Elvis Presley's Bible on show at CRE

Bibles owned by famous people, including rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, notorious East End gangster Reggie Kray, William Tyndale and John Bunyan will be on display in this year's Christian Resources Exhibition, which takes place from  May 11-14 at Sandown Park Exhibition Centre, Surrey. Entitled 'Biblefresh' the exhibits herald next year's national celebrations  to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible - first published in 1611.

During the four days, several speakers will call on visitors to re-connect with some of the   Bible's more provocative passages. Under the title 'Reading the Bible – the dangerous book for blokes', David Hopwood will explain how much of the Bible is the account of flawed   humans muddling along, doing their best to follow God.

"Sometimes they are doing their worst, too – as we all do," he   explains. "There are some great stories in there and I try to tell   them in a funny, punchy way. I take my steer from the Old Testament   prophets."

Andy Flannagan, new director of the Christian Socialist Movement, sees the Old Testament in particular as full of characters who mixed   faith and politics. "The life of Jesus was also intensely and intentionally political,"   contends Flannagan, who will speak at CRE on Thursday 13 May (3.30pm). "Could we begin to see politics as mission? Isn't it about   time we stopped shouting from the sidelines?"

Going centre stage will be Abby Guinness who specialises in adaptating and performing Bible passages. She plans to launch her new   book at CRE - a collection of 26 monologues telling Bible stories   through the eyes of key characters' wives. Abby will perform in the   Unistage Arts Theatre at Sandown Park on Friday 14 May at 12.30pm.

"My book starts with Mrs Adam who has just given birth," explains   Abby. "It ends with Mrs John, just back from Patmos, with the   manuscript of the book of Revelation in her hand. Along the way it   covers major events like the nativity, crucifixion and resurrection."

Abby, who will also speak on 'Bringing the Bible to life from the   page to the stage', hopes her one-woman show will be performed in   secular theatre venues throughout 2011 - "I’ll take it to the   Edinburgh Fringe if I can find a way to afford it!" she says.

Launching Biblefresh, the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Tom Wright spoke of the transforming effect of the Bible. “The Bible is there to enable us to be the people of God for the   world, the people through whom God’s story becomes the world’s story," he said. "Bible readers, Bible prayers and Bible understanders are world transformers.”

Other special zones at the Christian Resources Exhibition include:  Church Technology, Sports, Mind and Soul,  Churches For All and Children and Youth. Featuring up to 500 exhibitors, and with 13000 visitors expected, CRE is more than an   exhibition. There are more than 60 seminars, workshops and a full   theatre programme scheduled over the event's four days.

Advance tickets can be booked at: www.creonline.co.uk. For a   group booking form (five or more) phone CRE on 01793 418218.

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