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Thousands set to descend on Sandown

0n7096 CRE 2022 The next incarnation of Christian Resources Exhibition will be CRE National 2022 – taking place at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey, on 11-13 October.

Sandown Park is a great venue for Europe’s leading annual exhibition of Christian resources. Just 15 miles from central London, the venue is easily accessible by rail (25 minutes from London Waterloo to Esher) and road (M25 and A3). Parking is free for exhibitors and visitors.

Said event organiser Steven Goddard: “We look forward to welcoming thousands of people, for whom Sandown Park is familiar and easy to access. Join hundreds of local church leaders, officers and anyone involved in Christian work and ministry, in a day of discovery – of new ideas and resources, specialist advice and inspirational worship and teaching.

“Around 200 organisations will be waiting to meet you, offering everything from banners to Bibles, heating to seating, puppets to pulpits. CRE provides you with a great context for networking and creative thinking. It really is your one-stop shop for church supplies, resources and ideas.”

The exhibition will be open from 10am to 5pm on 11 and 12 October, and from 10am to 4.30pm on 13 October. Getting there is made even easier – and greener – by a courtesy bus that will be available between Esher railway station and Sandown Park racecourse during the opening times.

To book a stand at CRE National 2022, which runs from 11-13 October, call Carol on 0161 250 2467, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or James on 0161 250 2306, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted churches will have to learn a whole new way to present Sunday worship. So said Simon Thomas (pictured), a former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter, at the opening of the Christian Resources Exhibition at Westpoint, Exeter (Feb 23-24).

‘When you are leading a service or preaching online it is difficult to decide whether to look at the congregation or the camera but unless you look at the camera those watching cannot feel fully involved,’ said Simon. ‘If you forget about your online audience very soon you will not have one.’

Helping churches develop broadcasting skills was one of the key themes of the exhibition with many visitors attending practical seminars on related subjects. Simon also talked about the death of his wife, Gemma, from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) – four days after being admitted to hospital in 2017. Subsequently, he launched the Gemma Thomas Fund to raise awareness and money for research. He is now president of Blood Cancer UK.

‘I want to make sure that more people are made aware of the signs and symptoms of all blood cancers so we can improve early diagnosis and give people a fighting chance,’ he said. Simon paid his first visit to CRE at Sandown Park as a 12-year-old, taken by his late father, a vicar. ‘The event has advanced so much,’ he said. ‘There is something here for every aspect of church life. It really is a must for Christians.’

CRE South West attracted 1521 people (1257 visitors and 264 non-visitor attendees) – numbers which delighted the organisers after the impact of Covid-19. ‘Running an event in the face of a pandemic is a nerve-wracking experience so we are grateful to all our loyal exhibitors and visitors,’ said CRE owner Steve Goddard. ‘In fact, the atmosphere last week was as upbeat as we have ever known with a sense of release and purpose after two years behind closed doors.’

‘It was good to be back together again and exhibit our plane!’ said MAF’s Kevin Crook. ‘We were so encouraged to see a large number of people showing real interest in our work, many of whom had never even heard of us.’

Mike Frith of OSCAR said: ‘We had a steady stream of visitors through Mission on the Map and many great conversations.’

Tim Moyler of Agapé UK, said: ‘There is no other way we could have reached so many leaders and organisations in just two days. Many said our Living & Telling course was just what they were looking for. Our national director was amazed at how many unexpected and fruitful conversations she had.’

‘We were genuinely delighted with the reception we received,’ said David Saint of Action Planning. ‘Although it was inevitably quieter than the national exhibition, we had a large number of very positive conversations. I’m pretty sure we came away with more leads from two days in Exeter than three days in Esher – and we were pretty pleased then, too!’

‘CRE is always an excellent platform for meeting quality contacts,’ said Chris Dunphy of ChurchEcoMiser. ‘Although the past few years have been anything but “normal”, the team know how to attract the right people and this was one of the best exhibitions we have ever done.’

These positive comments were endorsed by visitors.

‘I just want to say a HUGE thank you to all. The event was very well set out and organised, the seminars engaging and informative,’ said Liz Moore, a life coach. ‘It was lovely to network with people I hadn't seen for a long time – and new people, too. Well done, CRE!’

Rev David Coffey, of Upton Vale Baptist in Torquay, told BBC Radio Devon: ’It’s fascinating to see the number and range of exhibitors at CRE. It reminds you how churches of all denominations form a huge marketplace. Gone are the days churches can go it alone.’

