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Christian Resources Exhibition 2018: Inspiration and innovation

28 September 2018

See gallery above for more images of CRE

See gallery above for more images of CRE

CRE 2018: Inspiration and innovation — for the whole congregation

FROM fund-raising to fighting dry rot, from planning applications to database regulations — the Christian Resources Exhibition offers a lightbulb moment for local churches.

This range of experience and help is what makes CRE unique, and explains why it is often dubbed “the Ideal Church Show”, says Steve Goddard, owner of the exhibition since November 2016.

“Experts fill every aisle, guiding visitors through the complexities of local and international ministry,” he explains. ‘With 200 exhibitors displaying everything from computers to clergy clothing, musical instruments to motorcycle funerals, CRE provides expert advice and a host of new ideas.”

As well as the range of exhibits, more than 50 seminars on a host of practical subjects take place throughout all three days.

CRE is not just about stained-glass and sound systems, however. “Our commission is to make disciples, not pew potatoes. ‘Discipleship Wednesday’ at CRE 2018 will help visitors understand the difference,” says Goddard. Three seminars, taking different approaches to discipleship, are scheduled for Wednesday 17 October.

“It is vital we help churches activate a thriving discipleship culture,” says the Revd Cris Rogers, Rector of All Hallows in Bow, east London, who will speak on “Dare to disciple and see your church grow” (12 p.m.).

“Some of us struggle with the term ‘discipleship’ and use the phrase ‘spiritual formation’ instead. I will look at the differences between the Evangelical understanding of discipleship and the more Catholic understanding of spiritual formation.

“When the two merge, we get a biblical picture of Jesus’s understanding of discipleship and formation.”

There’s also music from the sultan of slide guitar, Bryn Haworth, and top UK contemporary worship-songwriter Stuart Townend; drama from Saltmine Theatre Company, and a lunchtime chat show hosted by broadcaster the Revd Cindy Kent MBE. Worship Alive! is a masterclass for local song-writers and worship leaders.

MORE than 4000 local church leaders, from sacristans to suffragan bishops, attended CRE 2017.

“We are confident that a similar number will come to receive inspiration and innovation for the whole congregation,” says the event director, Brett Pitchfork. “We encourage you to bring a group from your church to make the day especially worthwhile.”

CRE 2018 is at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey. The opening hours: Tuesday 16 October and Wednesday 17 October: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 18 October: 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Tickets are £8 on the door but as a valued Church Times reader we invite you to attend free of charge with our compliments: Book a free advance ticket here  This offer only applies to advance bookings made online.


CRE 2018 at a glance

* More than 200 exhibitors

* 50 seminars

* Large bookshops

* Youth and Children’s Zone

* Church Times live

* Worship Alive! conference and celebration

* Millennial leaders’ survey launch

* Cindy’s Sofa with special guests

* Churches for All

For a complete list of exhibitors and the schedule of 50 seminars and special events visit www.creonline.co.uk



Jonathan will speak up for the speechless

A twelve-year-old best-selling author will be a special guest at the opening of CRE 2018.

Jonathan Bryan, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is entirely non-verbal. He uses a alphabet board to spell out everything he wants to say and in his book, Eye Can Write, reflects on his profound Christian faith.

Jonathan’s father, the Revd Christopher Bryan, is Rector of Gauzebrook, in Wiltshire. His son’s faith, rooted in a profound experience of the life to come, is both “hugely inspiring and challenging”, he told the Church Times.

“The prospect of going to be with Christ is such a strong and real thing it totally informs his attitude to death, getting ill, and everything.”

The Bryan family have set up a charity, Teach Us Too, promoting the right for all children to be taught to read and write, whatever their label or diagnosis. Three organisations will exhibit under the Churches for All banner at CRE 2018: Count Everyone In, the Lodge Trust, and Torch Trust, will offer visitors a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues.

Opening the exhibition will be the singer/songwriter Marilyn Baker, blind almost from birth, accompanied by a choir from Notre Dame girls school in Cobham using Makaton, a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate.

Gordon Temple, executive officer for Churches for All, says: “CRE 2018 presents a great opportunity to encourage churches to welcome and involve people living with disabilities in every aspect of church life.”

• Churches for All will run a seminar at CRE 2018 (Tuesday 16 October 12 p.m.)

• Marilyn Baker is in concert at CRE 2018 (Tuesday 16 October 3 p.m.)


Church Times live

AT this Christian Resources Exhibition, the Church Times goes on the road for the first time in its history. On Thursday 18 October, the presents three live panel discussions: on the environment, young people, and worship. The last features contributions from the Royal School of Church Music.

”Thanks to social media, news is now questioned and interrogated more than ever,” says the Church Times editor, Paul Handley. “But as well as a new liveliness and accountability, new technology brings new problems, not least all those hasty, uninformed stories and unguarded comments.

“So how do we bring journalism and contemporary comment into the open in an intelligent way? Our answer is Church Times Live – a day when we lift the lid on editorial judgements, and open up discussion behind three hot topics.”


Team up for a day of discovery

Get the best out of CRE by bringing a group of people with specific responsibilities in your church.

Individual entry costs £8 on the door but Church Times readers can attend free of charge by booking advance tickets using this link: Book a free advance ticket here  This offer only applies to advance bookings made online.


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