Monthly Archive September 2021

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Streaming with laughter: vote for your favourite online church service moment of mayhem

Thousands of churches, often heroically, continued their ministry of worship and preaching during lockdown – by taking their services online.

In a matter of months, new skills were learned, sometimes under extreme pressure. One year on, the idea of local churches live streaming their activities on a permanent basis is here to stay. But where to from here? CRE National 2021 will offer visitors the opportunity to hear and learn from a range of experts who spend their professional lives helping people buy the right technology and develop the skills required. Click here to see the exhibition seminar programme.

Of course, as is the case with any live event, things have sometimes gone hilariously wrong. To celebrate these moments CRE teamed up with online comedy magazine Ship of Fools in a search for the funniest online church gaffes. The four finalists are below.

Scroll down to enjoy these moments of unintended comedy and vote for your favourite in our online Streaming with Laughter poll. The results will be published before CRE National 2021 – where you can find out how to avoid similar calamities!

See the clips!

Vicar on fire – Revd Stephen Beach, Vicar of St Budeaux in Plymouth gets into a spot of bother during an online worship experience.

Cat and cassock – The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, discovers his inner cat during a Bible reading.

Drummer v foliage – The worship drummer of First Church of the Nazarene in Marietta, Georgia, does spiritual warfare with errant foliage.

Blues Brothers worship – Revd Vaughan Roberts leads livestream worship at St Mary’s in Warwick with the comedy filters turned on.

Vote here!

Vote for the funniest online church fail below. Click on the image of your choice, and then click the Vote button. Thanks for taking part!

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Millmead refurnishing: the divine is in the detail

The opinions of an ancient Greek philosopher have been part of the thinking behind the refurnishing of a church in the 21st century. 

In Pythagoras’ view the number three was perfect – the number of harmonies, wisdom and understanding. It was the number of the divine.

The newly-renovated Millmead, home of Guildford Baptist Church, had been transformed by Re-Format Architects. ICS Furniture were asked to provide the new seating, with a brief to design, manufacture and install not one, but three styles of seating – suitable for a number of different uses.

Millmead, home of Guildford Baptist Church

‘The regeneration of the 500-seat auditorium, coupled with the need for an inclusive worship and community space, led to a full seating fitout of benches, flip seating in walkway and aisle areas along with stackable chairs to the front of the auditorium, providing the freedom to increase capacity when required,’ explained Gavin Duignan, managing director of ICS.

‘The stackable chairs and their trolley system allowed for neat and easy storage.

‘All items were manufactured in ash. The upholstery fabric with its deep, soft chenille quality also incorporates Aquaclean technology allowing for easy maintenance into the future.  

‘There was careful consideration of the design, protypes, fabric choices and timber by the passionate team at the church. The dedication by all involved, even during the first lockdown, never waned. We were delighted to have worked with the committee at Guildford Baptist Church.’

Duncan Stonehouse, the church’s operations manager, said: ‘It was a very innovative way of providing seating in the most convenient way. We were delighted with the result.’

ICS Church Furnishers look forward to welcoming visitors to their stand at CRE National 2021 – to talk over their winning trinity: design, manufacture and installation, creating the ‘perfect harmony’ for church seating projects.

• ICS Church Furnishers are on stand G6 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Fresh option for communion beyond Covid

A Liverpool company is helping churches administer communion in a way that helps prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The elements are delivered in a small pre-filled communion cup containing a double seal. Peeling off the first seal reveals an altar wafer. A second seal reveals non-alcoholic grape juice.

Suhail, director of Miracle Meal in the UK, is already dealing with regular orders.

‘Churches have found our product useful during the pandemic,’ he said. ‘Many delivered the communion elements individually to members in advance, to be used during services broadcast online. Some ordered their own packages so they could take part in similar services.’

Communion beyond Covid

Once churches were able to meet in public again, with members suitably seated according to safety regulations, Miracle Meal supplies, which come in packs of 21, 100, 250, or 500, or 1,000, proved advantageous once more. 

‘The double-sealed containers mean it is simple to provide more with no wastage,’ explained Suhail. ‘And nothing needs washing up and cleansing afterwards.’

The vision for Miracle Meal belongs to Dominic and Alidia Symes in South Africa. The couple were on holiday in Singapore when they learnt that Dominic’s father had been diagnosed with cancer. Turning to God for support, the church in which they were worshipping used the communion service as an integral part of prayer for healing. It proved such a blessing that on their return to South Africa the couple spent two years researching how to encourage more to take communion. Miracle Meal finally came to fruition with companies set up in South Africa, America, Canada and the UK.

‘Our heart is to supply the communion cup to every Christian on this planet at a fair price,’ explained Dominic. ‘God has given our team the strength, courage and wisdom to take this product global. Please never stop praying for our team and remember Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the lord is good.’”

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

A familiar face warms to new role

Christopher Dunphy is pleased to announce that the company he founded and has managed for more than 30 years has been taken over by a commercial heating company.

