CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
WORK FOR THE N.Z.E.P
The Military Affairs Committee for the Church of England in. New Zealand submitted to the General Synod, sitting at Napier, a report of its work among the members of the Expeditionary Forces, both in the Dominion and at the front. The report shows that from a small beginning, quietly, but effectively, the work has year by year grown, until in the last year of the war £28,000 had been collected and used for the benefit of the men, no matter to what denomination they belonged. 'I'iie interest aroused in the work was .due largely to the efforts of Mr R. W, Simpson, of Timaru, who gratuitously gave his services durinsr six months of 1917 to visiting the various dioceses and explaining the responsibilities of churchmen on behalf of the men who had so willingly offered themselves for service at the front.
Towards the close of 1917 the Military Affairs Committee and the Church Army were, co-ordinated, in order that both bodies should work together/their needs were advertised in the papers of the Dominion, the result-of which was shown by the "increase in the donations, an increase which enabled £27,000 to be sent to the Home committee for work^ in France and Palestine, the transports, and wherever needed;'
During the period of the wax institutes have been established at the various training camps in New Zealand, viz,, -Trent ham, Featherston, Tauherenik.au, Awapuni, Narrow Neck, and, on the establishment of the hospital for invalided soldiers at Rotorua.
Since demobilisation has taken place some of these smaller institutes have been closed, but work is still carried on to a lesser degree in Trentham and Featherston, while the work has increased at Rotorua, where the attractive _ and well designed institute, containing reading, writing, and games rooms, a billiard-room, and Avell equipped kitchen, attract largo numbers of the invalided men. Some idea of the social- work may be gathered from the fact that, since its opening by the Governor-Generall in July, .1918, no less than 35,000 free meals, i.e., afternoon teas and suppers, have been pro-, rided. Nor is the spiritual side neglect- j ed, for of course there is the chaplain in charge, whoso duty is not only to generally supervise, but also to minister to all. Additions have already had to be made to this rest house', and from all appearances further accommodation will soon be needed.
In addition a chaplain has been appointed for Auckland, and has been at work for over a year, whose special duty it is to visit the military ' hospitals, board the returning transports, and give advice and assistance when-, ever he can. His services also have been much appreciated . and have shown good results;
These various activities have still to be undertaken, and will be carried oil as long as any of our returned: men are in 'hospitals or ..sanatoria, and', of course, fund** must still be provided to enable the Military Affairs Committee to continue its work.
The committee brought under the notice, of the Government of New Zealand the fact that many transports had been dispatched from New Zealand or Great Britain without a chaplain > of any denomination, with the result that, owing to:their representations, latterly no ship has sailed without, having at least one chaplain on board. Briefly the financial position is that there has been received from the outset in 1914, when Trentham was first opened as a training camp, up to April, 1919, the sum of £47,003, while in building and equipping the institutes £8625 in upkeep of same, lighting, heating, stationery, etc., and stipends £5046 in looking after the welfare of the men at the front and on the voyages £27,258, for advertising £2791, the amount expended has been roughly £44,000, leaving a balance on account of £3001), which will help the committee to "carry on" for a while; but it has to be remembered that the work is to continue as long as there is a necessity for it.
Though the needs are not so great as during the strenuous days of the war, yet the expenses at Trentham, Featherston, Rotorua, and Auckland will still go on, and it is the hope of the committee that the churchmen of the Dominion will still recognise their responsibilities to the men who have fought snd been broken for them, and will never cca.se to work while a single invalided man needs the ministrations of the Motlier Church.
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CHURCH OF ENGLAND., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919
CHURCH OF ENGLAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919
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