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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

After the Midlands, onward to Milton Keynes

cre mainimgics"CRE Midlands reminded me of the giddy days when it first began – the venue was packed with exhibitors and visitors and there was a busy atmosphere. The whole thing looked great."

Not our words but those of journalist and communications consultant Clive Price who was around in the days when CRE was first launched on an unsuspecting public in the mid-1980s.

Echoing Clive’s words, Gareth Cottrell, of exhibitors Konnect Radio, said: "I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful event. We’ve always enjoyed coming to CRE but this year it felt as if you upped your game. It’s been one of our highlights of the year."

Heather Ford, of exhibitors Ecclesiastical, tweeted: "Tired feet, completely wildflower bombed out, but great conversations along the way. Looking forward to CRE in 2024."

The Clergy Support Trust tweeted: "It was wonderful to have insightful conversations with clergy, their partners, families, members of their congregations and other Christian organisations."

Abbi Leverton of Hope Fuelled Design said: "I had a fantastic time chatting to people about our work and making new friends along the way! Looking forward to next year already!"

In all 1442 visitors came through the door over the two days, plus 469 exhibitor staff. While the numbers didn’t match the ‘giddy days’ described above, the intentional nature of the visitors has never been stronger. Most of them made a beeline to the stands they had earmarked before the exhibition opened – probably because we sent out the 60-page exhibition handbook to some 8,000 potential visitors several weeks before the exhibition – making our visitors much more business-like.

cre imgSelf-styled grumpy old rock star Rick Wakeman opened the event and, to his surprise, was presented with a bespoke richly-coloured cape created on the theme ‘Morning Has Broken,’ a traditional hymn made famous worldwide by Cat Stevens. Wakeman played piano on the recording more than 50 years ago.

The cape was made by long-standing CRE exhibitor Juliet Hemingray. "It is the first time I have ever made something for a rock star, though," she admitted. "I hope he will perform in it." He already has – on the night following at a packed-out concert hall in Lytham St Anne’s!

With a successful exhibition disappearing in the rear-view mirror, we now ask for your prayers as we look ahead to 2024. Talking in depth to dozens of the 170 organisations represented, it is clear the current economic climate is still tough for many of them, post-pandemic. Consequently, many have wanted to come to both our exhibitions in 2024 but have had to make a choice between CRE North in Manchester (scheduled for May 2024) and CRE South at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes (9-10 Oct).

Because of this we have decided it makes sense to cancel CRE North 24 and put all our resources into making CRE South 24 a similar success to CRE Midlands 23.

It is disappointing to be unable to take the exhibition north again (where it is based!) but we feel this is the best option. If you represent one of the organisations booked for Manchester we hope you will join us in Milton Keynes in October next year.

The loss of CRE North has meant we have had to carefully consider how it affects the company, going forward. After seven years of fantastic service, we have had to say goodbye to our freelance sales consultant Carol Malpass. Carol has been associated with the exhibition for more than 20 years and her commitment to the event has been exemplary. In fact, when we first took over CRE from the Bible Society in 2016, she was the first person we looked to for sales support. We are enormously grateful to her and wish her every blessing and success in the future.

If you are interested in taking a stand in Milton Keynes please contact James Batterbee on 0161 250 2306 (E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Richard Shepherd, business development manager at Ecclesiastical and Heritage World (pictured at the magazine's stand at the last CRE North in 2019), 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 2023/24

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New York cathedral gets bespoke furniture to accommodate diverse needs

In March ICS Church Furnishers of the Republic of Ireland announced the successful completion of a bespoke seating project for The Cathedral of St John the Divine, the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. This collaboration began in 2018 when the cathedral sought a solution for their seating needs that would accommodate their diverse range of services and events.

Click here to read the full story.

When it comes to church lighting, experience matters

When Anthony J Smith (Glos) Ltd was formed in 1976, it was initially as a general electrical contracting company carrying out work in domestic, commercial and industrial properties. Anthony’s first foray into church lighting was when his own church, St Peter’s Catholic Parish Church in Gloucester, suffered from an arson attack and as part of the Fabric Committee – he is now chairman, and has been for many years – he was allowed to carry out lighting tests and trials.

Click here to read the full story.

Ecclesiastical and Benefact Group launch the Movement for Good Awards 2023

Ecclesiastical is inviting people to nominate a heritage charity to receive £1,000 as part of Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the Movement for Good Awards will once again see more than £1million gifted to charities up and down the UK and Ireland.

Click here to read the full story.

Wales’s medieval jewel now sounds as magnificent as it looks

St Asaph Cathedral dates back 1,400 years, with the current building dating from the 13th century. The cathedral now benefits from a bespoke, comprehensive premium sound system designed and commissioned by expert engineers from Richard King Systems.

Click here to read the full story.

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 2023/24

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