The 15th annual Festival of Grace was held at St Peters Parish Church, Gaulby, on Saturday 13September. The event was inaugurated in 2000 by the late Rev. Ashley F. B. Cheesman (rector until his untimely death in 2010).
The Reformed fellowship at Gaulby is one of the few remaining Church of England parishes in Leicestershire where the doctrines of the English Reformers are still upheld. Gaulby subscribes to the Thirty Nine Articles and regularly uses the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in its evening services.
The meeting this year was accompanied by glorious weather and attended by almost 60 from locally and as far afield as Ashbourne, Derby, Peterborough and Wolverhampton.
The first speaker was Rev. David Patterson, until recently director of ministry for the Protestant Truth Society. He gave a brief overview of the history of the Society, emphasising its adherence to the five Reformation Solas.
Speaking from Judges and Ruth, he reminded us that, as then, so today leaders are doing what is ‘right in his own eyes’ rather than seeking God’s revealed truth. Nevertheless, as in Ruth, God is still drawing a people to himself.
Our next speaker was Rev. John Cheeseman, vice-chairman of Church Society and Church Society Trust. He spoke from Romans 8:28-39. He encouraged us to never forget that God is working all things for the good of his people, even as the apparent defeat of the cross was the greatest victory in redemptive history.
Our final speaker, Dr David Mann of Good News Hospital, Mandritsara, Madagascar, gave a history of Christian medical work in north Madagascar. We were greatly encouraged to hear how God has blessed Mandritsara Bible Baptist Church, led by Pastor Julien. This now has a congregation of 500 adults and children. In addition, 65 nearby villages have groups of believers.
We left with deep thankfulness for God’s grace and a determination to be more faithful servants. Next year, the event is on 12 September.