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Christian Exhibition organisers say ‘welcome back’ – 30,000 times

by Donna Birrell

More than 30,000 'Welcome Back' brochures are being delivered for a three-day programme to help churches respond to changes brought about by the pandemic.

The Christian Resources Exhibition aims to help individuals and churches feel comfortable with new ways of engaging brought about as a result of Covid-19.  

Owner, Steve Goddard told Premier there will be something for everyone:

"It's a kind of ideal church show, that's the best way of describing it. Anybody who cares about the future of their church is welcome. And will find resources galore at the exhibition. We're looking forward to welcoming everybody in that way, whether you're a vicar or a minister or a worship leader or a home group leader."

Significant online congregations are now plugging into church services, so Mission Worship will feature musicians including Graham Kendrick and Lucy Grimble and will consider how to 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. 

"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."

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. 

The exhibition will also explore the legacy of the Windrush Generation with contributions from Rev David Shosanya, former regional director of the London Baptist Association, among others. 

Founder-member of the Arts Centre Group (ACG), Rev Cindy Kent, will host a special day-long event celebrating the ACG's 50th birthday. Special guests will include Frank Williams, the vicar in the original Dad's Army and actress Sue Hodge from Christians in Entertainment. 

Steve Goddard says "Discovering resources online has been especially important during the pandemic, 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.'

CRE National 2021 is at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey from 12th- 14th October 2021.

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