With large-scale indoor events unlikely to be permitted in the autumn, CRE National at Sandown Park, Esher has been postponed for 12 months – until 12-14 October 2021.
‘Though October is still four months away, we decided to make this difficult decision sooner than later,’ said event director Brett Pitchfork. ‘Even if Government restrictions are lifted, we doubt enough people will feel confident about attending an event of this kind in the autumn. We have taken the decision with a heavy heart but feel it is the responsible thing to do and appreciate the thoughts and prayers of our visitors and exhibitors as we plot our way through some difficult times. By March next year we are confident strict new guidelines will be in place to ensure sufficient protection for all our visitors and exhibitors.’
The next two exhibitions are:
- CRE South West – 17-18 March 2021, Westpoint, Exeter
- CRE National – 12-14 October 2021, Sandown Park, Surrey
Before lockdown, 42 per cent of exhibition space at CRE South West had already been taken. The first in the region for six years, the event has been welcomed by the Right Revd Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter.
‘Since CRE was last in the south west lots has happened at local church level,’ he said. ‘There are new worshipping communities, new leaders, new volunteers taking up important roles – and lots of exciting projects in our local communities. I want to help people to be inspired in their faith and get the support they need to make a difference where they are. CRE is a great opportunity to access new resources, ideas and practical tools to meet the many challenges of local ministry.’
In place of CRE National 2020 in October will be a ‘Virtual CRE’ – taking the form of online seminars, interviews and features, accompanied by a specially-printed handbook listing all exhibitors booked in at one or both of the next two exhibitions. Mailed out free to thousands of past and prospective CRE visitors, the handbook will be backed up by an extensive online campaign through email and social media.
‘We are grateful for the support shown to CRE at this unusual and stressful time and look forward to playing a part in resourcing thousands of churches over the next few months and years,’