For the first time in CRE’s 35-year history we are bringing the national exhibition to you! Our usual collection of new ideas, seminars and interviews are now online at CRE TV. And it’s given us a chance to find out how some of the exhibition’s greatest friends and contributors have coped during Covid-19, in the company of our queen of conversation, Rev Cindy Kent MBE.
Plump up the cushions, sit back in the chair of your choice and enjoy some insights and inspiration.
On the eve of his 80th birthday, Sir Cliff Richard, who opened CRE National in 1994, gives an exclusive interview about the cancellation of a major concert tour and the isolation caused by Covid-19. He recalls sitting in a friend’s garden and looking at the plants and trees. ‘I could never believe that this is all some massive accident,’ he recalls. ‘I am surrounded by God’s creation.’
Musician Bryn Howarth, who regularly performs for prison inmates, talks about life in lockdown. ‘We are getting a taste of what prisoners’ lives are like without the terrible living conditions they face – two in a cell, locked up for between 22 and 23 hours a day.’
Former Manfred Mann singer and actor Paul Jones and his wife, actress Fiona Hendley, who opened CRE in 2019, explain how particular books have helped them during lockdown and how they have been producing items online to help churches and charities. ‘Lots of people have asked us to help keep their organisations afloat by simply being interviewed or sending messages,’ explains Paul.
Stand-up comedian and writer Paul Kerensa, a regular contributor to CRE, explains how he has had to cancel three gigs a week because of the pandemic. But in his worries about finance, career, health and the world at large ‘having a faith in God that is on-going, everlasting, immortal, invisible, eternal – all these giant words, is something really helpful.’
Eurovision winner Dana, who has opened three CREs over the years, has relied on prayer during the pandemic, calling it the greatest resource for any situation. ‘For decades, every time I walk on stage I recite 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.”’
Versatile singer and entertainer Jonathan Veira, a regular performer at CRE, tells Cindy how, at the start of lockdown, he launched an online show once a week from his music room. ‘It has become a community with hundreds of people watching, caring and praying for each other.’ The result is a lockdown album crowd-funded by the community!
Actor and comedian Don Maclean, most fondly remembered for his days on programmes like BBC TV’s Crackerjack, helped open CRE Midlands 2020. He tells Cindy how the rosary has helped him through Covid-19. ‘Through it I offer up prayers for things that have happened to us or to people we know and who need our prayers.’
See the CRE At Home resources guide!