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St. Stephen's Anglican Church.

PABISHIONEES' MEETING. The annual mowting of the parishioners of St. Stephens was hold kat evening in th« Bohojlrooni, there beiag *»b"ut forty present. The chair wa.»s occupied by the vicar, r,ho Iltrv. >]. White'aouao, who expressed his pleasure at seeing so many present when several counter attractions wero being held. vicar's annual report. The Vicar's annual report was as follows:— The attendance at the evening services has been good, but the number of church members at both morning and evening services might be largely increased. The attendance nt the Friday evening service has been better thnn in previous years, but it is far short of what it ought to be. There have been 52 baptisms, 22 marriages, and 25 burials during the year. The Sunday Schools, under the superintendence of Mr Stock (St. Stephen's), and Mr Ferriman (Hampstead), have done very valuable work. The monthly service at Tuarangi haa been well attended. My thanks are due to Miss Ada Gates (organist), and to Mr T. A. Gates. I have again to acknowledge the courtesy of the Borough School Committee in allowing me the use o£ one of the rooms in the school for ray morning class. The attendance has been much in excess of that of the previous year. The Young Men's Literary and Debating Society has an excellent record for the year. Mr C. D. Hardie, 8.A., removed to Christchurch, and his office as Warden passed into the hands of Mr D. Wood, whose appointment has given the utmost satisfaction to the parishioners. To my Churah Wardens, the members of the Vestry, the superintendents and teachers in» the Sunday Schools, the choirmaster, organist, the assistant,organist (Miss B. Claridge), the verger, the ladies who have so tastefully decorated the church, the Ladies' Guild, and the ladies who have had charge of the altar requisites, I tender my warmest thanks. I desire again to acknowledge the very v.iluable services of the sidesmen. The Chairman said that no reference was made to the services of the choir. The omission, however, was entirely accidental. The choir had rendered invaluable services, and the choirmaster had established a record in holding his position for a quarter of a century. The Chairman also urged male members of the congregation to attend church more regularly at the morning service. (Applause). churchwardens' and tkstbt's report. The churchwardens' and vestry's report was as follows: — The Churchwardens and Vestry have the satisfaction of congratulating the parishioners that the money entrusted for expenditure has been well and judiciously laid out. The debt on the church has been reduced from £253 4s lid to £213 19s Bd. Repairs and alterations to church and vicarage during the year, amounting to iBIB 6s, were done. We return our hearty thanks to the various workers of the congregation who so ably assisted us in carrying out our duties, especially the Ladies' Guild who secured the handsome sum of £107 13s 8d by means of a Tea Meeting and a Cake and Apron Fair—for repairs and renovation of the school building. The special offering of March 26th did not realise as much as that taken up the preceding year, but £51 10a 3d was raised, and has been augmented by an additional £3 12a 6d, We regret the loss by removal of three church workers, the Misses Pur- | nell, wko have entered the married state; and Mr C. D. Hardie. A Mother^ Meeting was inaugurated at the close of our tenure j by Mrs Scotr, of Sydenham, and there are i reasons to believe that this society will be I an unqualified success. I Mr D. C. Stock said that the total re- | venue derived during the paat year was ! £654 Is Id as against £560 for the preceding year. The euvelope subscriptions had I increased, the general collections were on a par with last year, while the special donations showed a falling off. Taken as a whole, however, the work of the year should be considered satisfactory. Dr. Trevor, in moving the adoption of the above reports, considered that the rej suit of the year's working should be considered exceedingly satisfactory. He was especially pleased that the societies and classes associated with the church were on I the up grade. He thought perhaps the contributions might have been somewhat larger. It was pleasing, however, to note that the church was beinj? slowly relieved of debt. Miss Bullock and Mrs Trevor had approached the parishioners with respect to support for the proposal to appoint a deaconess, and had received the promise of practical sympathy. He was strongly in favour of the appointment, and thought that the parish would materially benefit by the assistance of a lady worker. Mr Bullock seconded the motion. He regretted that steps had not been taken to re-roof the schoolroom, and hoped that a strong effort would soon be made in that direction. It was a matter of gratification to note that the debt on the churoh had been reduced to a nominal figure, and with the former speaker he hoped that the churoh would soon be entirely free. The adoption of the report was carried unanimously. The Chairman said that in a great measure the success of the year's working was due to the church officers and workers. On the motion of Mr Ferriman, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded the church officers and workers, including the Sunday School teachers, choir and others. ELECTION OP OFFICERS. The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted aa follows:—Vicar's warden —Mr D. Wood; parishioners' warden—Mr D. Stock, senr.; vestry—last year's vestry was re-elected with the addition of Messrs J. McGregor and F. Watt; auditors— Messrs W. Rundle and F. W. Watt. A lengthy discussion ensued on the present system of letting seats. Mr Ferriman moved, seconded by Mr W.: Thompson." That the present holders of seats be allowed to retain them, but that no future seats be let." Mr Bullock was of opinion that a pro-; position of the character of that before the meeting should have emanated from the vestry rather than from parishioners. In reply to Mr Christian, the Secretary said that £175 4s was derived from letting pews, of which there were 186 leased. The pews were not all let at the same rental. Mr Ferriman said the reason he objected '< to the present system was that those who could well afford to pay a fair rental in many caaea did not pay so much as a parishioner not in so good a financial position. Dr Trevor was of opinion that the present system was far from being perfect or even satisfactory, but he considered th it it should be allowed to gradually die out. Mr P. Cox said that the system of letting seats had proved to be an excellent way in which to bring in reveuue that would be otherwise bard to collect. The adoption of free seats would, in his opinion, prove disastrous to the Church. Mr D. Wood would support any better method providing the funds were.colleoted. As far as he knew, the present system was proving satisfactory. Mr I). Stock suggested that the question bs settled by a referendum. Mr Ferriman said that providing his motion was carried, he would be prepared to guarantee £50 towards any deficiency in the finance. He made this offer to show that he was thoroughly in earnest in the matter. The Chairman opposed such a drastic change, and the motion was then put end was declared lost by 6 votes to 11. Mr Ferriman asked that the register be searched for the names of the opponents of his motion. The Chairman ruled this out of order, whoreupon Mr Ferriman said he would tike steps to call a special meeting of the parishioners to finally settle the question. The Chairman referred to the rumour that had gained currency that the " Glebo ' was to be offered at public auction. This was not so, although a proposition had been made by the vestry to the Standing Diocesan Committee to that effect. It appeared the Church Trust Act prevented properties left iv trust beintj disposed of in any way. Messrs Bullock and Ferriman strongly opposed the proposition, while Mr P. H. Cox considered that the property should be sold and the proceeds devoted to the furtherance of church work and the building of a vicarage nearer the church. The meeting then closed.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6560, 3 May 1905

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St. Stephen's Anglican Church. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6560, 3 May 1905