Free Church of England convocation
About forty clergy, wardens and delegates from churches of the Evangelical Connexion of the Free Church of England gathered over 7-9 May at The Hayes, Swanwick, for their annual convocation. This period of 48 hours was divided between worship, prayer and instruction on one hand, and business on the other.
The first session was an address by Dominic Stockford on Isaiah 55. The exhortation to all was based on the invitation of verse 1 to turn to the Lord in humility and penitence.
The second session was an ‘Introduction to the doctrines of grace’ by Joseph Busfield of the USA. The five points of Calvinism were formulated at the Synod of Dort as a response to the followers of Arminius. The five points should lead to greater understanding that the Christian’s work is to proclaim the gospel.
Bishop Arthur Bentley-Taylor gave the convocation sermon on Acts 2:1-36 with its quotation from Joel. He explained that the apostle Peter preached the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ; and then – like Joel, John the Baptist and Jesus – called his hearers to repentance.
A further session was taken by a British Jordanian converted from Islam – with the help of his wife and young son! They spoke encouragingly of the work the Lord had done in their salvation; the work he has enabled them to do; and the work they plan to do in bringing the gospel to Muslims.
Those attending returned to their churches thankful for the fellowship, but aware of how much needs to be done to take the Connexion forward, while ‘lifting high the cross’.