, in her CRE At Home 2020 seminar Drugs and the Church.

‘If this is the case, have you considered how they will manage the situation?’ she says. ‘Do you just leave them to get on with it or is there something you can do to help them before it happens?

‘It’s nice to think your church doesn’t have a problem but most church members are living in the wider world and sadly are not exempt from coming into contact with and possibly using drugs.’

In her seminar Sarah explains:

  • The help or support you should consider giving the children and young people who attend your church and those with whom your church come into contact
  •  The legal responsibilities you have regarding buildings you own or hire
  •  How you can help people in your church or community with drug-related issues – in their families and as individuals

For more than 160 years, Hope UK have equipped young people to make drug*-free choices (including legal substances such as alcohol and cigarettes), working with groups and individuals in formal and informal settings helping them develop the knowledge and skills they need to live healthy lives. 

‘Our aim at Hope UK is that we will be so good at our work that young people will be equipped to deal with the issues around drugs (and other areas) that they can make healthy choices for themselves and won’t need to be “rescued” later in life,’ says Sarah.

  • Click here to watch Sarah’s seminar
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
23-24 June 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Open a window of blessing for UK hospices

A new advent resource has been launched to help hospices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hospice Advent Calendar aims to raise thousands of pounds through profits from sales.

David Marshall, CEO of The Meaningful Chocolate Company, makers of the calendar, said: ‘Hospice fund-raising has been hit particularly badly by the pandemic, yet the hospices continue their work with the most vulnerable members of our society and their families – providing care, comfort and support. That’s why we have developed the Fairtrade Hospice Advent Calendar. 

‘Buy one and you will be supporting hospices. Also, because of the 25 Fairtrade milk chocolates in each calendar, you will be supporting farmers across the globe.’

For each calendar bought at full price from The Meaningful Chocolate online shop, £1 will be donated to six participating hospices. The £1 donation will be split as follows: 50p will be shared across all the participating hospices and purchasers can choose where the remaining 50p donation goes – by selecting one from the list of six before adding the calendar to the shopping cart.

‘Or you can simply add calendars to your cart and whole £1 donation will be spread across all six hospices,’ explained David. 

The calendars are only available to buy from The Meaningful Chocolate online shop.

Click here to order yours.

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Worship: back to biblical basics

The pandemic has forced us to take worship back to basics but it needn’t be any less powerful.

That’s Lucy Grimble’s message in her CRE At Home 2020 seminar – Top tips for leading a stripped-back worship session.

‘During lockdown I’ve just played keyboards and sung,’ she explains. ‘It’s been a big adjustment as I’m used to playing with a band and making a big sound. Suddenly we’ve been forced to make it simple. But I’ve found these to be some of the most powerful times of worship.’

She points to many biblical precedents for stripped-back worship in the Bible: David playing his harp on the hills around Jerusalem, Paul and Silas in prison, the disciples in the upper room.

‘These times of worship were heartfelt and intimate but also powerful and world-changing,’ she explains.

Based in London, Lucy has been playing since she was four years old and started out in classical music, learning four instruments and taking part in orchestras and choirs. As a teenager she started writing her own songs on the guitar, heavily influenced by soul and R&B music and ‘has been writing songs ever since!’ 

  • Click here to watch Lucy’s seminar
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Dana: Mary’s prayer has helped me through the pandemic

Irish singer Dana has relied on prayer during the pandemic, calling it the greatest resource for any situation. 

Interviewed by Cindy Kent for CRE At Home 2020, the 1970 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest explains: ‘For decades, every time I walk on stage I recite Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He that is mighty has done great things and Holy is His name.”’ 

‘After Damian and I were married he had to go to America and I was at home, pregnant,’ she recalls. ‘I had an inexplicable fear of being on my own. I couldn’t sleep and my fear was irrational and uncontrollable. One of our very dear friends who opened the ecumenical prayer centre in Rostrevor, the late Rev Cecil Kerr, visited me for those few weeks that Damian was away. I also had problems with my voice. He said: “You have to remember one of the most powerful prayers in scripture, The Magnificat. Any time you feel afraid, say that prayer. I promise you will get a great sense of peace.’”

Dana, who has now released more than 30 albums, began saying the prayer constantly and the following year, after her baby Grace was born, went back to full-time singing.

‘I was doing a summer season in Babbacombe for five months,’ she recalls. ‘Damian’s hotel had been blown up but we felt I could go back to work and the baby could go with us. However, I was absolutely petrified, so every time I walked on to the stage, I would say that prayer. I have said it constantly through my life ever since.’

