What are the ingredients for a great holiday or a blessed vacation? This summer’s British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Family Conference in Scotland has them all (Saturday, 26 July-Saturday, 2 August, 2014)!
Most people, undoubtedly, reckon that the venue is important. Gartmore House, a magnificent eighteenth-century mansion, surely fits the bill. Situated in 75 acres of private land with some lovely walks, Gartmore possesses its own sports facility, ideal for badminton, soccer, etc., for younger or more athletic people, and enjoys views stretching 25 miles to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, commemorating a thirteenth-century Scottish hero.
All the rooms are en-suite; i.e., there is a bathroom within each bedroom. The price covers full board and the food is excellent. My wife, Mary, and I know, for we had three meals when we visited Gartmore. Designated areas of the mansion have free wifi, for those who “need” twenty-four hour Internet access.
Gartmore House is in the south of the Scottish Highlands, the most mountainous region of the British Isles, and just a few miles from Loch Lomond and other attractive lakes. An ideal site for some relaxation.
The First BRF day-trip is to Edinburgh, with its historic castle dominating the skyline. Beneath this royal fortress, dating back to the twelfth century, are the Princess Street Gardens and the Royal Mile. Besides the many shops, Edinburgh is also famous for its Reformation history, especially the home (now a museum) and church (St. Giles) of John Knox, Scotland’s greatest Reformer.
St. Andrews, the home of golf and an ancient political, ecclesiastical, and educational centre of Scotland, is the destination of the second day-trip. The key Reformation sights of this lovely old coastal town will be explained to us by a Scottish Christian guide, including the castle where John Knox was called to the ministry, preached his first sermon, was bombarded by cannonade, and was abducted by the French.
Most of us best enjoy a great holiday venue and beautiful sights in the company of friends and family. Join Reformed believers from England, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, various parts of Europe, Canada, the US, Singapore, and other places, D.V., at this conference.
Many godly friendships have been established over the years between saints, young and old, from near and far. For many, the fellowship is one of the greatest blessings of the BRF conferences, and a week every two years is hardly long enough!
This is something that most holidays do not have: profound Bible teaching by two theological professors (Profs. Engelsma and Hanko) on a vital subject: “Be Ye Holy: The Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification,” with questions allowed and encouraged. The six speeches will address such issues as sanctification as God’s work, our calling to be holy, the role of the law, antinomianism, victorious holiness, etc. Prepare to learn and be challenged spiritually!
So come along to what promises to be, by God’s grace, an edifying and wonderful conference with fellow saints, in a great venue in “bonnie” Scotland next summer!
Very Reasonable Cost
But what about the bottom line? While travel can be expensive and depends largely on one’s distance from Scotland, the BRF has done its best to negotiate good prices for the venue, and it is charging conferees as little as possible while yet seeking to cover its costs.
Adults in the mansion pay just £330 each, with discounts for younger people: £250 (age 12-16), £165 (5-11), £80 (1-4), free (under 1). Mrs. Kristin Crossett is taking care of the bookings in UK pounds sterling (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mrs. Cyndi Kalsbeek (our North American Booking Secretary) will give the prices in US dollars (these days £1 is the equivalent of about $1.63), and convey the money to the BRF (0-144 Begole St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534, USA; 616-724-4290; email@example.com).
Recently, we were delighted to be informed not only that we shall almost certainly have the conference centre wholly or almost exclusively to ourselves, but also that we will be granted the dormitories (also en-suite) for the week. With the dormitories costing roughly one third less and the same age discounts applying, this is an option that will especially appeal to students or those on a tighter budget.
For more information, check out the BRF website (www.britishreformedfellowship.org.uk), which includes links to a special conference website and the booking form, both in US and UK versions. We hope to see you in Scotland this summer!