Simon Preece, church warden at St Andrew’s, Kenn in Devon, said: ‘I was so excited and almost overwhelmed by it all with people so willing to exchange ideas.’

Richard Shepherd, business development manager at Ecclesiastical and Heritage World (pictured at the magazine's stand at CRE North), is a regular visitor at CRE exhibitions throughout the country. He said: "These events are always worth a visit, even if only for the pleasant and friendly people there. The usual variety of stands all have one thing in common: the Christian spirit and goodwill. My experience is always of very professional and trustworthy experts in their respective fields."

Over the years the CRE has provided church organisations with a focal point to source goods and products ranging from building solutions and furniture to lighting and sound systems, vestments and plate. Many exhibitors became regular fixtures, acting as a network of service providers. Its many quirky features included a series of ‘Clergy on the Catwalk’ fashion shows of vestments and the unforgettable My Church Needs One of Those competitions – the McNoot Awards.

Among CRE exhibitors offering solutions to practical questions is Fuller’s Finer Furniture, who travel from Weston-super-Mare to demonstrate a range of specialist church furnishing.

The company’s managing director Paul Fuller (pictured right) told Ecclesiastical and Heritage World the shows are a success and an “opportunity to have good conversations with existing and new customers”.

Fullers have been making their renowned height adjustable Canterbury and York Lecterns since 2001. Demand for these popular lecterns continues and Paul puts this down to a number of factors - click here for the full story.

Pictured (right) is Gerry Browne of church lighting specialists, Lighting Dynamics - unusually alone at his stand as every time we tried to get to speak to him he was busy talking to interested visitors and showing them examples of his spectacular church lighting projects.

Indeed, Lighting Dynamics are regularly featured on the front cover of Ecclesiastical and Heritage World including a lighting project at the beautiful St Giles RC Church in Staffordshire. Gerry commented: "I believe that as one of Augustus Pugin’s top UK building projects, there has been a considerable amount of architectural interest in the feature”.

In its 35 plus years of existence, Christian Resources Exhibitions has grown to become one of the most important ecumenical events in the Christian calendar. There is no other exhibition in Europe that features so many organisations from such a broad church.

For more information on either upcoming CRE events, and to book stands, contact Carol on 0161 250 2467 or James on 0161 250 2306.

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World CRE 2020

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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Anthony J. Smith 
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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Mellor & Mottram 

AV system at St Martins Liskeard

APi were asked by St Martins to design and install a comprehensive sound and visual system as part of their refurbishment. This video is a short case study with interviews from the church family on their experience of the system.

For further information visit www.apicommunications.co.uk

If you’re renovating a heritage building, having the right insurance is a must

Leigh Ide, business development executive at Trinitas Church Insurance Services, shares some useful guidance on insurance and contract works for heritage buildings.

Providing advice and guidance on the insurance aspects of building works to existing Trinitas clients is a regular part of my role. Those works can be very wide ranging. Most of the buildings we insure are listed as they are Church of England parish churches, and there is often an extra dimension to the advice and guidance required.

Click here to read the full story.

Co-operation and collaboration – working for the future

The amalgamation of two churches in Harwood, near Bolton, paved the way for a major redevelopment project, involving demolition of the church hall and former manse to make way for the new building. Opened in July, the facilities at the new Harwood Methodist Church comprise a worship area, activity hall, meeting rooms, kitchen and café. All-in-all, it is a busy social hub with a variety of activities catering for all age groups.

Click here to read the full story.

Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, Southwark gets new internal and external lighting

The Catholic Parish of the Most Precious Blood was founded in 1891 by Bishop Butt and designed by architect Frederick Arthur Walters (1849–1931) who designed over 50 churches in his career.

The clients provided a clear brief to CES Lighting and Electrical Specialists: "The overall effect we are aiming for in the church is one of 'Cistercian' simplicity and calmness punctuated by highlighted areas of religious/spiritual significance. The architecture of the building is already strong in both scale and form and does not of itself require any particular highlighting or enhancement."

Click here to read the full story.

LED Conversion at Grade 1 listed St John the Baptist Church, London

St John the Baptist Church, Holland Road in London is Grade I listed, embedded between the urban landscapes of Shepherd’s Bush and Holland Park. The church is an impressive example of Victorian Gothic Revival built from 1870 by architect James Brooks.

Click here to read the full story.

The Anglican Diocese of Exeter

As the Christian Resources Exhibition comes to Exeter, we thought we should take a look at the Anglican Diocese of Exeter.

