Latest news - Christian Resources Exhibition

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

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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

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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

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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!

Dave HallByDave Hall

Softly does it at St Mary’s

A soft-handed approach was called for when JBKS Architects renewed the interior of an historic Grade 1 listed building.

St Mary’s, Purton, a lovely old church in Wiltshire, needed new heating, lighting and toilets. It had a small kitchen as well – but all of it had to be transformed while many historic elements were protected, including The Last Supper in the ornamental screen behind the altar. A work of 17th century Dutch painter, Jacob Jordaens, it was given to the church by the dowager Countess of Shaftesbury in 1782, stolen in 1994, returned from the United States in 2001, badly damaged, restored and finally brought back to its historic location in 2004!

A church has been in the ancient village since 688, as part of Malmesbury Abbey.  

The current project involved replacing the Victorian bench pews with upholstered stackable wooden chairs, easily re-arranged or cleared away. All the walls were repaired and limewashed. There is new energy-efficient heating and new lighting adds brightness and picks out the ancient wall paintings.

Perhaps the most radical intervention is the inclusion of three glass screens. The biggest is in the west arch, closing off the ringing chamber. Clear glass panels are supported by a powerful oak wooden cross. The other two separate the Lady Chapel as a place of quiet prayer.

Jeremy Bell, a founder member of the JBKS team, said: ‘It has taken years to plan with many problems to overcome, but we were delighted that our work received a high degree of satisfaction from the congregation. One member told me, “You have kept everything that is old and important and added a new sense of excitement.” The work we were asked to do will enable the church to grow and thrive well into the future. It has lost none of its beauty but has gained much-needed flexible space and facilities, for more people to use and enjoy. It is tidy, ordered and peaceful, making one feel good in it, reflecting the message of the Christian faith.’

• JBKS Architects will be on stand H8 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

Flourishing home groups given exhibition boost

Covid-19 may have interrupted church worship in a dramatic way but it has also encouraged online home groups to flourish – and a special conference at CRE National 2021 will help home groups of all kinds develop even further.

Publishers SPCK, sponsors of the conference taking place on all three days, will introduce new methods and material for home groups – presented by their best-selling authors.

Julie Wilson, home groups editor, said: ‘Even before Covid-19, a 2018 ComRes survey revealed local churches are more likely to grow, engage with the local community and broaden the perspectives of their members when they run active home groups. While gathering the whole church together on a Sunday continues to be essential, we are also seeing the importance of smaller meetings.’ 

According to a number of surveys, tens of thousands of non-churchgoers have watched church services online over the past 18 months and some have gone on to join online home groups and Alpha courses.

‘We are delighted to give a new look to home group material,’ said Julie. ‘Groups usually have six to 12 members who meet once a week in someone’s home or online, sharing a meal, studying God’s word and thinking through how to apply it in everyday life. Two in every three surveyed said their faith was strengthened by being part of a home group.

‘Having been part of one or other for much of my Christian life, I know first-hand the value of being part of the church community. Something wonderful happens when we meet to discuss the scriptures and God’s will for our lives.’

Julie will lead the home groups conferences at CRE National, from 11am to 1pm each day, with the help of authors Amy Boucher Pye, Lauren Windle, Paul Kerensa, Martin Saunders, Becky May and Phil Knox. There is no extra charge for the conference but pre-booking when you buy your ticket here is essential because of room capacity limits.

• SPCK are on stand D4 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

Exhibition handbook prepares the way for Sandown return

For the first time the CRE National handbook has been posted out free, five weeks before the exhibition – giving 11,000 former visitors an opportunity to plan their visit in detail.

The 64-page publication lists stand numbers and contact details for the exhibition’s 170 exhibitors, along with QR codes for their respective websites. It also includes details of the seminar and special events programme for all three days.

‘After the disappointment of postponing last year’s CRE National, we wanted to do something to bring us right back into focus – to the benefit of both exhibitors and visitors alike,’ said event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘We often hear people tell us they wish they had seen the full programme and exhibitor list before coming to Sandown Park because there is always too much to see and too many people to meet. While many return for more than one day, others cannot spare the time, so early sight of the handbook allows for strategic planning.’

The organisers have also put the entire handbook online – see above. Late additions to the list of exhibitors and event programme will be available at front of house during the three days, along with the floorplan.

‘We are especially grateful to our advertisers and sponsors who have supported the early publication of the handbook,’ said Brett. ‘Please make a point of mentioning where you saw their product or service when contacting them!’

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

How much is that Bible in the window?

The best book we offer is the Bible!

So says Simon Attwood of Chapter Two – and he’s in good company.

The psalmist David writes: ‘The law of the Lord is perfect’ (Psalm 19:7). The Apostle Paul says it’s able to make him ‘wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ and that it’s all ‘breathed out (inspired) of God’.

‘He gives a list of reasons why we need to read it in 2 Timothy 3:15, 16,’ explains Simon. ‘Human authors like to get good reviews for their books. These are superlative because the Bible is divine. Praying to his father the Lord Jesus says: ‘Your word is truth’ (John 17:17). That was 2,000 years ago but it still resonates today.’

