Just back from an excellent commemoration of the Reformation Anniversary in Jubilee Square and later at a packed out United Reformed Church. We began at 2pm in Jubilee Square with a reenactment featuring John Ball, a lollard follower of John Wycliffe, Thomas Hitton, the first English Protestant martyr, executed here in Maidstone, and Kathryn Allingham, one of the seven 1557 Maidstone martyrs, killed for sharing the Scriptures and selling grain cheaply to help the poor. We then processed through the town bearing a copy of the Castle Church door with the 95 theses nailed to it, an early copy of the Geneva Bible, and banners proclaiming 500 years of Reformation freedom. At the URC, after a brief coffee break we filed upstairs to the main hall where the organist played one of Luther’s chorales, and we sang the great Reformation Hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God.’ We were welcomed to the service by ‘Martin Luther’ and it later ended with many local ministers praying blessings on the other churches in the town.
Here is the full text of the prayer I had written:- ‘I Martyn Colley, pastor of Allington Baptist Church, pray for the blessing of these churches. Out of the darkness light.’ That was the watchword of the Reformation, and I pray that the light of Your word would shine in the ministries of these churches, and through them may it be known in our town. Martin Luther said that the true treasure of the church is the holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God. May these churches be rich in the knowledge of that treasure. May they be united in the truth of Your word. May they always be listening to Your voice and reforming themselves in the light of Your word. I pray that they would be captivated by the great truths of the Reformation. May they know Scripture Alone as their highest authority. May they trust in Christ alone as their only Lord and Saviour. May they trust that they are right with God by faith alone, which leads to fruitfulness in good works. May they recognise that we are saved by grace alone, and may they live always to the glory of God alone. I pray these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’
See our picture gallery for some photos from the event.