CRE News

Dave HallByDave Hall

The buzz is back!

The buzz is back – an exclamation heard many times at CRE 2018 in October, as 4381 visitors and exhibitor staff poured through the doors of Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey to discover some 210 organisations.

‘Most importantly, our pre-registration statistics reveal that 29 per cent (more than one in four) were visiting the exhibition for the very first time!’ said owner and MD Steve Goddard. ‘It encouraged us to believe there are still thousands of church-goers yet to find out about us.’

Such was the impact that, in a few short weeks, 111 stands for CRE 2019 (Oct 15-17, Sandown Park) have already been sold.

The organisers’ attention is now very much on CRE North at Event City, Manchester (13/14 Mar 2019) – their first visit to the north since 2014. Almost 90 per cent of the floor space has been sold, thanks in part to the backing of the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker.

‘Manchester is world famous as a place where the best is showcased and creative ideas and technologies are quickly adopted,’ he said. ‘Dozens of organisations will bring their skills, services, ideas and resources back to the north west and for members of all church traditions to come and draw inspiration from them. We look forward to welcoming CRE again.’

Everything from computers to communion wine, chair manufacturers to children’s charities are expected to be on display at Event City. A series of seminars, given by both regional and national experts, will cover issues of vital concern to local church leaders and members of all kinds – from parish magazine editors to treasurers, youth workers to worship leaders.

‘Event City offers great transport links and thousands of free parking places in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere,’ said CRE event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘And its location next to the Trafford Centre makes it easy to find.’

CRE North will be opened by Irish singer and former MEP Dana, who also opened CRE 2017 at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey.

Dave HallByDave Hall

First-ever Study Zone set for CRE North in March

Eight colleges will come together to form the first-ever Study Zone at CRE North (13/14 March 2019 Event City, Manchester).

The new 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, CRE North is where you’ll discover the variety of options available.’

The Study Zone will be situated around a bespoke seminar area, where participating colleges will contribute to a range of carefully-targeted, short presentations on the whys and wherefores of theological study of all kinds. See the schedule of presentations at CRE North here.

‘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 for the rest of my life,’ 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 North are:

All Nations Christian College
Capenwray Bible School
Cliff College
London School of Theology
Mattersey Hall
Moorlands College
Nazarene Theological College
Spurgeons College

> Book tickets for CRE North

> Who’s exhibiting at CRE North 2019?
> Who’s exhibiting at CRE Sandown Park 2019?

Photo by Alexander Michl on Unsplash

Dave HallByDave Hall

Music in worship: panel aims to diffuse tensions and allay fears

The frequent tension between traditional and contemporary forms of worship will be one of the issues explored during Church Times Live at CRE 2018 (12.30pm, Thu 18 Oct).

Hosted by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Inspiring Music in Worship aims to build mutual respect and trust between worship leaders, musicians and congregations. It will take the form of a panel discussion with the new director of The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris; the Revd Canon Helen Bent, head of ministerial training, RSCM; Alan Mitchell HonRSCM, St Augustine, Bromley and Revd Colin Randall, rector of the Coln River Group, Gloucestershire.

‘We will attempt to allay fears and gently challenge misunderstandings and prejudice,’ said RSCM’s Angela Hamilton. ‘We will also affirm what is good and encourage effective collaboration.’

The new director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris, will share some of his vision for how the RSCM will be working over the next few years to support and develop the worshipping life of the church.

The RSCM resources all kinds of churches: large, small, high, low, formal and informal. It helps church communities discover the best ways of using the resources they have, including through its new publication, also entitled Inspiring Music in Worship. Above all, it stands for the best of church music, in its rich tapestry of guises.

The panel includes

Photo of Helen BentHelen Bent – Helen is head of ministerial training for the RSCM, in partnership with Praxis. She originally trained as a musician, specialising in singing and piano. Following a teaching career, she was ordained in 1998 in Norwich Diocese and has worked in parish ministry, both as a musician and a priest. From 2005 to 2015, she was the Bishop’s Adviser in Music and Worship for Sheffield Diocese. She has also recently written Inspiring Music in Worship, A Short Course of Guided Conversations for Churches, which pioneers something quite different for the RSCM.

