Monthly Archive December 2021

Dave HallByDave Hall

Fundraising: say goodbye to DIY

There was no way we could have done it ourselves.

That is how Janet Jenkins, of St Mary’s, Painswick (pictured above), reflected on the church’s current fundraising initiative. A centre of Christian worship since the 11th century, St Mary’s facilities do not meet the expectations of modern event venues. The estimated cost of improvements is around £800,000, of which the church already has £300,000. Pursuing the remaining amount, however, was looking like a mammoth task, so the development committee turned to CRE exhibitor Action Planning for help.

David Saint

‘The church members realised they needed specialist help, to save them a lot of time and effort,’ said Action Planning’s David Saint (pictured). The company’s report provided St Mary’s with a solid incentive to pursue the remaining funding required, and a structured plan for going about it. 

‘Once some semblance of normality has returned after the COVID-19 lockdowns, we have every confidence that the church’s ambitions will be realised,’ said David, ‘further enhancing the experience of visitors and congregation alike as they come into this beautiful church.’

David will speak on ‘Fundraising for capital projects for churches’ at CRE South West (11am, 23 and 24 Feb).

• Action Planning are on stand P10 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Living and telling, naturally

Finding it difficult to talk about your faith with family and friends? Living and Telling will help you find natural ways to do so.

The 10-part course, from Agapé UK, developed to help teenagers going to university, has now expanded to assist Christians of all ages.

‘There is plenty of research which indicates that most Christians don’t get into conversations about their faith,’ said Tim Moyler, who will lead as seminar on the course at CRE South West (12pm, Thu 24 Feb). ‘Any group or church can run the course, either church building-based or online.’

One member, who took the course on Zoom, said: ‘We were able to break off in pairs which worked well for me. From the security of my own home, I felt I could be more honest and vulnerable with the person I was paired with. The course helps you consider how to share your faith without being weird.’

Rev James Grier, mission enabler in the Diocese of Exeter, said: ‘I think Living & Telling is fantastic. It gives you skills, confidence and boldness. It also gives you a chance to try it out and practice.’

• Agapé UK are on stand P51 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Marian revs up for Exeter return

When the founder of Motorcycle Funerals sadly died, his wife rode pillion as he made his final journey in a sidecar-hearse – then she took over the company.

‘It is an understatement to say it was a massive undertaking but I could not let go what Paul had created,’ said Marian Sinclair. ‘As an ordained minister he had served at funerals for 30 years and wanted to reflect people’s lifestyles at their passing.’

Now Marian manages a fleet of 14 motorcycles – including Triumph Bonneville and Harley Davidson. A special sidecar carries the coffin.

‘Sadly, we have children as well,’ said Marian. ‘One young boy in Leamington Spa was carried using a Harley Davidson because he simply loved motorbikes. And a few years ago we also carried a war-time despatch rider, his coffin draped with the Union flag. His daughter told us he always hated cars, and therefore we didn’t like the idea of having a traditional hearse at his funeral. To many who like motorcycles it gives comfort to know that their lifestyle choice was continued at the funeral.’

The company’s vehicles are on the road every day somewhere in the country and Marian often finds herself talking to the bereaved alongside funeral directors. An idea which was cultivated in Rev Paul Sinclair’s bedroom in 2001, has led to a unique fleet serving the British Isles from St Ives to Dover, the Channel Isles to the Outer Hebrides, and Swansea to Skegness.

• Motorcycle Funerals are on stand A12 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Ian Coffey: leading with laughter

Not for the faint-hearted or those who have had humour by-pass surgery!

That’s the health warning on the seminar to be given by Rev Ian Coffey at CRE South West. 

‘What I wish they’d told me before I became a leader’ (1pm, Wed 23 Feb) will be helpful for those, like Ian, who struggle to lead or some who are exploring what’s involved.

Rev Ian Coffey, Acting Principal, Moorlands College

Ian is acting principal at Moorlands College, which gives people passionate about Jesus Christ the knowledge and skills they need to impact the church and wider world.

‘We’re all about applied theology,’ said Ian, ‘with a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that will deepen your relationship with God and seek to cultivate an environment that’s not just about information but transformation.’

The college has a campus in Christchurch, Dorset, as well as regional centres in the south west and Northern Ireland. Campus-based, placement-based, full-time or part-time options are available.

• Moorlands College are on stand D32 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Roast, pour, connect, transform

CLO Coffee have produced a free #101 Church Coffee Guide, full of top tips on running a coffee station.

Founded more than 13 years ago by Nick and Linda Castle in Leeds, CLO began out of a desire to see local churches use coffee to connect more meaningfully with local communities.

