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Festival of Grace

November 2013 | by Adrian Freer

The 14th annual Gaulby Festival of Grace was held at Gaulby Parish Church in Leicestershire, on Saturday 14 September.
    Gaulby is a rarity in Leicestershire — a CofE parish where the doctrines of the English reformers are still upheld. It subscribes to the 39 Articles and uses the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
    The yearly event was inaugurated by Rev. Ashley F. B. Cheesman (rector from 1988-2010) to celebrate the doctrines of grace, build up believers and inform Christians about the work of the church in this country and other parts the world.
    More than 50 people of all ages gathered to hear the speakers. Dr Kevin J. Bidwell from Sheffield Presbyterian Church, currently involved in a church plant in Berlin, spoke from Hebrews 10:32–11:6.
    He told us of the need for Christians to endure in these present dark times. He reminded us that — as with the original recipients of the epistle — now is not a time to shrink back but endure.
    This was followed by a presentation from Lee Gatiss, director of Church Society, who gave us a lively history of the CofE from the Reformation until now. Although the church has ups and downs, God refines it through persecution, and although many within the professing church today have abandoned its foundational roots, there are still many believers in the CofE who hold to the doctrines of the reformers.
    Finally, John Lodge from the Middle East Reformed Fellowship described its work of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Middle East and North Africa.
    Despite totalitarian regimes in those lands and, though embracing Jesus as Saviour can often bring severe retribution, many people are coming to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness and assurance of salvation is only through Christ.
    A time of fellowship, accompanied by an excellent buffet tea, concluded the event. We left with deep gratitude for God’s abundant grace. We look forward to gathering again next year.
Adrian Freer

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