THIS WEEK I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting with Steve Briars, CRT Event Organiser, to talk through what’s coming up at the Christian Resources Together 2013 Retailers & Suppliers Retreat (CRT2013 from now on) and to bounce around a couple of his other ideas. My thanks to Steve for taking time out to travel into the wilds of Bedfordshire for that meeting, for his willingness to share the CRT vision and for his remarkable commitment to the trade: Steve, I salute you.
The all-important dates, if you haven’t already pencilled them into your diary, are Mon 29th – Tues 30th April 2013, with full delegate prices starting at £110 + VAT, and it’s a promising line-up of speakers headlined by authors Tom Wright and Jeff Lucas, with worship led by Nikki Fletcher of HTB fame. CRT is about far more than famous names and speakers, however: first and foremost it’s about you, the delegates, retailers and suppliers meeting, engaging, connecting, it’s about fellowship and networking, recognising that the business of Christian retailing is so much more than business. Here’s what Steve says by way of introduction in the CRT2013 brochure (pdf, 5.4mb):
The Christian retail trade in the UK has sustained many shocks over the last few years of unsettling financial uncertainty, and the storm does not appear to be abating. It has never been more important for Christian publishers, distributors and booksellers to meet together to learn from, support and encourage each other in this most challenging business environment.
Let me repeat part of that: to meet together to learn from, support and encourage each other. That’s what it’s about, and that’s what’s attested to in some of this year’s comments cited in the brochure:
Karen Adcock, Christian Resources, Leicester:
I felt privileged to be sharing awesome worship and valuable positive networking with a group of like-minded book selling people! Already wanting to book my place for 2013!
Linda Artus, Mustard Seed Games:
I wanted to say how helpful the CRT retreat was both spiritually and in making new contacts.
Steve Wood, Shoemakers, Newbury:
Getting together with others in our trade or networking is very important and helpful, but it is the Christian encouragement and concern for one another that makes this unique event such a blessing.
It’s a packed programme: arrival and registration from 9am to 12 noon on the Monday with the ‘Meet the Suppliers’ Exhibition open from 10.30am to 12 noon, reopening after the formal Welcome session 2.45pm to 4.45pm alongside an optional seminar programme featuring, amongst others, Melanie Carroll on finding space for eBooks and Eddie Olliffe on “Helping others by first helping yourself”. After that come a selection of Supplier and Retailer presentations before Monday eventually concludes with the prestigious CRT Awards Evening: a Gala Dinner followed by the Award Presentations (here’s a reminder of this year’s awards: UKCBD News Roundup: The #CRT2012 Awards Edition) … and somehow in the midst of all that, there’s time for lunch, a tea/coffee break and even a little free time — phew!
Tuesday continues in similar vein, with early morning prayers, breakfast, a session on “Soul Care for Busy People” led by Tony Horsfall, more ‘Meet the Suppliers’ Exhibition time alongside optional seminars, all rounded off by Pastor Agu Irukwu offering a final session on “Empowered to Succeed” followed by Communion before the retreat ends with tea, coffee and cake at 3.30pm … and yes, there is a lunchbreak squeezed in midway through the day.
Booking is easier than ever this time around, and if booking by email or online no immediate payment is required; an invoice for a 30% deposit will be issued:
- Email: download, complete and email your booking form to Steve;
- Online: click through and do it;
- Snail Mail: either wait for your brochure and booking form to arrive by post or download and print your own for posting.
Last but not least, it would be remiss of me not to thank those whose sponsorship makes CRT possible:
So, back to where we started: CRT2013: What are you waiting for?