There are 605 church buildings in the Diocese of Exeter and each represents the lives of thousands of people who have worshipped, celebrated and mourned there. Many are historic listed buildings and their care and maintenance can be one of the greatest challenges that congregations face.

Click here to read the full story

Looking for an audio-visual system to suit your style of worship?

APi Sound & Visual are leading designers and installers of audio-visual systems for churches, community centres and heritage buildings in the South West and beyond.

Founded in Exeter in 2003, the team at APi Sound & Visual pride themselves at making technology work for people. Specialising in the design and installation of projection, sound and streaming systems; they are also installers of hearing loop systems and CCTV.

Click here to read the full story

Skilled craftsmen create bespoke tributes for churches
around the British Isles

In January 2019 Fullers Finer Furniture received a call from a client in the USA. Her mission was to secure a bespoke lectern for a church in Portsmouth attended by her mother, in memory of her father.

The design brief was for a solid wood, fixed-height lectern bearing a memorial plaque. Working within the proposed budget, a design was drawn up and tweaked to achieve the exact result required.

Click here to read the full story

New commissions keep heating specialist busy

It is turning out to be a busy New Year for specialist church heating contractor Mellor and Mottram and its managing director Stuart Mottram.

Fortunately, in these strange times, it doesn’t involve a great deal of travel as the three projects they are due to start imminently are within striking distance of the firm’s Stoke-on-Trent base.

Click here to read the full story

It’s “All Aboard!” for a project with a difference

In January last year Fullers Finer Furniture were approached in connection with a unique project. All Aboard is an exciting collaboration between Edinburgh charity People Know How and Polwarth Parish Church in the city, aimed at running a canal boat from Polwarth Pontoon. The project is designed to benefit the local community in a variety of ways. Polwarth Church is located adjacent to the Union Canal, which runs from Edinburgh to Falkirk.

Click here to read the full story

Latest installation ensures everyone can participate – whether in church or not

A recent commission saw Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS) install a new AV system into Holy Trinity Church at Frogmore in St Albans. The new installation not only ensures the highest quality audio-visual solution for the church, but also provides a flexible and expandable visual streaming and recording system, to ensure those not able to meet at the church can continue to participate actively in services.

Click here to read the full story

Rinzaffo MGN – salt resistant lime scratch coat, available from Core Conservation

One of the unique products from Core Conservation is RINZAFFO MGN, a plaster developed in 1980 in Venice to tackle the problem of capillary rising damp, penetrating damp and salts - however its origins stretch back to ancient Roman times.

Click here to read the full story

Live Streaming now available from Creative Audio Visual Solutions

Live Streaming, especially during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, is a vital means for churches to keep communicating to their congregation and the wider world.

Even when the lockdown is eased and churches open their doors again, many church regulars may still not be able to attend services. This is where a simple-to-use, reliable and high-quality online streaming system will allow your church to be ever present in these times when fellowship and togetherness are perhaps more important than ever. Creative Audio Visual Solutions (CAVS) offer a complete IT and networking solution for the modern office. Utilising the latest wired and wireless technologies, their systems are designed to increase your organisation's growth and productivity when storing information, printing and communicating with the outside world.

Click here to read the full story

No cash? No problem! The future of giving is in the app

Cash is losing relevance in society generally; and that presents both a problem and an opportunity for all churches: how can people give during the offering without it? That question led to the creation of Givt – an app designed for church and charity use to allow people to donate in all situations.

Click here to read the full story

Every church needs one of these…bespoke hand sanitiser stations

In a sign of the times a local church recently approached Fullers Finer Furniture of Weston-super-Mare in connection with the provision of purpose-built hand sanitiser stations. The church was in the process of undertaking risk assessments to take into account the additional precautions necessary to enable the building to be Covid secure and safely re-opened, in due course, for gathered worship.

Click here to read the full story

Aesthetic audio solutions

Modern audio solutions often mean function over form – where cutting edge audio quality and distribution may not sit happily in the aesthetic surroundings of a traditional church. This is precisely the challenge mounted and overcome by Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS) in their equipment selection and overall system design – providing the latest technology whilst respecting the décor of, in most cases, grade-listed buildings.

Click here to read the full story

Furniture makes its way across the sea

This summer saw West Country-based Fullers Finer Furniture complete a number of deliveries across the water in Northern Ireland. The first was to the Salvation Army’s new premises in Larne, County Antrim – just a short distance from the ferry port. The order was placed following introductions at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Manchester. It was for the company’s trademark York lectern, a Holiness Table and, more unusually, three flag stands.

