MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) — An exhibition in Manchester where churches will come together to try and find a way forward through the Brexit crisis, has been welcomed by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
Often dubbed the ‘ideal church show’, the Christian Resources Exhibition (Event City, Manchester, 13/14 March 2019) is a unique showcase where innovative products and services for churches – from pulpits to puppets, sound systems to software – will be displayed by some 150 organisations.
More than 30 seminars and presentations will cover areas like cyber security and safeguarding in church. One seminar, hosted by Andy Flannagan of Christians in Politics, will cover Brexit.
‘Whatever the situation on March 29th we need to move forward positively,’ said Flannagan. ‘We will discuss what role churches can play in bridging the cultural divide to bring communities together again.’
Archbishop John, who is asking people to say a special prayer three times a day in light of the current political crisis, has welcomed the initiative at Event City.
‘CRE is an event that brings together churches from many different traditions and persuasions,’ he said. ‘It is an ideal place for positive discussion and agenda setting. My prayer is that we all find wisdom, courage, integrity and compassion for our political leaders and MPs, for reconciliation and a fresh and uniting vision for everyone.’
The Archbishop has written a prayer fir unity that reads: “God of eternal love and power,
Save our Parliamentary Democracy;
Protect the High Court of Parliament and all its members
From partiality and prejudice;
That they may walk humbly the path of kindness, justice and mercy.
Give them wisdom, insight and a concern for the common good.
The weight of their calling is too much to bear in their own strength,
Therefore we pray earnestly, Father,
send them help from your Holy Place, and be their tower of strength.”
The official HQ of CRE is now on Merseyside and the exhibition will have a distinctly northern flavour. A choir from St Leonard’s C of E school in Padiham, Lancashire will serenade Irish singer and former MEP Dana, who is opening the exhibition, with new words to her Eurovision Song Contest-winning song – ‘All Kinds of Everything – for your church and you.’
The first exhibit seen by visitors will the Embassy Bus, providing emergency shelter and support to vulnerable adults in Greater Manchester. The Bishop of Bolton, Rev Mark Ashcroft, will speak on church growth in areas of deprivation. Manchester-based gospel collective Voices Beyond will perform, along with several artists handled by CRE North exhibitor Ministry of Music.
Special features at Event City include CRE’s first-ever Study Zone where representatives from eight theological colleges will guide visitors through the academic maze, offering one-to-one consultations on all aspects of theological study. There’s a special focus on social engagement with Greater Manchester Street Pastors, a youth and children’s work trail – and entertainment in CRE’s first-ever Inflatable Theatre, hosted by the redoubtable Rev Cindy Kent MBE.
CRE North 2019 at Event City, Manchester opening hours: Wed 13 Mar 10am-8pm and Thu 14 Mar, 10am-4pm. Visit www.creonline.co.uk for more information.