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St. Stephen’s. The annual parish meeting was held last evening in the Public Library, the chair being taken by the Rev. A. W. Hands, incumbent, and there being a good attendance. ELECTION OF SYNODSMAN. Mr Ward, Returning Officer, reported the election as synodsman of Mr W. C, Walker. chairman’s address. The Chairman, previons to the reading of the minutes, addressed those present, requesting them to bear in mind that they were assembled as Christian friends, and that whatever subjects cropped up, they should bo considered in a spirit of amity. Regarding the services, differences of opinion existed everywhere, some being in favor of choral services, others otherwise. He held that the services, with the exception of such occasions as Easter, Pentecost, &c., should be read, and the responses said together. In these matters he hoped to receive the assistance of the congregation. He objected to be dubbed either a High or Low Churchman. He regretted that the offertories were so poor. It was a disgrace to the community that persons who would pay for a drink at a public bar several times daily should make it a point of putting the smallest coin they could find into the offertory. After referring to the work of the past year, he said he hoped the vestry would not expect him to pay the whole cost of the new Communion service. He was willing to pay his share if needed. In the matter of the retiring churchwardens, it must be borne in mind that Mr Bullock assumed office at a time when they were in great difficulties, and he (the speaker) had found him a wise and kind friend. In conclusion, the rev. speaker referred complimentarily to the heroic manner in which Mr Fooks, in spite of ill-health, had worked for the Sunday School, and said that he knew they grudged his being absent in the country so much, yet they must regard the same in a missionary spirit.

MINUTES. The minutes of the last annual meeting were read and confirmed. SUNDAY SCHOOL REPORT. The following report from the Superintendent was read : Ashburton, April 29th, 1881. The Incumbent of St. Stephen’s, Ashburton : Reverend and Dear Sir, —I have the honor to report that Che attendance at the Sunday School is still steadily increasing. The number of names on the register at the present time, are—Boys 85, girls 91. Total, 176. The average attendance is now about 140, or, for the past year, 128. The number of teachers engaged in the work is 13; namely, 6 for the boys and 7 for the girls. This staff is not sufficient for the purpose, but it is to be hoped that additional assistance, especially for the girls, will soon be obtained. The reason of the present comparative smallness of the teaching staff, is partly the absence or ill-health of some of the old teachers, and partly from the incieased attendance of children. Should, as may be hoped and expected, this increase continue, the question of building a schoolroom must be seriously taken into consideration, as it is now inconvenient in the church, and there are other objections to and drawbacks in the existing arrangements that I have pointed out in former reports. I take this opportunity of gratefully acknowledging the ready and cordial assistance and co-operation of the staff of teachers, who have considerably lightened the duties and responsibility. I; regret that, not having received all the accounts and subscriptions on account of the annual treat, I cannot make a balance-sheet, but would state that, the debit balance last year of L 38s 6d was very kindly liquidated by Mr John Gtigg, and there is at present in the Savings Bank a sum of L 7 15s Bd, being the children’s contributions towards the proposed school buildings.—l am, &c., C. E. Fooks, Superintendent. The report was adopted. churchwarden's annu al report.

The following report was then read : Parish of Ashburton, and Parochial District Longbeach apd Mount Somers. —In presenting the annual accounts for the year ending March 31, 1881, we regret that we are not able to show a more satisfactory balance-sheet, although we may congratulate the parish on the fact that the balance of debt has been reduced to someextent, being now L 1,437 4s Bd, instead of 1.1,492 9s id—last year’s debit balance. This result can hardly be said to have been attained by larger contributions or support from the parishioners, as, although the offertories show an increase of L 23 10s 20, and the pew rents exceed those of last year by Ll 9 3s 6d, there is a considerable falling oft", namely, Lso 8s 3d, in the subscriptions to the Stipend Fund, which deficit is principally in those from the parochial district. Credit was taken in last year’s balance-sheet for L 66 10s —outstanding subscriptions to the Stipend Fund, which has not been done this year, as they can hardly be deemed^available assets ; but this circumstance wouWfshow the financial position in a still more favorable light; that is, an actual improvement, as compared with last year, of L 122 14s sd. \ our vestry have endeavored to use the strictest economy in the expenditure, and to this end have curtailed some necessary expenses, and postponed some much-needed works. It has not been thought right to incur any but the most necessary expenses in the face of the uncertain and unsatisfactory stale of the subscription list, as it must be horse in mind that any deficiency in the Stipend Fund must be made good from' offertories, pew rents, etc., which would otherwise be devoted. to general purposes, or the reduction of the debt. Among the workscalling for attention, we would mention the painting of the "paffeonage, fencing the section on which the Tinwald church stands, fixing an inner swing door at the western entrance to St. Stephen’s Church, and providing additional seats in the transept. We have much pleasure in recording several benefactions to the church during the past twelve months. A handsome pulpit has been presented by a few liberal members of the congregation, to whom the thankful acknowledgments of the parishioners are due for this valuable and needed' addition to the church furniture. The Incumbent has, at his own expense, erected a porch at the front entrance of the parsonage. The church grounds were put in order by private subscription ; and a new supply of psalters and hymnbooks for the choir has been provided by a parishioner. A gift auction and bazaar were held in the month of August, last year, when, owing to the liberal gifts, added to the willing exertions of the ladies and others engaged, and notwithstanding the unpropilious weather, the sum of Ll3l 15s 2d was obtained, after paying all expenses. A tea meeting was subsequently held at the Town Hall, in November, realising about L2O, a portion of which was devoted to repairs, etc., at the parsonage. During the absence of the Incumbent, in. the months of January and February, the parochial duties were carried on by the Rev. C. Melville Pym, who also gave a series of Evangelistic addresses in the Town Hall. Mr Pym’s hearty and earnest services and kindly ministiations to the sick dining an epidemic, were, we hope and believe, beneficial to, and gratefully remembered by, many in this parish. The Church Property Trustees have executed a lease to the Churchwardens, at a peppercorn rent, of two sections (half an acre) of land fronting Burnett street and adjoining *he church. It has been proposed by the vestry, after reserving sufficient land for the erection of a Sunday School, to let the frontage for business purposes. In conclusion, we would strongly urge a more

