On August bank holiday the 50th anniversary of the Stanton Lees Bible School was celebrated.
Back in 1964, Mr Laurie Cook was a member at Stanton Lees Wesleyan Reform Chapel, tucked away in the Derbyshire hills. Troubled by the evident decline in the knowledge of scriptural doctrine, he conceived the idea of a series of teaching meetings, and so the Bible School was born.
Fifty years later, Stanton Lees Chapel is independent, with its doctrinal position now more distinctly Reformed, and the annual School continues.
This year, Geoff Thomas of Aberystwyth was the main preacher — for the 14th time since 1976. His theme was ‘How great is God’. He explored the magnificence of God’s perfections, in six studies over three days. Their practical implications for Christian living are vast and we were encouraged by this thoughtful study.
The first two studies were on God’s grace shown in redemption accomplished and applied by Christ. Two further sermons focused on the holiness of God, in Isaiah 6.
On Sunday morning, Roger Hitchings preached a clear evangelistic message from Matthew 15, about the Canaanite woman who came to the Lord Jesus Christ asking deliverance for her demon-possessed daughter.
The advertised historical lecture should have been on Gideon Ouseley, but a health problem caused this to be deferred. Roger Fay of Ripon stepped into the breach and brought us a fine appreciation of ‘The forgotten John Wesley’.
In the course of his long life, Wesley endured abuse, persecution and physical violence. However, the nation was transformed from religious indifference and brutality through the ministry of the early Methodists.
The local congregation and visitors from nearby churches were joined by a good number from far and wide, and greetings were read out, including one from Australia. The weather was not great (unlike the singing), but this could not dampen the sense of Psalm 133 being fulfilled.