National Christian Resources Exhibition postponed until October 2021

(Photo: CRE)

This year's national Christian Resources Exhibition has been pushed back a year because of coronavirus. 

Organisers said the annual event would now be taking place from 12 to 14 October 2021 because of ongoing restrictions around largescale indoor events.

CRE National is one of the biggest annual Christian events in UK, bringing together hundreds of ministries and organisations at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey, each year.  

This year's exhibition is not entirely cancelled though, as organisers are moving the planned seminars and talks online for a virtual CRE.  This will be accompanied by a handbook listing all of the organisations that would have exhibited at the national event. 

"Though October is still four months away, we decided to make this difficult decision sooner than later," said event director Brett Pitchfork.

"Even if Government restrictions are lifted, we doubt enough people will feel confident about attending an event of this kind in the autumn.

"We have taken the decision with a heavy heart but feel it is the responsible thing to do and appreciate the thoughts and prayers of our visitors and exhibitors as we plot our way through some difficult times." 

He added: "We are grateful for the support shown to CRE at this unusual and stressful time and look forward to playing a part in resourcing thousands of churches over the next few months and years."

The regional exhibition CRE South West scheduled for March 2021 is still set to take place as planned in Westpoint, Exeter.

"By March next year we are confident strict new guidelines will be in place to ensure sufficient protection for all our visitors and exhibitors," Mr Pitchfork said. 

It is the first time in six years that the CRE is coming to the south west, with 42 per cent of exhibition space already booked up before the lockdown. 

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Robert Atwell, has welcomed the event to the region. 

"Since CRE was last in the south west lots has happened at local church level," he said.

"There are new worshipping communities, new leaders, new volunteers taking up important roles – and lots of exciting projects in our local communities.

"I want to help people to be inspired in their faith and get the support they need to make a difference where they are. CRE is a great opportunity to access new resources, ideas and practical tools to meet the many challenges of local ministry."