An ever present at CRE since 1988, Chris has installed more than 1000 church heating systems throughout the UK during that time. But now he will be at the exhibition in a new guise with ChurchEcoMiser (Surrey Hall J1) – a new, all-electric heating system designed for smaller churches.

‘It will be great to get back to Sandown Park and something approaching the new normal,’ he said. ‘CRE is a great place to visit for anyone committed to seeing their local church grow and thrive.’

Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical will now be run by Druggitt and Harding, who will exhibit under Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical at this year’s exhibition.

Warren Taylor, the company’s new managing director, who will be on the Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical stand throughout the exhibition, said: ‘I am really looking forward to the exhibition. We have taken over a company with a wealth of experience in the church heating market and we hope to complement and strengthen it with our commercial experience.’

• ChurchEcoMiser are on stand J1 and Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical Heating are on stand J4 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

‘Rhyming’ Roche is new Baptist bard

One of the oldest non-conformist churches in Britain has been the subject of a planning application – and a newly-penned poem!

Tewksbury Baptist recently received the go ahead for a major extension and alterations, to become more proactive in the local community. Church leader Shane Roche expressed his delight in a poem which highlights the history of the church which first opened in the early 1600s. It includes the verses:

What if we had rooms that locals could use,
Where community groups crossed and shared passions and views
Where choirs could sing and children could dance,
And the disabled and impaired were given a chance

What if the poor were cared for, respected
Given self-worth, no longer dejected
What if we had coffee and food that was homely
And we invited the isolated, vulnerable and lonely

EMJ Architects, with 22 years’ experience helping churches and charities in similar situations, worked with the fellowship’s leaders to produce the plans which will create what the verses call for. A new 200-seat worship space is specified, with access through a large, open-plan entrance. 

The existing worship area will be transformed into a new activity hall, commercial kitchen and servery. New toilet facilities are also planned. On a new floor, a children’s church room will be created, along with meeting and function rooms.

Sketch from EMJ Architects

The church sits on a corner plot, between Station Road and Chance Street and the design extends the existing church towards the site boundary in both directions with a new circular tower feature on the corner forming a stairwell to the first floor. 

‘Because the church is built on land historically associated with the railway, the glazed curtain wall of the entrance will feature the etched image of a steam locomotive to illustrate the history of the site,’ said architect Ben Bonadel. ‘It will also further ground the redeveloped church in the community it serves.

‘The development will meet the needs of the church family and the wider community. The  proximity of the extended church to the public realm is intended to better connect the church with the surrounding community. Large areas of glazing create a warm and bright internal environment and speak of transparency, openness and a sense of being welcome.’

The sustainability and energy efficiency of the building are key considerations. The development will feature a significant photovoltaic (solar) roof panel array, along with the capacity for air source heating, to produce energy even on a cloudy day, reduce the carbon footprint and trim energy bills. The building will benefit from a mixed mode natural and mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. Specific regard has been given to the management of potential disease transmission associated with recirculated air.

• EMJ Architects are on stand D11 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Take the first steps to making friends with strangers

When we come into contact with other faith communities it is not always easy to know what to say – but one organisation is there to help.

For almost 160 years Interserve has been reaching people in Asia and the Arab world. Its aim? To encourage Christians to engage well with people from different backgrounds and belief systems.

‘Through our Associate Church Programme, we support local churches as they work through the challenges and practicalities of presence and gospel engagement among people of other faiths and cultures,’ said Kevin Wren, Interserve’s head of development. ‘If anyone works with people from Asia and the Arab World, we can help.’

The organisation provides access to networking, guidance, consultancy, support and examples of good practice from which to develop effective and long-term, cross-cultural relationships.

‘We want to see lives transformed through an encounter with Jesus Christ,’ said Kevin. ‘We do this alongside the local church in ways that reflect the whole of life – work, rest and play. We look forward to talking to CRE visitors, to show them how we can use our experience and passion to serve them as they engage with people who may not share their convictions.’

• Interserve are on stand A42 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

No room on the shelf for ‘real’ advent calendar

For the first time in eight years supermarkets are not stocking The Real Advent Calendar – but it will be available at the upcoming CRE National.

The calendar, made by the Meaningful Chocolate Company, includes a 24-page Christmas story activity book and supports Fairtrade. 

‘No other calendar does this, so its absence from supermarket shelves marks a significant step,’ said David Marshall, founder of the company. ‘We tried our best with Tesco, our usual stockist, but it seems there is currently no room on their shelves for the Christmas story.

The Real Advent Calendar from Meaningful Chocolate

‘The calendar is a great way for parents, grandparents and Godparents to share the Christmas story. If you are one of the 60,000 people who usually buy a Real Advent Calendar at Tesco then you need to buy at CRE National or from our website. But order soon. We ran out early last year.’

The Real Advent Calendar costs £4.50 in cases of 18 or as singles. It will be available at the KCLCT stand at CRE National 2021.

