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When one-time Eurovision winner Dana opens the Christian Resources Exhibition in Event City, Manchester, she will be treated to a re-run of her winning song - "All kinds of everything."

But the version the choir from St Leonard's Church of England Primary School, Padiham, Lancashire, will serenade her with will be a re-written version outlining the benefits of the exhibition with the chorus line - "All kinds of everything for your church and you."

The 40 or so children have been practising for some time to conquer the unusual words describing items to be on show at CRE.

"They are thoroughly enjoying it and seem to be able to cope with the more awkward words," said the school music co-ordinator Suzanna Halsey.

"The children seem to relish the challenge of the new song and are looking forward to the occasion. It is good to have the opportunity to perform in public, particularly as Dana will be there listening.

"We hope that she likes the version we are singing and that it brings back happy memories of her Eurovision win in 1970 when she herself was still a schoolgirl."

The exhibition in Manchester has been welcomed by The Venerable Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster, who said: "The CRE shows to the world the vibrancy of the church and its variety of action and resources. It serves the church by bringing a full range of people, talents and resources into one place so that local churches can discover what is on offer.

"To have it in the North West, in Manchester, makes it accessible to us and I’m delighted with their commitment to the gospel in our area."

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 29 March 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.’

The official HQ of CRE is now on Merseyside and the exhibition will have a distinctly northern flavour including the Padiham, choir.

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.

One of the exhibitors in Manchester will be our very own Diocesan Ministry of Sport team and, as an exhibitor, they are able to offer every reader of our website a free ticket ... worth £8. Just visit and use the discount code MINOFSPORT 

Special features 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 Rev Cindy Kent MBE.


Ronnie Semley