Peter Hulland of Stanton Lees, Derbyshire
Peter Hulland has been an elder and a preacher in the Stanton Lees Chapel in the Derbyshire Dales for forty years. His home is noted for its hospitality; his family trust in the Lord. His church has preaching services that are attend by throngs of people several times a year. He is in his eightieth year and has been persuaded to write a brief biography of 40 pages, and in it he records the following.
From my R.A.F. days I worked at Rolls Royce in stores, supplying parts for aircraft, and then as a technical clerk in one of the offices at Sinfin. This was 1956, the year that Vivien and I were married. At this time we lived in Matlock and I travelled on Slack’s bus, leaving at 6.30 each morning and arriving back home at 6.30 p.m. Long days! It was on these journeys that I read many books. One that stands out particularly in my memory is, ‘The Sovereignty of God’ by Arthur Pink.1 This book taught me many new truths about God.
Vivien and I moved to Jasmine Cottage, Stanton Lees during a gale, in March, 1962. Being a country man, working inside at Rolls Royce didn’t suit me, so I left Rolls Royce early in the 1960s and took the position of Sales Representative for Harry Evans (Tarmac), in North Leicestershire and part of Warwickshire. The company sold lime to farmers. This job not only involved sales and debt collecting, but also a lot of field walking, testing the pH levels. It required honesty and courtesy. The Lord really helped me in my sales, and I became the top salesman from the first year till when I left in 1993.That was when I became full time Pastor at Stanton Lees. Within the farming community I made some life-long friends, like Harry Hulme. He, I believe, trusted Christ one morning on one of my visits. So often the Lord gave opportunities for witness.
One door that opened very widely was at St. Bernard’s Abbey in the Charnwood Forest. The monks there loved me to go and open up the Word of God to them. I can remember one day having four monks in my car, parked on the monastery car park, when they said, ‘The trouble with that place’ (pointing to the Abbey) ‘it doesn’t teach us the Bible.’
In 1953 I went as a student to Cliff College. This was a big step for me to take, being shy, knowing no-one and having little education. However, I soon made some life-long friends. At that time there were some outstanding men at Cliff – such men as Edward Eagles, Baines Atkinson, and Dr. Farndale were on the tutorial staff. Among the evangelistic staff was Tom Butler, whose motto was, ‘My heart aflame for Christ’. Also Ernest Steele, Jim Beasley, Laurie Roddis, just to mention a few. These men went throughout the country holding Gospel missions.
One of my best friends at Cliff was John Murfitt from Little Downham, Ely. John died from cancer in 2008 and left a widow, June. I was his best man at their wedding. In those days, and earlier in the days of Champness, Cook, and Samuel Chadwick, the college was distinctly marked out by God. Through Cliff I got something from God that has never left me, and I pray it never will. Cliff has sent men out on fire for God to all parts of the world.
One of the highlights at Cliff was the Whitsuntide Anniversary when 10,000 to 15,000 people came to hear preaching at its best. I was a student in 1954 when Dr. Billy Graham was the guest preacher. The crowds were unbelievable! Cars were queuing from Bamford in the north and from Matlock in the south. It was one big, massive open air meeting in the field north of the college building. Very few people knew that right in the middle of this vast crowd was a skylark which sat on her nest right throughout the day. We students found the nest and erected a fence around it to protect her.
It was at Cliff that I met some outstanding evangelicals, some in Methodism, others not. Joe Blinco was one, Dr. W. E. Sangster was another. John H. Stringer and George Allan, a minister from Blackpool who could recite Scripture at length were amongst them. We also had preaching from Tom Rees and Stephen Olford. These men and others influenced me as a preacher. I just bow in gratitude to God and say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’
Peter Hulland has been an elder and a preacher in the Stanton Lees Chapel in the Derbyshire Dales for forty years. His home is noted for its hospitality; his family trust in the Lord. His church has preaching services that are attend by throngs of people several times a year. He is in his eightieth […]
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