First Ever CRES Virtual Conference!

Top left going clockwise: Dr Ruth Valerio (small Andy Lester watching!); part of Andy’s talk; Dr Martin Hodson; and Revd Margot Hodson

If it were not for the coronavirus lockdown we would have held an entire day at Ripon College Cuddesdon, near Oxford, on Saturday 18th April. When it was obvious that the day would have to be cancelled we thought that was all there was to it. But then CRES tutor, Ian Brooks, suggested that he might be able to run it virtually for us. We are very grateful to Ian for doing this, particularly at a busy time for universities.
Andy Lester or A Rocha UK was due to be taking the whole day at Cuddesdon, and we have deferred this now to May 1st 2021. We decided that a virtual conference for a whole day would be too much. So we went for a morning. Andy then asked Dr Ruth Valerio of Tearfund if she would like to join us, and we were very pleased that she said yes. The virtual room Ian set up had limited capacity, and although we would have liked to open this morning up to more people, in the end we decided that it would be best to limit it to the CRES community and those who had booked on the original day. Over 50 people came, Andy and Ruth both spoke, Margot Hodson led a service, and Ian Brooks expertly managed the technology! The eagle-eyed among you will spot that we apparently didn’t have 50 people, but we had a lot of couples tuning in.
We also had a short time to remember Sir John Houghton who died the previous Wednesday and to pray for his family.
Thanks finally to Lynda McKeown, the CRES administrator, who worked tirelessly in the background to make sure everyone knew what was happening, and managed all the bookings. It went really well for a first ever shot! It had the advantage that we could have participants from the States, Congo, France and all over the UK. We had some very nice comments. It was very inspiring!! Already several people have suggested that we should do it again on occasions even after the lockdown ends. We will seriously think about that.