Linda Castle, co-founder and head roaster, said: ‘A good quality coffee can create a life-changing moment. At church we need coffee stations that match the high street, to create a warm welcome. We’ve seen God use a coffee moment to transform lives.’

We now live in a world where quality high street coffee houses are on every corner.

‘A few tweaks to your coffee (and tea!) can create an experience,’ said Nick. CLO have also operated six high street cafes partnering with local churches to create missional spaces on the high street. They are available to offer consultancy and advice to churches looking to open their own café. To download the free guide visit churchcoffee.co.uk or talk to the CLO team at CRE South West.

• CLO Coffee are on stand A5 at CRE South West

Photo: Linda Castle, co-founder and head roaster of CLO Coffee

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Join Chloe’s class to develop your digital ministry

With a wealth of experience in the communication business Chloe Axford, director of communications for the diocese of Exeter, will share valuable tips in a seminar on developing a digital ministry (CRE South West, 2pm, Thu 24 Feb).

After more than 20 years working in national and regional broadcast news and church communications, Chloe will explore the various digital tools open to churches to help them in worship, mission and engagement with their local communities.

Chloe Axford, director of communications, Diocese of Exeter

‘So much of our lives are now spent online,’ she said, ‘and churches need to be confident in that space. We need to be using 21st century communication tools to be telling the eternal story in fresh and relevant ways which will connect with people. This isn’t about having lots of expertise, money, time or volunteers – this is about making the most of what you do have and using digital in a way that is right for where you are.’

The seminar will cover church websites, social media, marketing, working with the media, live streaming and filming church services and other events.

‘Your church website is the first place people will go to find out about your church, but many websites are hard to navigate and missing basic information for people wanting to book a wedding or find out about children’s groups, for example. A few simple changes can make it a powerful part of your welcome and mission. The same is true of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.’

According to a recent report from the Evangelical Alliance, 85 per cent of people using the internet are on Facebook. Of all those on social media 60 per cent are on Instagram and 25 per cent on Twitter, so understanding how best to engage with people on these platforms is vital. 

Chloe also hopes to cover how to write a press release and plan a church event – the kind that will get media coverage.

‘I am hoping that this seminar will be enjoyable, creative and interactive,’ said Chloe said. ‘I want people to be able to ask questions and share tips and ideas – one thing I have learned in my career, is that digital ministry works best as part of a supportive team.’

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Renewing your church with respect

Historic churches present problems when it comes to installing audio-visual systems – but there are few which cannot be overcome.

So believes Andy Pidsley, managing director of APi South & Visual from Exeter, exhibitors at the forthcoming CRE South West. Andy has been involved in operating church sound equipment for more than four dcades and started APi some 20 years ago, following over a decade in the AV industry.

‘Things have been particularly busy in recent months as more churches decided to stream their services,’ he explained. ‘Special services such as christenings, weddings and funerals can also be recorded for absent friends and family to watch. From personal experience, this has been a lifeline for some of our more elderly and isolated members of the congregation.’

APi are able to upgrade existing systems relatively simply, depending upon the age of the equipment, to enable services to be streamed. Simple push-button switching between cameras and dedicated streaming devices, with just start/stop functions, means users can be confident of recording without difficulty.

Installation is not the end of the job. APi also provide training and can deliver broadband solutions.

‘We are accustomed to working in historic and listed churches, so will always provide as unobtrusive an installation as possible,’ said Andy. ‘For example, our unique swinging arm (pictured) designed in-house by APi designers, is well-suited for churches who require screens to be discreetly positioned or hidden when not in use. Even the small details, such as the colour of cable, will be considered. We will always be respectful of your church building.’

• APi South & Visual are on stand D10 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

A marriage made in Devon

With so many beautiful, holy places in which you can make your vows before God, a church is the ideal place to get married.

So says Rt Revd Jackie Searle (pictured below), Bishop of Crediton in Devon, who will speak on the subject at the upcoming CRE South West (11am, Feb 24) – one of 30 scheduled during the exhibition’s two days. Currently, fewer than one in four couples decide to get married in a church. There were 977 weddings in Devon churches in 2018. This fell to about 800 in 2019, and with another sharp dip as the Covid-19 lockdowns began.

Rt Revd Jackie Searle, Bishop of Crediton

Bishop Jackie believes Devon churches will give couples a warm welcome and provide support for them throughout the process. A special website – www.devonchurchweddings.org – gives guidance and advice on the legal stages of getting married and how the church can enhance the Big Day experience. She will introduce these resources during her seminar – one of 30 scheduled during the exhibition’s two days.

