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PENALTIES URGED WEDDING AND FUNERAL FEES P.A. WELLINGTON, Tuesday. A proposal that all who were not practising church people or did not adequately support the Church should be charged fees of £3 3/ for weddings and £2 2/ for funerals was rejected by the Wellington Diocesan Synod to-night. The proposal wag made in the form of a motion by the Rev. K. D. Andrews Baxter (St. Thomas', Newtown). He also moved that all fees should be pooled and divided equally among the clergy, that no part of the fees should be claimed by the diocese for any purpose, whether the marriage was by special license or otherwise, and that no fee should be asked of regular church people or of those who gave regularly and adequately toward the maintenance of the Church.

Many people had an idea that the Church was there just for their convenience, rather than for their spiritual help, Mr. Baxter said. On the whole he did not think the clergy should marry people who merely wanted to use the Church to make a show, but they must be given the benefit of the doubt. It was really a matter of discipline, in which the Church to-day was sadly lacking. A great deal of time was given to funerals, and in many cases clergy had never seen the man to be buried.

If all the friends and relatives of those who had been married, baptised or buried at St. Thomas' in the last two and a half years attended church it would be necessary to build a cathedral to hold them.

Mr. A. O. Jones (Masterton) said the Church was for the people and shoald be open to all. To charge fees for administering the Sacraments was unchristian.

Bishop Holland said there was a fee of 10/ for publishing banns and a fee of 30/ for a special license. Those fees went to the clergy pensions fund. Anything additional was purely a gift.

"I had no hope whatever that my motion would go through the synod," said Mr. Baxter in' reply, explaining that he had brought it forward to draw attention to the need for discipline. "People cannot ignore the Church," he said. "Sometimes, even openly, they avow themselves atheists and then demand to be married or have their relatives buried or their children baptised without some reproof. They should be made to see, they cannot have all the privileges of the Churdi when they are not ready to sup«rt the Church." ™

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Bibliographic details

NON-CHURCHGOERS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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NON-CHURCHGOERS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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