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A social in connection with the Baptist Tabernacle annual harvesting thanksgiving services was held in tiia church last evening, when opportunity was also taken by the representatives of the various church. organisations and the Ministers of other denominations, to formally welcome to the town and district the Rev. H. B. Hughes, M.A., the newly-appointed pastor. Ihere was a good attendance, including many persons from other congregations in .the town. The church was nicely decorated, and the supply of fruit and vegetables was a large one. Hie lyev. J. J. North, of Christchurch, occupied the chair, and the Rev. Messrs G. Miller, C. F. Saunders, and T. R. B. Wool-1 loxall, Mr J. M. Innes, Ensign Hosking (Salvation Army), Mr R-.'H. Loy (church secretary), and Mr. H. tf. Hughes also occupied seats on the plat-1 form. . The proceedings were opened ...m the usual manner. After a number of apologies absence had been read, the chairman said; he had been asked by ;the congregation to be present, and preside over the gathering. In introducing the new pastor to the congregation, Mr-Nortlv said that Mr Hughes was a young man of considerable power. He had achieved\ what few ministers had succeeded in doing, and that was the obtaining 'of his I Master of Arts': degree whilst carrying out a ministers' duties. In addition to ■ his mental gifts, he was also, the "pos- \ sessor of the qualifications necessary to make a successful minister. He had already had one church under his ! charge at Hastings, and there he had succeeded in doing what a great many young .men had done, and that was to marry one of the lady members of his congregation. Mrs Hughes came of a Hawke's Bay family well known for its large-minded generosity and keen religious enthusiasm. On behalf of the Christchurch churches, the Chairman said he warmly welcomed the Rev. Mr Hughes to the Canterbury district, and he hoped his settlement in the midst of the Ashburton people would be for the advancement of Christ'-s Kingdom.

The Rev. G. Miller said he was sure that Mr Hughes had come to -Ashburton filled with the sense of the greatness of the Gospel of Christ, and on behalf of the Presbyterian Church he warmly welcomed him to Ashburton. He -trusted that Mr Hugli'es .• would have great success in his ministry, and the speaker emphasised the fact .that he would achieve a great, success if he ,had the prayerful help of the .eongrega'tion. ■/ Regular attendance at. the church a^ all the services would put encouragement into a minister's heart, and empty pews would discourage him. On behalf of the Salvation Army, Ensign Hoskirigs extended a sincere and hearty welcome to the Rev. H. B. and' Mrs Hughes.'.- He expressed the hope that the congregation would be loyal to their new minister, loyal, to themselves, and loyal to the principles of the church. ■ . i

The Rev. C. F. Saunders, the delegate of the Anglican Church, said he was sure the Baptist Church congregation had made a wise and good choice in inviting the Rev.'H. B. Hughes to fill the vacancy .caused by the removal of .the Rev. J. Ings., Ho dwelt on the ties wliich;. should exist between, ministers and their congregations and vice versa, and said that Mr Hughes would find a very friendly spirit reigning between the various ministers of the town. The speaker trusted that Mr Hughes'Si stay in Ashburton would result in many souls seeking salvation. The Rev. T. R. B. Woolloxall (Methodist Church) said Hie congratulated the Rev. Mr Hughes on having been called to Ashburton. Much had been said about how the minister should act towards the members of the congregation, and as to how the latter should act towards the minister. If, however, the church members had faith in their spiritual leader, if they prayed for him and had patience with him, his work in their midst would be doubly blessed. Speaking as the representative of the Church of Christ, Mr J; M. Innes conveyed a sincere welcome to : the Rev. H. B. and. Mrs Hughes. There was a great field for service in Ashburton, and the speaker estimated that in town and suburbs there were 2500 non-church-goers. He trusted that the term spent* in Ashburton by Mr Hughes would result in many being added to the church —especially the young people. He deplored the attitude of many parents in not sending their children to God's house.

I Mr R. H. Loy (church secretary) also welcomed Mr and Mrs Hughes on behalf of the church and its various or<"'sisiisations. ' s .

The, guest of the evening, when he rose to ...-speak, • was ■■received with applause. He trusted that wliat he had to'say to them during the time he would occupy the pulpit would be for their spiritual help and guidance. Ho thanked the representatives of other denominations for the kindly welcome they had extended to himself and his wife, and said that he hoped to- accomplish great things in Ashburton. After the: Benediction had been provnounced' supper^w.a's .handed, round by Vthe lady members of the congregation. < The following vocal and instrumental programme was , gone through in the ' course of the evening : ■—Anthem, the I choir; cornet solo, Mr S. B. Dennis; Mrs H. J. Constable; anthem, <tho choir; pianoforte solo, Mrs Dallas.

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Bibliographic details

BAPTIST CHURCH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8817, 13 March 1914

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BAPTIST CHURCH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8817, 13 March 1914

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