Kennedy Purdy, who was married during lockdown in Clyst St Mary Church, near Exeter, said: ‘It’s the village I grew up in and it is a really beautiful old church. We decided to get married in a church because, since I was a little girl, that’s how I pictured getting married, walking down the aisle.’

The Revd Sue Davies-Fletcher, a priest at Westward Ho! said: ‘As a parish priest I want to help couples make their wedding the day they have always dreamed of. It is about encouraging couples not to be afraid to ask the church what they can do and show that a church is so much more than simply a venue.’

The Archdeacon of Exeter, the Venerable Andrew Beane, believes that couples who married in 2020 with limited attendance, might consider a church blessing now that church attendance is not limited.

‘Wedding blessings do not involve any legal paperwork and can be organised by contacting one of our churches,’ said Andrew.

• Rt Revd Jackie Searle, Bishop of Crediton, will speak on ‘How to encourage couples to get married in church’ (11am, Feb 24)

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Beating the path to a rural revival

The Church is the biggest grass-roots organisation in the country so healthy churches are an important sign of a healthy society.

So said the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Robert Atwell (pictured below), making his maiden speech in the House of Lords in November.

‘Village churches are at the heart of rural communities,’ he stressed. ‘We need to strive for open church doors and open virtual doors.’

Rt Revd Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter

Sarah Cracknell, project manager for the Church of England’s Grow the Rural Church initiative, will lead a seminar on the subject at CRE South West (12 noon, Wed 23 Feb) – one of 30 scheduled during the exhibition’s two days.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has meant many people are rediscovering the gift of “local” and finding imaginative solutions to the challenges confronting us,’ she said. ‘For the first time many are working from home and investing in their village. We are discovering new ways of doing church, worshipping together online and connecting with the fringe in a way our urban cousins have been yearning to do for years.’

Grow the Rural Church Project is an eight-year project that has been running in the Diocese of Exeter since 2017. Jointly funded by the Church Commissioners Strategic Development Unit, it was set up to support rural churches in finding sustainable uses for church buildings – and to enable exhausted and burdened church communities find capacity for mission.

‘The mid-point of our project funding coincided with the first lockdown and we had to find new ways of working,’ said Sarah. ‘We used the time to deeply evaluate the situation. This CRE seminar will share the main points that we learned from the first half of the project and how we have adapted to support our vulnerable rural churches.’

Visitors will discover more about the resources the project has produced, including Lightening the Load, a self-assessment toolkit for churches, and guidance and support for festival churches in Devon. Sarah will also share the story of the development of the missional project Devon Pilgrim – an initiative developed in partnership with some rural churches, offering a different way of collaborating and sharing resources. 

‘Devon Pilgrim has brought new energy into churches and established new relationships with people outside the church,’ she explained As well as increasing visitor footfall to the church buildings it gives an opportunity for people asking spiritual questions to look to the church for answers.’

• Grow the Rural Church are on stand C24 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey

Dave HallByDave Hall

Called to mission? Take your first steps

Facing redundancy because of Covid-19 lockdowns, some people have taken the opportunity to join a mission organisation.

Mike Frith, 56, who set up the One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources (OSCAR) 20 years ago, is the person to whom many have turned for advice and direction. At CRE South West (February 23-24, 2022) he will cover the subject in a seminar: Called to mission? Take your first steps (1pm, Thu 24 Feb) – one of 30 scheduled during the exhibition’s two days.

‘My six-point talk will identify useful processes to go through when making such a life-changing decision,’ said Mike. ‘Whether you want to move into mission work permanently, or just looking for a gap year or summer role, there is always a lot to be considered – quite apart from identifying the organisation who will benefit from your experience and skills.’

One woman decided she would retire early during the lockdowns – ‘and now works part time for three mission agencies!’ said Mike, who spent 10 years as a pilot in Africa with Mission Aviation Fellowship, flying mission workers to and from isolated areas. He has now spent the past 21 years advising people on job vacancies, using his vast experience to give sensible, useful advice to those considering a change in occupation.

Mike will also play an important part in Mission on the Map – a focused area at CRE South West profiling mission-related opportunities, resources and advice.

It follows the success of the first Mission Resources Exhibition at CRE Midlands (March 2020) and will include a number of organisations connected with South West Agencies Network (SWAN), including OMF International, Church Mission Society, Christian TEFL, WEC, France Mission, Mission Africa and Mission Aviation Fellowship.

• OSCAR are on stand P20 at CRE South West

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

Seminar Guide – See the complete guide to seminars at CRE South West 2022

Your invitation – See an online version of the CRE South West 2022 brochure

Our next exhibitions

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

CRE National 2022
11-13 October 2022
Sandown Park, Surrey