• The KCLCT Bookshop is on stand A28 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for the CRE National 2021 handbook

Your new 64-page products and services guide to CRE National 2021. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Welcome in the singled out

At a time when two in every five of UK adults are single, churches should do more to welcome and include them.

So say Single Friendly Church, first-time exhibitors at CRE National 2021.

‘Society is changing and the number of single people is increasing faster than ever before. Many churches are currently missing out on a huge portion of the population by focussing on couples and families,’ explained executive director Amelia Gosal.

The organisation was set up after a survey of more than 3,000 single Christians discovered many felt isolated or lonely in church. Commissioned by dating website Christian Connection, nearly 70 per cent said that being married is the expected and accepted lifestyle in church. More than 40 per cent said their churches ‘didn’t know what to do with them’. As a result, some had stopped attending altogether.

Single Friendly Church invites churches to embrace five steps to welcome and include single adults. Practical changes in key areas, including teaching, leadership and social life, can make a big difference to a single person’s experience of church.

‘We’ve made it easy to make these changes with our simple checklist audit,’ said Amelia. ‘Single people can be dynamic members of your congregation and are vital to the future of your church. We’d love to meet you at CRE and hear about your church. And we’ll send you on your way with lots of practical tips and free resources!’

• Single Friendly Church are on stand S8 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for CRE News

Your new 60-page products and services guide. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Active listening: the key to dealing with dementia

Person-to-person activities, particularly active listening, are more effective than drugs in reversing depression in people living with dementia. 

That’s one of the findings from a recent national survey and it concords with the view of Louise Morse, a cognitive behavioural therapist. Her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

As media and external relations officer for CRE National 2021 exhibitor Pilgrims’ Friend Society, Louise helped launch Brain and Soul Boosting for Seniors (BSBS) six years ago. The group resource is invaluable in helping people with dementia through interaction and connection. 

‘It is being used in a range of settings to improve cognition (thinking) and raising self-confidence and spiritual awareness,’ she explained. Developed by Louise and Janet Jacob, a psychogeriatric nurse and care home manager, BSBS is made up of sessions focusing on themes such as celebration and holidays. The sessions encourage participants to connect with their own memories and experiences and create new friendship and memories with their group.

‘Groups are being led by pastoral leaders in churches, outreach workers in sheltered housing, hospital settings, and in private homes with couples,’ she continued. ‘Seeing the difference to patients, one psychiatrist came into the day room to see what was going on!’ 

Janet Jacob, who led the groups in a Pilgrims’ Friend Society independent housing scheme for three years, said: ‘It was so satisfying to see self-confidence returning as people listened to one another. It encouraged them to keep contributing and friendships were formed. People said: ‘I’m not as bad as I thought I was!”’

Pilgrims’ Friend Society has a range of resources which support those ministering to people growing older and facing related issues, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Louise is leading a seminar about Brain and Soul Boosting for Seniors at CRE National 2021 on (11am, Wed 13 Oct).

• Pilgrims’ Friend Society are stand T7 at CRE National 2021

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for CRE News

Your new 60-page products and services guide. Nothing beats reading it!

Dave HallByDave Hall

‘Unrivalled’ line-up for Mission Worship Wednesday

A song created during the Covid pandemic will be among many introduced at CRE National’s Mission Worship Wednesday (13 Oct).

You are Unrivalled was written by Noel Robinson, one of several major contributors to the day.

‘I am excited about this release, birthed in response to the season we are in,’ said Noel. ‘My heart is that you will be encouraged and reminded of how sovereign God is in our lives. Jehovah Elroi. God knows and sees it all. Nothing is hidden from him. You are not forgotten, cast aside or hidden, but he cares for every detail of your life.’

During this exceptional time, Noel believes the important thing is to put God on the throne of our hearts.

‘It is natural for us to make idols of the very blessings God has given us,’ said Noel. ‘There is a danger that we even make idols of the fear with which the enemy confronts us.’

But what will worship look like, post-pandemic? Does anything really need to change? And with new online congregations now plugging into our offline services, how do we bring together physical and digital? 

Noel will be joined by Graham Kendrick, Helen Yousaf, Lucy Grimble and Rich Butt for Mission Worship Wednesday, sponsored by the KingswayCLC Trust, which runs throughout Wed 13 Oct. It will dig into these and many more questions – equipping you with new ideas and fresh strategies to go again in a new season for church and community.

• KingswayCLC Bookshop is on stand A28 at CRE National 2021

Photo (left to right): Lucy Grimble, Graham Kendrick, Helen Yousaf and Noel Robinson

Book your tickets to CRE National! – and save up to £5

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars and special features at CRE National 2021

Welcome Back – See an online version of the CRE National 2021 ‘Welcome Back’ brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE South West 2022
23-24 February 2022
Westpoint, Exeter

CRE News

Click here for CRE News

Your new 60-page products and services guide. Nothing beats reading it!