Cindy’s conversations with several personalities are all part of CRE At Home – a ‘virtual’ exhibition that replaces this year’s national exhibition. They are all available at CRE TV.

  • Click here to listen to the whole interview.
  • For a list of special guests on Cindy’s Sofa click here.
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

Photo: Dana looks over the new words to her Eurovision-winning song ‘All Kinds Of Everything’ with pupils from Notre Dame School in Cobham, Surrey

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Sir Cliff: turning 80 but inspired by a baby

Sir Cliff may be about to turn 80 but the distant memory of a new-born baby has inspired him during the pandemic – as well as a few vegetables!

Speaking to Rev Cindy Kent in an exclusive interview for CRE At Home 2020, he recalls spending his first Christmas as a Christian with his sister, who had just given birth.

‘The sight of a little one helped me to understand how Jesus had become a human being,’ he recounts. ‘It was as if he was giving us a huge example of what he would like us to be.’

When the coronavirus struck, he was in Barbados.

‘I was locked in for five weeks,’ he recalls. ‘Suddenly I found I had time to do just about anything. I was writing a book so I used a lot of the time doing that.’

He describes looking out on a friend’s garden: ‘The plants and trees were all different. I could never believe that this is all some massive accident. I am surrounded by God’s creation.’

He also talks about planting tomatoes, lettuce, courgettes and onions in the garden of his house in Portugal. 

‘What amazes me is that they don’t have any brains,’ he says, ‘so how do they come up every year as tomatoes? They have the same water, the same sun, the same fertilizer, so how can this not be created? Even my vegetables were a great resource for confidence in God.’

The veteran performer was supposed to celebrate his 80th birthday (October 14) with The Great 80 Tour this month but it had to be cancelled.

‘We postponed it until next year. Fortunately, when we start, if we start, I will still be 80. But by the end I will be 81!’

  • Click here to listen to the whole interview with Cliff on CRE TV
  • For a list of special guests on Cindy’s Sofa click here.
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Bryn Haworth: we are experiencing a taste of prison life

We are getting a taste of what prisoners’ lives are like – without the terrible living conditions they face.

So says musician Bryn Haworth, reflecting on life in lockdown with Cindy Kent on CRE TV – part of CRE At Home 2020.

‘Two in a cell, toilets in the room, locked up for between 22 and 23 hours a day,’ he explains. ‘In prison you lose your freedom and a lot of us outside are experiencing this. But it is terrible for them and I am wondering when we finally go in, what kind of mental state they will be in because it must be awful.’

A renowned expert on the slide guitar, Bryn, with 22 albums to his name, regularly performs for prison inmates but all his engagements have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

‘We have continued doing talks and DVDs to send into prisons,’ he says. ‘Some have internal radio and tv stations, so I am sending things in for Sunday worship. I have also put together a new compilation called Peace and Understanding to be given away in prisons.’ 

However, as the lockdown has continued, he confesses to finding it difficult to stay motivated.

‘I have had to set new goals which keep changing and make myself keep working,’ he explains. ‘And I keep doing the basics, like reading the Bible and worshipping. I get a walk in every day and keep thanking God that he has got me and the whole world in his hands.’

‘Years ago, I wrote a song called Slipping and Falling and there is a verse in Jude 1:24 which says: “He is able to keep you from falling”. I have found that sometimes I am drifting but he is the faithful one – even when we are faithless. Jesus has got me and is never going to let me go, and I have been playing that song over and over again. It is funny how songs you have written come back to you in these times.’

  • Click here to listen to the whole interview with Bryn on CRE TV. 
  • For a list of special guests on Cindy’s Sofa click here.
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Evangelism: don’t leave it to the ‘professionals’

With 30 years in evangelism behind him, Rev Andy Godfrey is convinced that far too many Christians are happy to leave it to the professionals.

‘We hand it over to those involved in full-time Christian work – whether it is the pastor, youth worker or church-based evangelist,’ he believes. ‘It is one of the biggest problems the church faces today.’

In a seminar for CRE At Home 2020 – Evangelism made easy for every Christian, honestly – he points out how every Christian can be, and ought to be, an affective evangelist.

‘Irrespective of age, gender or gifts,’ says Andy, ‘everyone who knows Jesus can share their faith with neighbours, friends, people in shops, or even the postman.’

