A aoolal gathering of members of the congregation to weloome his Lordship took plaoe m the evening m St. Stephen's Boboolrcnm, whioh was adorned with a number of plctarcs and engravings kindly lent for the occasion. There was a very large attendance. The proceedings were opened by a pianoforte overture by Mrs Denshire, the first vocal Item being "Only a passing thought," m which Mrs Crisp WR9 heard to great advantage, a flate obligato |Sy Mr George Jameson contributing ninoh to the very pleasing effect. This -wan followed by the duet "Trust her not, Bha s fooling thee,^ given with great taste and exquisite purity of tone by Mrs Oh»rlea Harper and Mrs Denshire, the first-named lady, who la on a viiilt to Ashburtm, ns well on this occasion as later oq In the evening, bffording lovers of music a genuine treat. The pretty solo "The vane on the old Ohuroh tower," Mias Annie Gates, was prettily rendered, the fair performer having a voioe of mnoh. sweetness, though not of great volume. " Fierrot," Mrs Charles Harper, which succeeded, was a finished rendering of a really choice morceau, and evoked an enthusiastic encore, graciously responded to with another pleasing Item, "My dearest love." " The Fishermon" duet, Messrs B. Gates and E. Ward, came out m excellent oontrast.to the soprano items, and was admirably rendered, the performers being accorded hearty and welldeserved applause. After the handing round of refreshments bounteously provided by thejladiea o f the congregation, the musical portion of the evening's programme was resumed by the rendering of the Kyrie and Gloria (M>Z*.rt) given under the baton of Mr Gates who conducted all the concerted pleooa, with creditable preolslon, and with a very Batis aotory balnnoing of the parts. The soJob, from "Thd Messiah," " He shall faed His flock," Mrs Harper and Mrs Denshire, were another pleasing example of aocuraoy end parity of tone, and these (it was rendered as two solos, not as a duet) were followed by another oreditable performance by the ohoir— the " Sanotua" (Mozirt). Tho Rev Mr Soott then briefly addressed those present, congratulating them upon the occasion on which they were met together and extending on behalf of the congregation a hearty welcome to their revered Bishop whom he would now ask to address them. Hla Lordship then aaoandlng the platform joined m the oougratulatlona of the Rev. the Inoumbent on the oooaßlon of their meeting together, which was to signalise the clearing of the Ohuroh from debt, and its solemn dedication to the service of Almighty God. He b elleved he was right m saying th»r h »>« the first clergyman who had held service m Ashburton, though not precisely on the same spot as that on which they were now assembled, Oa that ocoasion he had come down on the invitation of persons well-known to many vow prosent— Mr and Mrs Winter, and they had met together m a woolshed, and they were thankful to have the opportunity of doing co Later on Borvloe had been held In a schoolroom, and then as population grew and the bridge was built over the Rakaia the town of Ashburton was founded, and it naturally followed that the building of a Qhurqh was attempted. That Ohuroh it was, whloh he, with God's help, was to oonsecrate. He congratulated them upon the possession of so excellent a building, and still more upon the faot chat thoy hed been able to free it of debt. They had also In the room m which they were now met an admirable plaoe for school purposes and for such pleaiant social gatherings as the present They were blbo to be congratulated upon their parsonage, and especially upon the faot that it was tenanted by one, who, besides his other good works, had been largely instrumental m taking, the fandß to pay off the debt on the Ohuroh. The Ohuroh was not yet oompletqly finished, < but It waji admirably adapted for the purposes of worship, and had long been hallowed by the celebration of divine worship within its walls. No doubt ag time rolled on, and population increased I — perhaps after he, the speaker, had passed away— their Ohuroh would be enlarged to. meet their increasing needs. What had already been accomplished Bhould encourage them m looking forward )to the future, and the experieuoe of the past had for them its lessons. One of these was that they should not despise the day of small thingß. As he had said they ! had began by meetiog In a woo.'-shed, and now they had a Wfll-anpotntßd and commodlon.B qhuroh, Again, the success which had attended thelt efforts to clear off the debt opon the building taoght them the neoeasjty and the. value of Christian , unity, No map win tout Into thQ world to
work alone; they wera all members one' of another, an 1 no great; thing was ever accomplished without united effort, the speaker instancing the concerted music of the evening as an example la point L tstly they were tingbt that patient perseverance was needad to attain groat- and good re6ulta. His Lirdahip oonoluded a very kindly and useful address by expressing hla plesaara at being present on so happy an eocasion, and thanking those who had assembled together to give him so cordial a gree'-lng. " How lovely are the Messengers,'' from the oratorio of St. Paul (Mendelssohn) waa next given by the ohoir, but was scarcely bo snooeßafnl as previous item), having had, it appeared, Insufficient pre parafclon. Tho Rev Mr Soott, referring to the remarcka of the Bishop said thai while he had had eomethlog to do with «,he efforta made, and he was happy to say suooesafully made, to oloar off the debt from the building, the success of those efforts was due to all. not to himself alone. All had worked together, b_>th rioh and poor. They still had an overdraft whioh be hoped would also before long be entirely wiped out, but m tbe meantime thoy had much to be thankful for iv the removal of the debt from the building. He would now ask Mr Twentyman to say a few words. Mr J. H. Twentyman said that the occasion of their gathering together i<> view of the Bolemc service appainted for to-morrow, natarally brought to their mlndß two grefft .eventß of Soripture history, the solemn dedication to God of the Tabrnaole In the Wilderness, and later on io the coarse of time of the magnificent temple ereoted by SolomoE for the service of Almighty God. On these occasions the Shekinah, the jzlory of tha Lord, filled the house, and fire from Heaven oame down and consumed the burnt offerings. The glory of the visible presenoe of God waa not vouchsafed m these latter days, for they now ''walked by faith and not by sight,"} but if they, remembering that they were chosen to be. the temples of the Holy Ghost, consecrated themsalvea to God'e servioe, then the glory of God wonld fill their souls, and they would be accepted as living sacrifices holy and acceptable m His right. Mr Twentyman concluded an eloquent address by wishing ail present good night and GodßDeed, and the •* Nuno dimittiß|" having been sung. The benediction wua pronounced by His Lordship and the assemblage dispersed. In closing thia portion of our report we should not omit to mention that Mrs Olarl<?ge kindly acted as aooompanylat on the piano and harmonium for the varlons musical items.
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SOCIAL GATHERING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1979, 25 October 1888
SOCIAL GATHERING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1979, 25 October 1888
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