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2016 RRF Conference Report

Roger Hitchings

The trip to Swanwick in Derbyshire in mid-November is always a journey full of anticipation and delight. Close fellowship, times of prayer together and good expositional preaching are the hallmarks of this conference, and what those who attend look for. This year saw a slightly smaller gathering than usual but these expectations were still met at every level. It really is a special conference.

Simon Clarke from Shepshed opened the conference with an encouraging and challenging message from Luke 11:13. The vital necessity and glorious promise of the giving of the Holy Spirit by our Heavenly Father to those who ask was the theme. The Word was refreshing and motivating as we face the days we live. How we need to be asking for the Spirit.

Rupert-Bentley Taylor is planting a new church in a working class and immigrant area of Bath. His preaching encouraged and challenged us as we saw three men who stood alone for God in difficult days – Noah, Micaiah, and Paul from 2 Timothy 4. The Word of God was sufficient to sustain and inspire those men, and so it is for our day.

The third speaker was Ian Parry. Ian has been planting a church in Cardiff for a number of years but has now taken up the role of director of the European Missionary Fellowship. He spoke movingly and powerfully on Jonah. God had to deal with Jonah. The prophet had a mission to fulfil, but needed the Lord to work in him as well. In particular we were brought to face the unresolved questions and tensions that arise at the close of the book. A fifth chapter has to be written, and God must do that in each of our lives.

Fellowship, prayer and expositional preaching that speaks to today were what we came for and the Lord did not disappoint us.

In 2017 the conference will look at aspects of the Reformation and Revs. Iain D Campbell and Andrew Davies will be our speakers.
The dates are 20 to 22 November 2017. Booking early!