Industry celebrates awards for Christian retailers

The 2018 Christian Resources Together (CRT) Retailers and Suppliers Retreat triggered a Twitter storm as delegates, award winners and more than 80 exhibitors gathered for their annual meeting at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick.

Melanie Carroll, of the independent bookshop Unicorn Tree Books, based in Lincoln, UK, tweeted: 'Beautiful to be in a room filled with praise and worship that goes across the boundaries of ages, worship styles, accents, and job titles...that's one of the beauties of the CRT Retreat.' She enthused: 'We should be encouraged that what we are doing, our calling, our vocation as booksellers and authors and publishers is a holy and important work!'

Andy Croft spoke about the book he had written with Mike Pilavachi.Melanie Carroll

David C Cook, a Christian Ministry and publishing house based in Eastbourne, UK tweeted: 'Wonderful to see Andy Croft talk at the CRT Retreat, about engaging young people with the Bible, and Lifelines, his new book with Mike Pilavachi.'

Triangle Bookshop won the Speaking Volumes award for Community Impact.Melanie Carroll

Speaking Volumes, a grant provider for quality Christian books for libraries and schools, sponsor an award. They tweeted: 'Congratulations to Paul Taylor of Triangle book shop for winning our Community Impact Award.'

J John bagged the award for the CRT Children's and Youth Book of the Year, Knowing God. J John tweeted: 'Thank you to all my colleagues at Philo, to Jeni Child and Morena Forza for the creative illustrations. What a joy to introduce children to Jesus.'

Winner of the CRT Evangelistic Book of the Year Award is The Pilgrim Way, A Guide to the Christian Faith which is written by Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, Paula Gooder and Robert Atwell. The Pilgrim Way is published by Church House Publishing.

Between Heaven and the Real World written by Steven Curtis Chapman and published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Michigan, USA won the CRT Biography Book of the Year.

SPCK Publishing, founded in 1698, is the largest Christian publisher in the UK and the third oldest British publishing house still operating today. Throughout its long history SPCK has aimed to make Christian ideas and values relevant and accessible to people of all faiths and none. Itwon CRT Large Publisher of the Year Award. Paul, A Biography, written by Tom Wright and published by SPCK, won two further awards; CRT Biblical Studies Book of the Year and CRT Book of the Year. SPCK tweeted: 'What a night! We're going to need a new shelf in the office. Thanks Christian Resources Together.'

Comedian and author Paul Kerensa tweeted: 'I'm at #CRT2018 talking about these books via newly-crowned Big Publisher of the Year SPCK Publishing, to a fair few book trade folks.'

Instant Apostle won the award for Small Publisher of the Year.Melanie Carroll

Launched just six years ago, Instant Apostle was named as Small Publisher of the Year, an award sponsored by Lightning Source/Ingram Content Group. It tweeted: 'A great encouragement to all the team and huge thanks to all our authors for making it possible.'

The Book Well won the runner-up award for Independent Small Retail Store of the year.Melanie Carroll

An independently set up and family owned Christian bookshop based in East Belfast, The Book Well, tweeted: 'So honoured to be named runner up in the category of Independent Small Retail Store of the Year at #CRT2018 awards. Thanks for journeying with us, whether sales rep, publisher, supplier, customer, crafter, follower, supporter, pray-er, staff member or friend.'

The winners of the Independent Small Retail Store of the Year Award were Ali Ceaser and Tony Bronnimann, Quench Christian Bookshop, Wokingham. CRT Bookshop Manager of the Year Award went to Dave Lock.

Geoff Bearham of CLC with the CRT Distributor of the Year award.Melanie Carroll

CLC Wholesale (UK) won the CRT Distributor of the year Award. CLC commented: 'It's a real privilege to serve the Christian trade and share this important ministry.'

Details of the Christian Resources Together Retreat 2019 are available here.

Val Fraser is an author and journalist. Follow her on Twitter @ValFraserAuthor.