Photo of Colin RandallAlan Mitchell – Alan is a lay minister at St Augustine’s, Bromley, and teaches a module on music in worship for the Rochester diocesan lay training scheme. He is as happy playing the violin at Prom Praise with the All Souls Orchestra or for a St Matthew Passion in a cathedral. A former trustee on the RSCM Council and chair of the Rochester Area committee, he encourages churches to widen their encounter with God through music, inspiring robed choirs to explore Stuart Townend and charismatic churches to discover the riches of liturgy!

Photo of Colin RandallColin Randall – Colin is rector of seven rural parishes in the North Cotswolds in Gloucester Diocese and was previously worship adviser for Chester Diocese. He is a member of the Group for the Renewal of Worship (GROW) that produces the Grove Worship booklets.

Photo: Plum leaves

Dave HallByDave Hall

Tooling up for the task

ChurchTools helps you bring people, operations and ministry together in one place with a web app uniquely designed to meet your needs.

‘Our team is passionate about finding good solutions that support churches and associations,’ explains ChurchTools’ Arvaldo Stepanow. ‘We believe that modern tools can help churches to fulfill their mission in an excellent way.’

The ChurchTools vision was first developed by Pastor Jens Martin Rauen, who created a cloud-based administration software for the Elim Church in Hamburg, Germany, in 2004. Since 2010 this software has also been used by other churches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

In 2015 Matthias Huber, who developed ChurchVox, a translation system via WiFi, joined ChurchTools to become the CEO of the recently founded company ChurchTools Innovations UG.

‘Our company has been supporting more and more churches and growing ever since,’ explains Arvaldo. ‘In 2016, we significantly increased the manpower for development, support and marketing and in 2017 broke through the language barriers and began our expansion into other countries, languages and cultures.

‘We love churches and are eager to listen to them closely in order to turn their organisational needs into innovative solutions.’

• ChurchTools are on stand S67 and CRE 2018

Dave HallByDave Hall

How your church can leave CRE app happy

A new version of Church Edit’s church mobile app is released at CRE 2018 – and to celebrate the company is running a special competition at the exhibition.

iKnow church is a cloud-based church management software that helps churches simplify administration, as well as assist with pastoral care.

‘The app is intuitive and ensures churches are supported in all of their organisation, administration and communication,’ explains Church Edit’s Kyle Cottington. ‘To add more benefit, using the latest mobile technology, we’ve built our new mobile app from the ground up. It is a great way to engage your congregation and keep them in the information loop.

‘We’re giving one church the opportunity to improve their systems free of charge and secure a fantastic mobile app. But no one misses out, because there is also a special CRE offer – one year free on iKnow Church and the mobile app (22 months for the price of 10) as well as 50 per cent off the design cost of the mobile app.’

How to enter

Visit the Church Edit and iKnow church stand S94 at CRE, and enter the competition by simply leaving your details. The winner will be drawn on 26th Oct.

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

ChurchDesk: mission-based tech at your fingertips

ChurchDesk is a church management system that helps parishes communicate more effectively and build relationships with more people.

‘We’ve made it very easy for you to collect consent, send beautiful digital newsletters and create lists for targeted e-mails,’ explains ChurchDesk founder and CEO Christian Steffensen.

ChurchDesk is a simple to use, all-in-one platform to make administration and communication easier, whilst supporting GDPR compliance. It includes out of the box templates to manage and store consent.

‘We have helped hundreds of churches improve their administration and support their outreach,’ says Christian. ‘We are a mission-based technology to help you meet people where they are.’

The company has produced The Practical Guide to GDPR in Your Church and Parish, which covers:

• Practical steps on GDPR
• When do you need consent and what types of consent are relevant for your church
• How to collect important data on people in your church to communicate better

• ChurchDesk are on stand S79 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

No cash? No problem! Introducing the app that makes giving easy

The minister says the offering will be taken during the next hymn and you’ve arrived without any cash.

No problem!

Givt, a new product from Holland making its UK debut at CRE 2018, allows you to give easily – without money in your pocket.

‘We fully believe that giving is more than a financial transaction – it is also a relational transaction,’ explains Givt’s Sjoerd van Oort. ‘All current solutions for donations only provide the financial side of the transaction. We are convinced that if we optimally support the person donating, that person will give more freely. Giving becomes fun.’

Givt allows you to donate safely and anonymously with your smartphone (iOS or Android). As with cash, you decide how much you would like to donate. And you can use Givt in any situation.