We live at a time when Daniel’s even earlier words ‘knowledge shall increase’ (12:4) can’t be denied.

‘Yet people have little or no certainty in their lives,’ maintains Simon. ‘They’re looking for answers to the most basic questions but distrust so much of what they read and hear. That makes it a privilege for every Christian bookshop to supply the Bible – in our case for over 40 years.   

‘The “best book” has changed so many lives down the centuries. It still does today, when read prayerfully and carefully. But our advert says ‘Books you can trust’ because we also stock new and second-hand books designed to help children and adults understand the Bible better and put it into practice in their lives. We also specialise in supplying it in over 100 languages.’

If you’re looking for a Bible and want a good translation, Simon invites you to head over to the Chapter Two stand at CRE National 2021 and see what’s on offer.

‘We can’t resist one more review,’ says Simon. ‘It’s “the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23)!’

Chapter Two Books are on E17 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

Tabloid headlines Gavin’s heart for the hungry

Coventry Foodbank has served over 200,000 people over the past 10 years and founder Gavin Kibble has been recognised with an MBE for his vital work.

The September/Harvest edition of Good News outreach newspaper, exhibiting at CRE National 2021, features the inspiring story behind the project.

Gavin, formerly a highly-paid executive, sensed a calling from God.

‘I knew I had to give up working as finance director of a multi-national company to help fight poverty,’ he tells Good News.

Setting up a Christians Against Poverty debt centre he soon encountered a Nigerian couple who had no food or baby equipment for the child they were imminently expecting. 

‘They had half a lettuce and a can of tomatoes in the fridge – that’s all,’ recalls Gavin.

The incident opened his eyes to the need for a food bank, which he started in 2011. In its first year, Coventry Foodbank grew from just two to 11 distribution centres. 

The full story is told in September’s Good News, along with the testimonies of celebrities and ordinary Christians that fill the pages every month, including the founders of Noah’s Ark Zoo, featured on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise on 29 August.

At just 15p per copy, Good News makes a great give-away for sharing the good news of Jesus and is used by churches, evangelists and individual Christians across the UK.

Good News are on stand D5 at CRE National 2021

Image: The Harvest 2021 issue of Good News evangelistic newspaper

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

Window of opportunity opens for historic care home

The College of St. Barnabas has deregistered its nursing wing and now operates exclusively as a residential care home.

The college was founded by former missionary Canon William Cooper who described himself as ‘a broken man’ from the physical hardships he endured during his ministry in the Australian outback and wilderness of Canada. Back in Britain, he came across other former missionaries and older clergy living in abject poverty and ill-health, most notably in the Brighton Workhouse, and he determined to do something to alleviate their suffering.

Last year marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the college and Fr Barry Thorley said: ‘St Barnabas has been a life-saver. I’m no good at trowelling sentiment but it’s hard to exaggerate how much this place means to me.’

On a personnel level, chairman-designate Revd David Williams will soon be taking over the reins from interim chair Mr Keith Luckhoo, who has been filling the role since former chair of trustees, Sir Paul Britton, stepped down earlier this year. 

In addition, Revd Derek Chandler has recently taken up the new post of chaplain, part of a structural change which sees the disappearance of the traditional offices of warden and bursar. Longstanding bursar and latterly chief executive Paul Wilkin retires in October. 

‘In thanking Paul for more than 20 years of unstinting, loyal service we wish him a long and happy retirement,’ said the college’s Simon Attwood.

The college council have appointed Mr Monty Erskine to succeed him as chief executive officer. Monty will be joining from All Souls Langham Place where he has been serving as director of operations.

‘We thank our many friends and assure you that the college is in good heart, facing the future with confidence and hoping that you will continue to support our mission to care for elderly members of our church,’ said Attwood.

The College of St. Barnabas are on stand A18 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

China: one door closes another opens in Bible distribution

A Chinese court may have sentenced four Christians to a total of 13 years in prison for selling Bible audio players – but that hasn’t stopped Chinese Church Support Mission (CCSM) bringing similar resources to Christians under immense pressure.

According to Premier Radio, Fu Hyunjuan, 43, Deng Tianyong, 50, Feng Qunhao, 45, and Han Li, 40 run Life Tree Culture Communications in the southeast city of Shenzhen. It produced and sold electronic players which had the Bible recorded in them. 

Fu, head of the organisation, has been sentenced to six years in prison and fined 20 million Chinese Yuan (£2 million). 

One of CCSM’s key means of support is the supply of SD cards (above) containing thousands of resources including multiple versions of the Bible, devotional material, videos, audio files, printable Sunday School material, Bible studies and discipleship material.

The Micro SD Cards are sent to Christians who can use the material and copy the cards for others. There is also a smartphone app – AppSTER – which provides similar help with training, evangelism and renewal material.

All these are provided thanks to the giving of Christians in other countries. 

In the UK CCSM, exhibiting at CRE National 2021, provide material for prayer support and the facility to give financially to enable provision to be extended to those worshipping in China. The organisation currently aims to provide one million of the Micro SD cards by the end of 2025.

• CCSM are on stand U1 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!