Click here to read the full story

St Bart’s goes digital

The parish church of St Bartholomew in Horley, a parish covering Horley town and Gatwick Airport, is a Grade One-listed building, mainly of 14th century origin, although a church has been on the site since the middle of the 12th century.

Click here to read the full story

Lighting developments have evolved into new LED product ranges

Over recent years, West Midlands-based Lighting Dynamics UK has continued to develop as one of the UK’s premier companies specialising in the interior and exterior lighting of cathedrals, churches and other places of worship, across all Christian denominations.

Click here to read the full story

Lighting specialist looks forward to a welcome return

One of the companies that had reason to be glad they exhibited at the last CRE in Manchester five years ago is Anthony J Smith (Glos) Ltd. They have a long history of designing and installing bespoke lighting systems within churches and since that last show they have been fortunate to have been involved in a number of church projects in the North West – including at Standish, Ecclestone, Preston and Oldham. They also have a small number of other projects in the region at the planning stage.

Click here to read the full story

Collaboration brings stunning results

Nestling in the heart of the historic Norfolk market town of Swaffham, the beautiful Grade Two-listed Methodist Church has recently been renovated to offer state-of-the-art resources to people of all ages and interests in a bright and welcoming building.

The transformation has been accomplished in no small part through the collaboration of two specialist church suppliers – Cunnings Recording Associates and Fullers Finer Furniture – in conjunction with the building contractor H Smith and Sons of Honingham.

Click here to read the full story

Grade One-listed church is latest masterpiece in heating company’s portfolio

The Church of St Lawrence in North Wingfield, Derbyshire, is a Grade One-listed building, part of which dates from the 12th century – although mention is made in the Domesday Book of a church and priest there.

Click here to read the full story.

Get the latest church AV – without the visual impact

Churches, understandably, provide numerous challenges which need to be faced when installing an audio-visual system. The complexity and feature set of the system – although important – can often take second place to aesthetic concerns: where the building’s décor cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

Click here to read the full story

New church building is an award-winner

On 12 May 1894 a parcel of land on Elizabeth Road in Caterham – now Francis Road – was purchased at a cost of £32, for a new church building to be called Oak Hall. The church building was completed during July and August at a cost of £206, and opened on Thursday 13 September of that year.

Click here to read the full story

CAVS install new AV system 'seamlessly' at St James Church, Trowbidge

Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS) are a dedicated church audio and visual supplier working throughout the UK.

The Hertfordshire-based company were recently commissioned to install a new audio and visual system into the Parish Church of St James in Trowbridge. The brief was to ensure that that all new equipment fitted seamlessly into the environment whilst providing the latest technologies for full range worship and advanced multimedia display.

Click here to read the full story

Church heating specialist spans the Midlands

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist in the village of Somersham, near Huntingdon, stands on a site which is thought to have been used for Christian worship since the second half of the 7th century.

Earlier this year the heating system in the church was completely upgraded by Stoke-on-Trent church heating specialists Mellor and Mottram. The previous system was over 20 years old and had become very inefficient and costly to maintain. In a news article the church noted that in 2016 it had cost over £2,000 to have the boiler serviced for the following winter.

Click here to read the full story

Hymnal Plus - the leading worship music solution

Whether you have trouble finding good, reliable organists (or other musicians), have no instrument or simply want good music available for outreach, the Hymnal Plus is the solution.

As well as churches, the Hymnal Plus is widely used by Schools and Colleges, Chaplaincies in the Armed Forces, Prisons and Hospitals, Retirement Homes, Retreat Centres, Christian Holiday Centres, Cruise Liners, Crematoriums and private individuals – all of whom find the Hymnal Plus provides their complete worship music needs.

Click here to read the full story

Best-Selling Crematorium Furniture

Rosehill are often the contract furniture supplier of choice for the bereavement and crematorium sector. We’ve been supplying quality furniture to funeral directors across the UK for over 3 decades offering a wide selection of seating and bespoke sanctuary items.

This blog post covers our best-selling items for crematoriums making it easier for you to choose and order your furniture with Rosehill.

Click here to read the full story

New audio system for St Nicholas’ Church, Burton in Wirral

St Nicholas’ Church, Burton in Wirral, is located in the village of Burton, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Cheshire. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building and is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Wirral South.

The parochial church council’s set audio, lighting and control systems specialists, Richard King Systems, the brief of upgrading and modernising the audio system, for the reproduction of both speech and live performances.

Click here to read the full story

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World CRE 2020