This August’s anniversary and Bible School at Stanton Lees, Derbyshire, took place only a few days after the funeral of former pastor and elder Peter Hulland. While this had a sobering influence, strangely it seemed to enhance, rather than detract, from the impressiveness of the meetings.
David Gayton, from Dudley Baptist Church, brought four messages on the theme ‘Back to the old paths’, from Jeremiah 6:16. The specific topics were ‘Back to the Scriptures’, ‘Back to being a soldier’, ‘Back to the Sabbath’, and ‘Back to salvation’. Each subject closely related to the Lord Jesus Christ and the purpose of his saving work.
On Sunday morning, David Fielding, of Castlefields Church, Derby, preached on Acts 2:42: the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers, also exemplifying the theme of gospel fundamentals.
Monday morning is always given over to a historical lecture, and this year I was privileged to tell the story of the little-known Methodist evangelist, Gideon Ouseley. He was a colourful figure, whose wide-ranging labours throughout Ireland in the early nineteenth century deserve to be more widely known than they are.
Spencer Cunnah, pastor of Kensit Evangelical Church, Finchley, spoke at the Monday afternoon and evening services. He brought two messages on the central doctrines of Christ’s gospel, from Paul’s incomparable epistle to the Romans, centring round the atoning death of Christ. These consolidated the thrust of the whole weekend on evangelical basics.
The unchanging vital truths of Christianity are intended to shape the behaviour of believers, and their importance needs to be constantly re-affirmed. By contrast the Athenians were obsessed with telling and learning ‘some new thing’ (Acts 17).
The chapel was well filled for all of the services, with some meetings overflowing into the school room below.