A joint survey by the Evangelical Alliance and Church of England revealed that 48 per cent of Christians were afraid to talk about their faith, 47 per cent said the devil seemed to prevent them from sharing the gospel. Andy, who trained in evangelism at Moorlands Bible College, refuses to believe the 43 per cent who said they never came into contact with non-Christians.

‘If the Covid-19 crisis has taught us anything it is that people are prepared to look for God,’ he says, pointing out that one in four people are reported to have watched church services on the internet when the pandemic first struck. ‘People are looking for answers. People do want to hear what we have to say.’

He also explains how the Good News Newspaper, which he edits, is easily given away – to neighbours, door to door, or just to friends.

  • Click here to watch Andy’s seminar
  • For a list of CRE At Home 2020 seminars click here
  • To view the CRE At Home 2020 handbook click here

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Apostle in lockdown! Lessons from a saint in isolation

Reckon we’ve got it bad? The Apostle Paul faced a five-year ‘lockdown’ during which he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, held by armed guards on Malta (after a shipwreck), then imprisoned in Rome for two years!

In a seminar for CRE At Home 2020, Michael Penny, of CRE exhibitor Open Bible Trust, uses Paul’s experiences to show how it is possible to rejoice, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. While millions are bored or frightened, wondering if and when the lockdown will ease, Michael encourages us to find the kind of contentment experienced by Paul.

‘Beaten, flogged, and always in fear of his life, Paul still managed to write several major letters,’ explains Michael. ‘In the one to the Philippians he points out how, every time he prayed for them, he prayed with joy.’

Michael Penny

Michael uses the theme of learning contentment against the backdrop of Covid-19 to highlight how we can also find contentment.

‘I was a bit of a malcontent, to be honest,’ he explains. ‘I was restless, looking for something to do all the time, but I am of the opinion that Paul was an energised buddy. He was always on the go and these five years stopped him. Maybe initially he was frustrated, but in the end he learned to be content. And maybe this pandemic has forced a lot of us to stop and be still and know the Lord.

‘Maybe we have learned a quiet contentment which is so very precious.’

Click here to watch the seminar.

• Open Bible Trust are exhibiting at CRE South West 2021 (17-18 March, Westpoint, Exeter) and CRE National 2021 (Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey, 12-14 Oct)

Image: Sweet Publishing

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

140,000 reasons why charity has earned national accreditation

An independent Christian safeguarding charity has been awarded the national quality standard for ‘outstanding’ helpline provision.

Currently celebrating 30 years of continuous service, Thirtyone:eight’s Safeguarding Helpline is open to anyone and provides a free source of advice and support for churches, charities and faith-based organisations on all safeguarding concerns.

‘During the pandemic, two issues have been raised more than any other,’ said Thirtyone:eight’s Peter Wright. ‘Firstly, how to communicate safely online with children and young people and, secondly, how to deliver essentials safely to adults that are self-isolating or shielding – and whether these adults are classed as having care and support needs.

‘Additionally, we’ve seen a particular rise in calls around mental health issues, domestic abuse and how churches can help people with anxiety caused by financial loss.’ 

Answering the calls are a team of committed Christian safeguarding professionals with backgrounds in social work, education and the police. As one caller recently said: ‘Knowing you can pick up the phone and get access to a dedicated team of professional safeguarding advisors, who understand the specialist context in which you are working, is hugely significant for us.’

National accreditation has been awarded by the Helplines Partnership (the national body for helpline providers) and has been specifically developed for the helpline sector to recognise excellence and best practice in service delivery.

‘It is a huge privilege to be awarded this national accreditation which reflects the high level of service to which we aspire,’ said Barbara Ball, the charity’s head of advisory services. ‘Since 1990 the helpline has been there for people to answer any questions or provide advice on issues ranging from drafting a safeguarding policy to how to respond to a case of abuse. In that time our experienced team have answered well over 140,000 calls. We are especially delighted to receive this award as we celebrate an important milestone in our organisation’s history.’

In granting the award, the Helplines Partnership said: ‘It was clear that Thirtyone:eight’s helpline is strongly focused on meeting the needs of its callers. From observations and discussions undertaken during the assessment, the commitment to delivering an effective high-quality service was strongly evident. Helplines Partnership would like to congratulate those involved.’

Click here for more information

CRE At Home

See the CRE At Home resources guide!

Our next exhibitions

CRE South West 2021
17-18 March 2021
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE National 2021
12-14 October 2021
Sandown Park, Surrey