Friday, 16 May 2008

A Sort of Sanctified Ideal Home Show!

Time for my annual May-time treat - a day at the Races! Well not at the races, so much as at the Racecourse at Sandown Park down in Surrey for the Christian Resources Exhibition. crex08 Bob and I have been going to this event since 1985 when it was first held in the Horticultural Halls in London. It is a great place to check out resources, catch up with friends - and come home with a carrier bag of leaflets [99% of which get recycled] and some amazing freebies.

Special mention this year must go to the Bible Society 'Lyfe' stand, lyfe thank you for the lovely coffee mug, and to Ecclesiastical Insurance for the helpful advice about policies as well as a pen and tin of mints!

ecc ins

It was good to see Matt Carter , Pastor of Halton, Hastings Baptist, husband of my Connexion buddy Christina,. He was with his son - who was enjoIM002506-1ying a day off school [due to a Teacher Day], and was very proud of his new "Lettuce Pray" teeshirt.

Bob got a new teeshirt too - and is planning to wear it to Music Practice tonight!

One of my favourite

Bible passages is Isaiah 61 - this Autumn, Bob and I will celebrate 70 years of preaching between us. So I treated myself to a teeshirt too.

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"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

I am not sure if I shall actually wear it for preaching in though. I thought it was better than the one I didn't buy at 2007 CRE, bearing the slogan "Does my butt look big in this pulpit?". That was on a stand which appeared to be staffed by militant feminist vicars, and I was concerned that their aggression got in the way of any Good News they were trying to proclaim. They didn't seem to be around this year.

My other purchase was a book by Bob Hartman hartman- recommended by another Connexion friend, Juliet Starling

from Devon. It is full of great Bible stories, retold in various styles. All the way up the M1, I was reading them out to Bob!

The Sandown Site is a good venue for Exhibitions like this, and there are always a few exhibitors who have a stand at every exhibition, whatever it's focus. So the lady with her needle threading device, and the man with his toaster bags were both there as usual. Sadly, the gentleman who polishes your spectacles for free and then offers to sell you an impregnated cloth, was absent this year. I hope he is OK - but then I never actually saw anybody buy anything from him, so perhaps he has gone out of business!

So well done, Gospatric Home, for having the vision for CRE all those years ago. The annual National Christian Resources Exhibition is officially the country’s 47th largest consumer exhibition - so it is obviously still meeting a need.

All in all, it was "A Grand Day Out!"

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