Exhibition organisers say ‘welcome back’ – 30,000 times
ALMOST 18 months after doors closed on their last exhibition, organisers of the Christian Resources Exhibition launch a major campaign this week promoting their first post-lockdown show (CRE National 2021, Oct 12-14, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey).
More than 30,000 ‘Welcome Back’ brochures are arriving in letterboxes, detailing a comprehensive, three-day programme to help churches respond to changes and opportunities brought about by the pandemic.
New resources will be available in financial management, fund-raising, new technology, social media, streaming, worship, creative arts, home groups, mission, youth, and children’s work. Expert advice will be on hand in more than 50 seminars and special features.
Significant online congregations are now plugging into church services, so Mission Worship Wednesday (13 Oct), featuring musicians like Graham Kendrick and Lucy Grimble, will consider how we bring together physical and digital.
‘Hundreds of churches have harnessed new technology during the pandemic, reaching countless thousands who would never darken their doors on a Sunday,’ said CRE owner Steve Goddard. ‘A number of specialist exhibitors, helping churches with live streaming on a weekly basis, will help others take the next steps. While the “old normal” might feel comfortable, this “new different” is the future.’
For the first time, the exhibition will explore the legacy of the Windrush Generation with contributions from Rev David Shosanya, former regional director of the London Baptist Association, Roy Francis, and the Ken Burton Singers.
Founder-member of the Arts Centre Group, Rev Cindy Kent, will host a special day-long event (Wed 13 Oct), celebrating the ACG’s 50th birthday. Special guests will include Frank Williams (vicar in the original Dad’s Army) and Sue Hodge (‘Allo ‘Allo) from Christians In Entertainment. There will also be a special focus on encouraging the next generation of aspiring performers, broadcasters, authors, and journalists.
Aware that many potential visitors are keen to come to CRE but Covid-cautious, the organisers have moved part of the exhibition from the main Surrey Hall to the Esher Hall below – allowing the creation of wider aisles. Other possible safety measures will depend on government stipulations at the time.
‘Discovering resources online has been especially important during the pandemic,’ said Goddard, ‘but nothing is better than meeting the person behind the product, the people behind the project. Face to face beats mouse to mouse, every time.’
Entry to the exhibition costs as little as £3 by booking in advance (£8 on the door).
CRE National 2021 at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey opening hours: Tue 12 and Wed 13 Oct, 10 am-5 pm; Thu 14 Oct, 10 am-4.30 pm. Visit www.creonline.co.uk for more information.
Written by: Steve Goddard