The Christian Resources Exhibition is a strange mix of things. Amongst the hundreds of stands you can find people who will design your new church building, put in stained glass, supply the chairs, build a stage and install lighting, cameras and the sound system. There’s organs, music books, coffee suppliers, church website builders, clothes for the clergy and books, books, books… oh, and more books.
For the last three years Wycliffe Bible Translators have exhibited there, but with the steady decline in visitor numbers and the lack of foucs on global mission, the benefits don’t seem to come close to covering the costs.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some great things there. My two highlights this year were Groundwire and Damaris.
I fell into conversation with Matt on the Groundwire stand (a very cool accident). They give people the opportunity to ask questions about faith in an online chatroom. It can be as anonymous as you want.
Groundwire is an international organisation whose aim is to provide those in need with the opportunity to chat online with a spiritual coach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We aim to provide spiritual advice based on the teachings of the Bible. We are here to help those in need, those with questions, fears and worries. We are here to assist people who are feeling lost, addicted, sad, confused and in pain. We care and want the best for each person as an individual – we don’t ever want anyone to think they had nobody to talk to, nobody who cared, nobody who would listen.
The other cool session was by Damaris, who provide discussion resources based on current movies.
I was impressed by the fact that the resources were used by so many different organisations and while there is the opportunity to discuss spirituality it doesn’t have to be a Christian group that uses the material. Scouts, Guides and the Women’s Institute are amongst those signed up.