On Saturday 4 June 2016, a good number travelled to the tiny Leicestershire village of Barton-in-the-Beans to join with local chapel members for their annual church history afternoon.
The historic Baptist church in Barton was founded in the eighteenth century, and witnessed scenes of great blessing and conversions in those early days.
The speakers at this year’s event were Dr Lesley Rowe and Mrs Christine Meller. Lesley’s subject was ‘Arthur Hildersham, the silent preacher (1613-1625)’, concentrating on the 12 years when the godly Puritan minister was completely banned from preaching.
The way in which Hildersham continued to live among his people in nearby Ashby-de-la-Zouch, doing ‘what he could, when he might not do what he would’, was presented as an inspiration to all who are trying to lead faithful Christian lives in reduced or difficult circumstances.
After tea, kindly prepared by church members, Mrs Meller spoke on the life of Isobel Kuhn, missionary to the Lisu people. Isobel’s testimony and her early days in North America were described. Her life of sacrificial service and the hardships she endured in China and Thailand challenged us all to greater commitment.
Next year’s event is planned for the first Saturday in June at 2.00pm, and everyone who has an interest in God’s dealings with his people in the past is most welcome to attend.