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A meeting of those interested in the formation of a church institute, to include library, Bishop’s office, and accofflmeditloft for theo* logical students okas held at St. Matthew’s Schoolroom last evening. Bishop Nevill pres'tled, and there Waii a rfiddtirath attendance. Several of the ministers of the Anglican churches were present. Bishop Nevu.l said that he had received a number tf letters from gentlemen to whom he had personally conversed, and from many other?, ail of whom expressed great interest in the matter to which ho Intended to refer. The Bev. A. Ri Keilrham and Archdeacon Edwards Were included In thfise, and would have attended if it bad been possible for them to do so. He intended to explain to those present some of the grounds as to why he bad considered it his duty for many years past to encourage to the best of his ability the formation of an instmtion which they had met to discuss that night. He had expended considerable time and energy in obtaining information regarding the matter, and was sure that the object he had in view would be esteemed and would meet with approbation. He Could imagine some person Biyingthst there was no necessity for him to speak at length upon i the education of students in theological subjects, because he had expressed his views in the same direction at the last meeting of the Synod. But matters brought before the Synod were not always clearly brought to the minds of those who were not connected with that body. He wished to speak generally, and was of opinion that there was a danger in a synodical system of Government-admirable though it was—because the interest was limited to church work and to several members of Synod, while the same representatives were appointed to the Synod time after time. It would bo evident that if there was a danger in the direction indicated such a meeting as the present one was absolutely necessary as a supplement to the general meeting of the Synod. Then, he had brought the matter before Ihe Synod, but not before individual members of the Synod, and the present meeting was held for the purpose of making the object? <f his plan thoroughly understood by individual members of the church. He would speak more upon the necessity of endeavoring to establish a college or house fur the students studying theological nutters than of the necessity of providing houseroom for the library for the diocese. If they only considered what an area the diocese covered, they must assuredly be impressed with the necessity (f setting on foot some machinery for providing those Whoso religious duties were contained in that area witli some assistance. It perhaps was never brought to the minds of some persona that the diocese had an area equal to that of Ireland, and no ono would think it strange that they asked fora college for the religious education of the present and future clergy. If any did think it strange, it would bo those who did not trouble to think the matter out.—(Applause.) The parochial districts therefore wore necessarily wide, and some districts were some 100 miles long, and he could not say how long. Take Waitaki district for instance, which was unoccupied at present because they con'd not get a young man to take charge of it. That was over 100 miles long, and included stations, small towns, etc. The Rev. Mr Richardson, who had charge of a district south, travelled over an immense area, including Gladstone, Ryal Bush, Merton, Dipton, and Lumaden, which was sixty miles from where his ministrations commenced. Then he visited towns on a westerly route, and on the seaboard. If any person could imagine that Mr Richardson cpuld visit those stations and impress himself satisfactorily and cfiic'ently upon the people in those districts they were considerably more imaginative than ho (the Bishop) was. Undoubtedly, Mr Richardson bad been most laborious and painstaking ?n his work, bat the speaker wanted people to help him ; for to make religious ministrations felt in a proper manner by clergymen situated as ho had described they should have assistance, for the good instilled into people by means of monthly visits had almost evaporated, so to speak, by the time the next visit was made. Another important question was the necearity of obtaining young, unmarried clergymen to undertake the rcl’gious work on the goldfields. The present time was opportune, because there were numertru tin and gold fields being opened up. They could not, as a matter of course, provide him with a parsonage, etc., or give him L3OO per annum for conducting religious services where the population was not gathered together, but if a young unmarried man were to be placed in charge he could do c nsidersble good. AVere the people to say that the English Church did not ciro whether they provided adequate religious instruction or not ? As chief officer of the church here the subject pressed daily on him—the desiruh’lity of placing some young man in charge of these districts, and allowing him to conduct religious services there.—(Applause.) The Taieri Plain afforded one example of a district where little or no religious instruction connected with the English Church was given—they received scarcely a visitation from the church during year after year. They could not obtain these desirable young men from the Mother Count r y. They were not to suppose from that that the missionary spirit was dying out. How was it, then ? The truth was that the colonics were not regarded as places which pro ented any special call for them; they looked to something wh ch presented an opportunity for work of a more heroic character—which would make more demands upon the martyr »pirit. These young men at Homo were not afraid to go to Africa, Burmaii, and other outposts, hut when ask d to go to New Zealand they said “Why don’t you got young men from your own colony ? "—(Applause.) If they oould not get young men from the Mother Country, therefore, they should present opportunities to the young men of the colonies to do God’s work hero. It was not only their duty to provide these young men with an opportunity of studying for church work, but on mere utilitarian grounds the necessity would become more a] parent, and have more effect. His Lordship went on to refer to the numerous advantages a student in theological matters would obtain by acting as assistant to the principal clergymen of the churches other than St. Paul’s, which enjoyed a special endowment. In house-to-house visitation the advantages wou'd be manifold; while they could conduct Bible classes and act as superintendents of Sunday schools as well. He himself was once a student in a theological college, and was sure that many advantages would also arise if these students were allowed to enter into a conversation with persons and speak to them from a religious standpoint. They could talk and discuss religious matters, and perhaps be able to turn persons round who were possessed of beliefs full of quibbles aud which wore mere hollow fallacies. He was decidedly of opinion that thoro was scope for such good work.—(App'auae.) There were several young men who had expressed a desire to enter on a course of theological study, and two were studying at present; while many others were perfectly willing and eager to commence. If they thought i hat these students should be accommodated with some sort of college they should have a building which would announce itself and its nature to the public—advertise itself, in fact—and let the people know that such an institution existed If the study was limited to the students’ lodgings there was nothing to let people know or to acquaint them with any particulars of the undertaking being commenced. Canon Stanford, of Canterbury, had some twenty young men studying in his own and other houses, and as many of the students attending our University took lessons in various subjects of divinity, a considerable number of these would, he was sure, go into this Theological College should it be established, is to the financial position of matters, he had for some considerable time been , working quietly, because when ho first mentioned the subject there were many who did not look upon the proposal with favor, so he had worked quietly among homes. He had obtained some L 2.000 towards the establit-hmont of a college for the accommodation of students in theology, and there was still something in addition to bo received. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledgehad promised n grant of L2OO, subject to certain conditions, which were contained in a letter ho had received. He had also received a promise that the splendid library wbi hj had been sent to aud was at present at Cambridge would be at his disposal, but there was a stipulation by tho owner that if the library were not erected the books were to be returned. He knew that the present time was inopportune for making an appeal to the people of the church, because we were just emerging from a period of depression and misery, but ho did not think that matters would result so that the books would have to be returned. He intended to speak as to the desirability of establishing a bishop’s office, where he could be seen and spoken to by those with whom he had to transact church business. There were many arguments which could be used to warrant such a step, but the college for the accommodation of students in theological matters wa», he considered, tho keynote of his labrrs, and for years past lie had been doing all in his power to obtain that desired end. Therefore he felt that he must ask them to help him, and give him assistance In trying to spread joy and thankfulness to themselves and to those less fortunately placed.—(Applause) The Revs. Dr Belcher and A. E. Fitchext also spoke supporting tho proposal, and a motion thanking the Bishop for his efforts in the matter, aud pledging the meeting to use its best endeavors to further the general obj ’cts of tho soli nine, was carried unanimously, A representative committee was also appointed to consider and report as to the best means to bo adopted to establish a church institute, and the meeting terminated.

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Bibliographic details

A CHURCH INSTITUTE., Evening Star, Issue 7980, 8 August 1889

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A CHURCH INSTITUTE. Evening Star, Issue 7980, 8 August 1889