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Wesleyan Anniversary.


•Dhe aanual tea meeting in connection with the Ashburton Wesleyan Church was held on Tuesday evening. The meeting took place in the Church itself, and while held by way of an anniversary celeburtiori was also utilised as a reception to the Rev J. H. Gray, who came recently from Rangiora to labor in the Wesleyan cause in Ashburton district. Mr Gray slioujd have preached on Sunday at the anniversary services, but being then, unfortunately a victim of La grip c, his place had to be taken by others. On Tuesday, however, he had so far recovered as to be able to be present at the meeting and take part in it, Tea was laid at eight tables in the Church, the trays having been provided by subscription by the - ladies of the congregation. The tables were presided over as under :—Mesdames H. M. Jones, ItMurray, C. Baker, John Orr, J. R. Steele, S. Potter, H. M. Carson, and T, Fox, There was. a gopd^ attendance, many friendg having come in from the country, while a fair number from other Churches were present. After tea the floor was cleared and the Church reseated for the after meeting at which the Rev J. N. Buttle presided. The Chairman |n his opening remarks gave some interesting, "facts and figures in connection with the work of the Church.. He stated that the total number of fully acredited members in the circuit was 191, and of catechumens 123. Of the former 74 and 42 catechumens were attached to the Ashburton congregation, B.esides these there were 53 other persons who embraced the opportunity of joining in the communion. The attendance at the monthly celebrations at the Ashburton Church ranged from 35 to 45, and arrangements wi:ee made for the administration of the sacrament at suitable periods at all the other centres of Church work in the district,: The Sunday School returns showed, (for the circuit) 50 teachers, 420 scholars on roll, average attendance 279, the members for Ashburton alone being: 24 teachers, J72 scholars on roll, average atlondimco 109, which during rocent weeks showed a steady increase. The J total number of adherents throughout

the circuit was 1225. As to matters of finance in connection with the church properties Mr Buttle stated that the in-' come of the Trustees was derived principally from seat rents and the proceeds of the Anniversary Services and Tea meeting, these with sundry other items were just sufficient to meet the charges in connection with lighting and cleaning and other expenditure on property account. The debt on the parsonage now stood at £150, and this was being reduced by quarterly payments amounting to L3O a year. The balance of the debt on the organ (£3O) had been paid during the past year, principally by the proceeds of the last anniversary. A very important step had been taken by .the Trustees in the acquirement of a new site for the church in a more central position. Already £75 had been paid, and further promises amounting to an ! equal sum had been received. The removal of the present church to the new site would be undertaken at as early a date as possible. In connection, with the General Circuit account, out of which the charges for the support of the Ministry were defrayed, there was an ever-recur-ring deficiency. The speaker appealed to the members and adherents of the Church throughout the Circuit to make a small increase on the Sabbath offertories, which would enable the fund to overtake the demands upon it. The debts of other churches in the Circuit were gradually being liquidated; Wakanui, Winslow and Hinds would probably be free from liability by the end of the year, and when that point was reached there should be no difficulty in supporting a third minister in the Circuit. Mr Buttle concluded by urging the people to renewed devotion and energy in the work of the Church. The other speakers were the Rev J. W. Sawle, who made " Christian Unity " the subject of-his address; the Rev A. M. Beattie, M.A., whose theme was " Christian Courage" ; the Rev E. A. Scott, who, in welcoming Rev J. H. Gray, expressed a hope that he would be largely successful, as the speaker had always found that when one congregation increased, all the others increased in sympathy. Messrs R. Alcorn, J. Alison, and H. M. Carson, as officials of the church and for the people offered a warm welcome to Mr Gray and his family, as indeed did all the speakers. The Rev J. H. Gray expressed his thankfulness for his recovery fxom illness, acknowledged the heartiness of the reception he had received, and delivered a well reasoned address pn " the Bible."

Anthems and sacred songs were sung by the choir under Mr Gamble, Miss Murray being organist. The usual votes of thanks to the ladies, the choir, etc., closed the business, and the meeting terminated with the benediction.

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Bibliographic details

Wesleyan Anniversary., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2408, 23 April 1890

Word Count

Wesleyan Anniversary. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2408, 23 April 1890

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