Churches Together in the South West at CRE

CEO of Churches Together in Devon, Paul Snell, shares how taking a stall at the Christian Resources Exhibition helped raise the profile of ecumenism in the South West.

After two years of isolation and difficulties in meeting up, the Christian Resources Exhibition in Exeter in late February gave a chance for Christians from the area to get together. For the first time CT Devon (CEO Paul Snell, that me on the right) joined with CT Cornwall (CEO Roger Mills left), and Somerset (CEO Jonathan Lloyd centre) to share a small stand at the show and so share costs. The staff at CRE were excellent in support and we negotiated a reduced cost for the smallest available display area.

It involved a fair bit of preparation work, designing and creating posters, a tablecloth, pens, and brochures. We also found producing printed and publicity materials relatively easy and cost effective using an online print company – Helloprint. Using my own basic design skills and software to create the posters saved money, but Helloprint and others do have online design software which can help if you have your own graphics to upload. To save money we decided to purchase fairly substantial USB power banks and four USB powered LED strip lights which we clipped to the stand. The extra lighting made the area literally light up and stand out, and can be re-used at future events.

Because we were representing a joint area (CT South West) we removed any geographical reference on joint publicity and labelled materials simply “Churches Together”. This has given a flexibility and cost effective continued use for the posters, pens etc. It also seems that most people often refer to us using the generic “Churches Together” title anyway!

The best part was meeting people. Conversations spilled out into the area around the cramped stand and there was a constant stream of visitors throughout the exhibition, with opportunities to renew contacts and also meet people in person who we had only previously seen on Zoom or had contacted via email. The exercise raised the profile of Churches Together in all three counties and is something that was well worth the time, effort and finance involved in raising the Churches Together profile.

If you’d like to know more about our experience at the CRE Exhibition please feel free to send me an email.