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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | December 13, 2017

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‘Emotional’ return home for Christian exhibition

‘Emotional’ return home for Christian exhibition

And they’re off! Some of the 4,000+ visitors to CRE 2017 arrive at Sandown Park, Esher

Christian Resources Exhibition, Sandown Park, Esher
17-19 October

From a lively opening featuring Eurovision winner Dana, to a solemn ending – when former special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Terry Waite, spoke of his five years’ imprisonment – the Christian Resources Exhibition’s (CRE) return to Sandown Park, Surrey, “touched all the
emotions”.

A total of 4,061 people visited the show. “Many local church leaders rely on it for fresh ideas for ministry, mission and maintenance,” said Steve Goddard, who took ownership of the event last year along with his wife Allison. Some 200 exhibitors displayed everything from pulpits to puppets.

A 55-strong choir from Notre Dame School Cobham (pictured) sang a reworded version of Dana’s Eurovision-winning song, All Kinds of Everything, ending it with “for your church and you”.

Terry Waite’s visit was made more emotional by the presence of 59-year-old Andrew Coleman, son of the late Canon John Coleman, whose freedom Terry had negotiated in Iran, prior to his own capture in Lebanon.

(Adults left to right) Merinda D’Aprano, head of Notre Dame School Cobham, singer Dana and Julie Shaw, head of music. The school’s choir (behind) sang a new version of Dana’s famous Eurovision-winning song All Kinds of Everything at the opening of the Christian Resources Exhibition

(Adults left to right) Merinda D’Aprano, head of Notre Dame School Cobham, singer Dana and Julie Shaw, head of music. The school’s choir (behind) sang a new version of Dana’s famous Eurovision-winning song All Kinds of Everything at the opening of the Christian Resources Exhibition

Among the speakers were George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance.

While one in four of the visitors to CRE came from Surrey, others came from all over the UK including Cornwall and Scotland.

“Response was so positive that we have re-booked Sandown Park for the same week in 2018,” said Brett Pitchfork, event director. “We are also considering more regional exhibitions, too.”