Sold out signs went up just before Christmas with more than 130 organisations taking all the original space earmarked for CRE North (Event City, Manchester, 13/14 Mar 2019).
The first exhibition in the north for five years will be opened by Irish singer and former MEP Dana. A choir from St Leonard’s C of E school in Padiham, Lancashire will serenade the former Eurovision Song Contest winner with ‘All Kinds of Everything – for your church and you.’
The Bishop of Bolton, Rev Mark Ashcroft, will speak on church growth in areas of deprivation. In a world dominated by Brexit, Andy Flannagan from Christians in Politics will lead a discussion on how churches can help bridge the divide and bring people together again.
There will also be more than 20 free seminars on a range of practical subjects from job searching to safeguarding.
Special features include CRE’s first-ever Study Zone where representatives from eight colleges will guide visitors through the academic maze, offering one-to-one consultations on all aspects of theological study. There’s the Compassion Experience, a walk-through African slum and the biggest exhibit in our 33-year history (bar the odd inflatable church!) Not forgetting a special focus on social engagement and sports projects, a youth and children’s work trail – and entertainment in our first-ever Inflatable Theatre, hosted by the redoubtable Rev Cindy Kent MBE.
‘Entry to the show is just £4 if you book in advance here,’ explains CRE event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘That’s a saving of 50 per cent on the day-of-entry cost of £8. Groups of three or more can pre-register for just £3 each.’
And there’s good news for organisations who still want to take space.
‘Through subtle manipulation of the floor plan, we’ve been able to squeeze another eight stands into an already packed hall,’ said Brett. ‘So do call Carol (0161) 250 2467 or James (0161) 250 2306 soon, if you have not yet booked a stand for your organisation at CRE North.
‘We look forward to welcoming everyone to Event City, whether they travel by car, train – or donkey.’