On Saturday 2 March, Christ Church, Cambridge, was filled for the commissioning service of Rev. Lee Gatiss as director of Church Society (CS).
The service was led by Bishop Wallace Benn, former bishop of Lewes and vice-president of CS. After a hymn, psalm and reading, Rev. Paul Darlington, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Oswestry, preached on Jude 17-25.
Mr Darlington encouraged those of us involved in the work of CS to continue to contend for biblical truth in the Church of England. He urged this be done in a winsome and gracious way, so we not only see the truth preserved but those opposed to the truth mercifully won to it.
Following Paul’s sermon, Bishop Wallace led the commissioning part of the service. This included representatives from several conservative evangelical organisations, including Dr Kirsten Birkett from Oak Hill College and Rev. David Jackman, former president of the Proclamation Trust.
After the commissioning, Mr Gatiss gave a presentation about his vision for CS. This included a brief outline of the history of the society, whose forebears (Church Association and National Church League) were established in 1835.
Mr Gatiss outlined the main areas of work the society is involved in today, including campaigning, patronage and politics; and the vital role the society has to play in church and state.
His refrain was that all should be done for the glory of God and good of England. Following this address, prayers were led by Rev. Dr Simon Vibert, vice-principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and followed by a final hymn and then the blessing by Bishop Wallace.
Please do pray for Mr Gatiss and the work of Church Society in contending for gospel ministry in the Church of England.