Bible school at Stanton Lees
The preaching of the Word of God is deeply satisfying and refreshing to the Christian, and this is the central feature of the anniversary and Bible school held from Saturday to Wednesday each August bank holiday, at Stanton Lees Chapel, Derbyshire.
This year the preachers were Courtenay Harris (Winchcombe), Brian Freer (Bury St Edmunds) and Geoff Thomas (Aberystwyth), bringing a total of 11 messages.
Rev. Harris opened the meetings with a stirring sermon from Matthew 7, emphasising our expectation and dependence on the Holy Spirit graciously given to believers.
Rev. Freer’s historical lecture on John Newton was another highlight. Some of the popular biographies focus on Newton’s sensational conversion to the exclusion of his wise and fruitful ministry when he left the sea. This paper was a treat, giving a warm, balanced account of each phase in Newton’s life and work, and redressing some of the criticisms made against him in recent times.
From Monday to Wednesday, Rev. Thomas gave a series of six sermons on discipleship, from Luke 10-11. For me, his study of the Good Samaritan was the pinnacle. The lawyer who asked the question was trying to exclude certain people from being among neighbours he must love, but Christ’s parable teaches us to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
The Lord Jesus Christ himself is the Good Samaritan. He saw us, who despised and hated him, stripped of everything and left for dead by sin. He included us as neighbours whom he loved, and gave himself to rescue us.
Conversations with other Christians are a byproduct of such meetings, and a precious means of catching up with the progress or difficulties attending God’s work in different places.
Milly, a long-standing friend of Stanton Lees, and regular visitor to the Bible school, celebrated a milestone birthday on the Wednesday. She was presented with a cake specially decorated to mark the occasion.