Travelling to Swanwick in Derbyshire for the annual Reformation and Revival Conference is always a journey full of anticipation. Close fellowship, times of prayer together and good expositional preaching are the hallmarks of this conference, including this year’s, held from 14-16 November, which saw a slightly smaller gathering than usual.
Simon Clarke from Shepshed opened with an encouraging and challenging message from Luke 11:13. The vital necessity and glorious promise of the giving of the Holy Spirit by our heavenly Father to those who ask was the theme. The Word was refreshing and motivating, as we face the days we live in. How we need to be asking for the Spirit!
Rupert-Bentley Taylor is planting a new church in a working-class, immigrant area of Bath. His preaching encouraged us, as we saw three men who stood alone for God in difficult days: Noah, Micaiah and Paul (from 2 Timothy 4). The Word of God was sufficient to sustain and inspire those men, and so it is for our day.
The third speaker was Ian Parry. Ian has been planting a church in Cardiff for a number of years, but has now taken up the role of director of the European Missionary Fellowship. He spoke movingly and powerfully on Jonah. God had to deal with Jonah; the prophet had a mission to fulfil, but needed the Lord to work in him as well. In particular, we were brought to face the unresolved questions and tensions that arise at the close of the book.
From 20-22 November 2017 the conference will look at aspects of the Reformation. Revs. Ian D. Campbell and Andrew Davies will be our speakers.