THERE were mixed emotions at the Christian Resources Exhibition
(CRE) this week, as the event celebrated its 30th anniversary and
also marked the last ever CRE at the Sandown Park Racecourse.
Next year, the exhibition moves to the ExCel exhibition centre,
in London, ending a 28-year association with Sandown Park, in
On Tuesday, CRE held a reception for exhibitors that had been
exhibiting throughout its 30-year history. Among them was the
audio-installation and consultancy company Cunnings Recording
Associates. They were regular participants at exhibitions organised
by the Association of Professional Recording Studios, and the Sound
Broadcasting Equipment Show.
"Not only were you getting the national broadcasters . . . you
were also getting people saying 'I do the Christian show on Radio
Cornwall, and I need a small recorder. . .' It was fascinating to
me just how many Christians were in the secular broadcast field,"
the company's owner and managing director, Malcolm Cunning,
"When I heard about the possibility of doing an exhibition just
to Christian people, that sounded to be interesting . . . the Lord
has given us a particular gifting, and why shouldn't we be using it
for the furtherance of other Churches rather than just the Church
that we are worshipping in ourselves?"
At the first CRE, there wereonly two pro-audio companies
exhibiting. This year, there were about 20, among more than 300
exhibitors, including Hymns Ancient and Modern, the publishers of
the Church Times, as well as youth ministries,
stained-glass-window designers, architects, travel and pilgrimage
companies, and church suppliers.
This week, the Polish company Christiana-Dąbrowski returned to
CRE for its second visit. There were many more "smaller churches
here in England that we don't experience in other countries", the
company's president and CEO, Daniel Dąbrowski, said. "We see that
our clothes are popular. Not every church uses alcoholic communion
wine; others don't use altar breads . . . but, generally, vestments
are a universal thing."
The founder of CRE, Gospatric Home, sold the exhibition to the
Bible Society in 2007. The chief executive of the Society, James
Catford, told a 30th-anniversary party on Tuesday night that CRE
was an expression of the Bible Society's "generous orthodoxy". He
said: "We are committed to Jesus Christ as our ever-living saviour
. . . but we are generous in our outlook. We are encompassing of
everybody who has a high view of scripture and the centrality that
there is with Jesus."
CRE holds one large exhibition each year, CRE International, as
well smaller exhibitions around the country. CRE South West will be
held in February next year, before CRE International moves to its
new home at the ExCel Centre next May.