CRE News

Dave HallByDave Hall

Publish and be… blessed

A family firm has become a one-stop shop for churches wanting to produce a parish magazine on a budget.

As a local councillor in Holsworthy in Devon, Phil Tucker (pictured left) produced a leaflet to highlight some local problems. Such was the quality of the leaflet that he got requests to produce material for other people. In a two-week period he will now print about a million sides of A4 for a series of parish magazines and other publications.

‘We only handle community and church magazines, and understand that editors may need help with certain issues,’ said Phil. ‘Our production team has an in-depth knowledge of the problems experienced in producing a community magazine and are willing to help in any way they can. We build extremely long-term relationships with our clients.’

The printers used are efficient at smaller print runs, especially those under 1,000,’ said Phil. 

‘We take a PDF, usually by email, and print the publication as soon as possible. We are very aware that the editor probably has their own job. We are therefore as flexible as possible in the turn-around time often printing on the day of receipt and getting the newsletters back next day.’

• Parish Magazine Printing are on stand C34 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

Lee Abbey: light at the end of the Covid tunnel

Whole church groups are booking weekends, families are taking half terms and summer holidays – Lee Abbey is back as a place of rest and renewal.

‘There is definitely light in the darkness of Covid!’ said Marianne Needham-Bennett, Lee Abbey’s PA to the warden. ‘We had a wonderful time over Christmas and new year with the house full of joyful guests. With a varied programme in 2022 we are ready and able to welcome guests – as individuals, families or groups.’

Lee Abbey has been hosting guests since 1946. A community of British and international volunteers lives at the house to serve guests in such a way that they can encounter Jesus.

‘Over the years and perhaps especially over the past two years, there have been many incidences of God’s faithful and sometimes miraculous provision in terms of community members, guests, finances, resources and protection,’ said Marianne.

The Beacon Activity Centre provides accommodation and opportunities to learn about God through adventurous activities, for families and young people. Most guests, whether individuals or groups, stay in the beautiful Lee Abbey house in spacious rooms, many en suite, and there are a range of self-catering options. Set within a 280-acre estate on the North Devon coast and with the south west coastal path running past the house, Lee Abbey is an ideal location to get away from it all, an opportunity to take a deep breath and step back into creation.

‘Come and stay with us in this “thin” place for a Monday to Friday of worship, prayer, teaching and activities, or for a weekend of renewal and refreshment, said Marianne. ‘We are offering a full programme throughout 2022 with a wide range of speakers, and you are welcome to come and join in as much or as little as you like.’

• Lee Abbey are on stand B10 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

Sixth National Big Church Read: book it now!

The 6th National Big Church Read begins on 24 January and focuses on The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life.

‘Many churches are telling us that doing a Big Church Read brings people together again,’ said Steve Barnett of St Andrew’s Bookshop. ‘If the whole church joins in, the positive effects of a shared experience are especially good and a great antidote to the apartness created by the pandemic.’

Andrew Ollerton invites you to join in the Big Church Read here.

With many church leaders concerned about biblical illiteracy in their congregations, this is also an accessible way for groups and individuals to understand the overarching storyline of the Bible and what it means for our daily lives. 

‘It can also be used as a stepping stone to doing The Bible Course,’ said Steve.

There is also a new Big Church Read with Terry Virgo, who has created 30 videos for each chapter in his latest book God’s Treasured Possession.

‘You could get your church to read a chapter a day as a 30-day challenge!’ said Steve.

• St Andrew’s Bookshop are on Stand F29 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

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