‘I open the app and choose my amount. I move my phone past the church collection bag… that’s it!’ explains Sjoerd. ‘When I donate, I want to have one solution for all situations – to the guitar-playing busker on the street, to the charity coming to my door. When I donate, I want it to be fully anonymous and show up on my tax returns.’

Givt provides an overview of where donations have gone. For all charities and situations, only one registration is needed. No complicated logins, long lists of possible charities or annoying top-ups.

‘The speed, ease, and joy of giving cash are retained,’ concludes Sjoerd, ‘so that people can just keep on giving.’

• Givt are on stand S139 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

The ‘absorbing’ story of pioneering Chaim

The Aliyah Return Centre, founded in the Galilee, Israel, focuses on building bridges between Jewish and Christian communities.

It does this through Sing Together events, the Ambassador Academy (Shagririm), joint Torah studies and volunteering and internships.

Chaim Malespin, who runs the centre, is a Jewish and Israeli Galilean believer and ‘made Aliyah’ (immigrated to Israel) with his family when he was 15 years old.

‘On that dark night some 20 years ago, when I came to Israel with my family of eight, holding tightly to some ancient prophecies, I didn’t realize I would become part of a physical global “kingdom team-building exercise” to awaken the full destiny of the church, and the revival with no end,’ he admits.

‘I quickly came to realize first hand that the hard part for millions of Jewish people who have relocated to the “land of promise”, is what is known as absorption, for which you need to be a pioneer. I found out that God, in his prophetic word, has specifically called nations to facilitate this!’

Today Chaim runs the centre with his wife Deanna and their team. On almost 14 Galilean acres, the 20-strong team house over 100 people in need, both Arab and Jew. They realize the vital importance of helping the needy immigrants and many others – providing food, clothing, shelter, (‘a hand up not a hand out’) assisting them in opening a business.

‘With a smile and a hug, we believe this to be a priceless way to show God’s love and build eternal relationships,’ says Chaim.

• The Aliyah Return Centre is on stand S66 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Book Aid is back!

You’ve asked for them – and they’ve heeded the call!

The Book Aid van will collect visitors’ used and donated Christian books and bibles. Their mission: to provide Christian literature to areas of the world in need. This is then sent by 20-foot shipping containers to their partner bookshops globally.

In 30 years more than 30 million books and bibles have been dispatched ‘for which we thank God,’ says Books Aid’s Christine Pulsford. ‘This year our van will be at CRE Sandown on the “yellow brick road” outside the main entrance to receive book donations from CRE visitors – so clear your shelves and support international mission at the same time! We’d love to meet you.’

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3


Dave HallByDave Hall

Acts of God and man: is your church sufficiently insured?

In today’s litigious world, churches face risks far beyond property damage.

‘They should regularly consider the situation and be comfortable that they have sufficient insurance and risk management arrangements in place,’ says Russell Hickman, church specialist at Access Insurance.

Access serve over 2,500 churches in the UK, providing advice on getting the right cover in place, as well as helping in the event that a claim needs to be made. From the last 1,000 claims Access have helped church clients to make, several stand out as warnings to other churches.

‘In one case a woman fell down a flight of stairs after the lights were turned out, in an apparent attempt to encourage people to leave the premises. The compensation she received for her injuries was over £70,000,’ recalls Russell. ‘Thankfully the church had adequate insurance.’

In another, cameras were damaged as volunteers packed them away. The £5,500 claimed was paid out quickly and the projection, recording and broadcasting was able to continue. Often claims happen due to outside sources totally beyond the control of the church. In one instance, Access assisted a client after a hit-and-run driver caused severe damage to their building. Repairs costing over £13,000 (22 per cent of the church’s income) were paid for.

‘It’s best to consult and take advice from an expert when arranging church insurance,’ says Russell. ‘The feedback we get is that we understand the context in which churches operate and pay attention to detail. Probably the fact that I’m a church secretary helps me immensely!’

The faith of Access’ leaders informs the way that business is conducted as they aim to have a positive impact for the Kingdom. By 2025 Access aim to be giving £500,000 to charity each year. They are also in the process of setting up a fund churches can apply to for small grants for community, outreach and evangelism projects.

• Access Insurance are on stand S154 at CRE 2018

Click here for a list of more than 200 exhibitors at CRE 2018
Click the button below to pre-register for CRE 2018 for as little as £3