general and hearty response to the-, necessitie" of the church funds on the parishioners,' both. by subscribing to the Stipend Fund, and in contributing more liberally to the offertories, as, with the exercise of the most jigid economy and skilful management, it is not possible, but of the present income, to effect any saving, so as to relieve the incubus of debt, which to so great an extent weighs down and paralyses the energies of minister and vestry.—A. W. Hands, Incumbent; T, BULLOCK and CHAS. E. Fooks, Churchwardens. April 29th, 1881.

The report as read was adopted. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. The election of officers was then proceeded with, and resulted as follows : Churchwardens : clergyman’s, Mr George Jameson ; parishioners’, Mr Gundry. Vestrymen :—Messrs Bullock, C. E. Fooks, Wood, Ferriman, J. Grigg, Ward, Hunt, Mayo, H. T. Winter, and Bean. Auditor, Mr W. H. Zouch. VOTES OF THANKS.

The following votes of thanks were passed unanimously : To the retiring vestry, moved by Dr Trevor, seconded by Mr Boyle. To the Secretary, moved by Mr Cates, seconded by Mr Gundry. To the lay readers of the parish and parochial districts, viz :—Messrs Ward, Jameson, Grigg, and Walker. To the Superintendent and teachers of the Sunday School. To the gentlemen donating the new pulpit. To the choir, and Miss Gates, for presiding at the harmonium. PEW BENTS. Dr Trevor moved—“ That it will be a recommendation to the vestry that the seats be appropriated, and each person taking one should be asked to give a voluntary annual subscription.” A lengthy discussion followed and ultimately the resolution was carried. STIPEND FUND. Some discussion on this matter took place, no action, however, being taken in the matter. A vote of thanks to the chair terminated the proceedings.

Rakaia. The annual meeting of the parishioners of the St. Mark’s Church, Bakaia, was held on Thursday evening. Present—The Incumbent, Messrs Chapman, 0. N. Mackie, C. S. Mackie, Oxley, Pyke, Cox, Davies, and Alington.—Correspondence re taking over Barrhill Church was read. —In reply to Mr C. N. Mackie, the Incumbent said, LlB3 19s were the liabilities of the Barrhill Church. — Mr C. N. Mackie opposed the taking over of the Church on financial grounds. The parish was not in a position to do so. —Mr E. Chapman also opposed.—MrC. S. Mackie advocated it, and proposed—“ That, in the opinion of this meeting, it be desirable that the parish give a promise to take over the Barrhill Church as soon as they are in a position to do so.”—This was seconded pro forma by Mr Alington, but was lost, only two voting for it.—On the motion of Mr E. Chapman, seconded by Mr C. N. Mackie, it was resolved—“ That the matter of taking overlby the parish the liabilities on the Barrhill Church be left to the next meeting of parishioners, the parish not being in a financial position to do so at present.”—Mr E. Chapman, minister’s churchwarden, brought up the balance sheet for the year ending at Easter last; —Expenditure, L 332 13s 9d. Receipts : —Subscriptions, Ll6llßs 8d ; offertories, Lll9 19s 9d ; grant, L2O ; other receipts, 15s 6d; balance, L 29 19s lOd. Total, L 332 13s 9d.—Mr Pyke moved the adoption of the balance sheet. This was seconded by Mr Davies and carried, —Mr Pyke moved a vote of thanks to the outgoing churchwardens and vestrymen for their services during the past year. This was Seconded by Mr G. Robinson and carried unanimously. The chairman stated that Mr C. N. Mackie had consented to act as minister’s churchwarden. —Mr R. Davies was elected parishioners’ churchwarden.—The following gentlemen were declared duly elected vestrymen : Coster, Y. Pyke, L. Mangham, G. Alington, E. Chapman, E. S. C. S. Alington, F. Francis, W. Morgan, F. Thompson, and W. Smith. —Mr C. N. Mackie said he had much pleasure in moving a vote of thanks to Miss Cox, who acted as organist during a great part of the year. The motion was seconded by Mr G. Robinson, and carried unanimously, and the meeeting terminated.

ELECTION OF SYNODSMAN. Mr C, N. Mackie, Returning Officer for the district, attended and read the writ for the election of one member for Synod.—Mr C. S. Mackie proposed, and Mr Alington seconded, the nomination of Mr E. Chapman. There being no other nomination, Mr Chapman was declared duly elected.

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PARISH MEETINGS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 332, 30 April 1881

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PARISH MEETINGS Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 332, 30 April 1881

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