THE WISLEYAN METHODIST CONFERENCE.
AUCKLAND, November 16. The subject of missions being under consideration, the Rev. Mr Morley moved a series of resolutions calling attention to the fact that £4,000 (one-third of the income of 1896) was delayed in remiseion, and directing district synods to inquire whether the amounts raised had been remitted; also that the attention of members and adherents be directed to the insufficiency of the income for the present responsibility, without taking account of the necessity for extension.
At the afternoon session Mr Lane moved that Queensland be entitled to the same number cf returned missionaries as South Australia. .A long discussion took place. On the question tf the extension of the term of itinerancy the Rev. Mr Morley moved that the provisions made by special Act of the New Zealand Parliament be agreed to. Mr Shepherd Allen moved an amendment limiting the term " itinerancy " to five years. A long and animated discussion followed, after which Mr Bnddle suggested verbal alterations in the motion. The Rev. Mr Morley accepted the suggestion, and the motion was carried by 66 to 15. Mr Allen's amendment was lost by 58 to 2L A committee consisting of Messrs Buddie, Flesher, and Egglestone was appointed to draw up a motion in its altered form. At the evening session it was resolved to take a decision on the question of the place of the next conference on Thursday. The Rev. Mr Fairclough moved that the principle of permissive legislation be extended to permit laymen to vote on the third reading of the stations.—After discussion the motion was lost, it being urged that the effect would be to interfere with the basis of Methodist union already adopted. Mr Blackwell moved an amendment of the laws to permit the adjournment of the circuit quarterly meetings.—The motion was lost after discussion.
Mr Murray moved that the president and secretary of the Geueral Conference be ex officio members of the succeeding conference. —This was carried by a large majority.
November 17. This morning, the'president (the Rev. H. T. Burgess) occupying the ehair, the supernumerary fund special report and balancesheet and the supernumerary ministers and ministers' widows' fund were read, together with recommendations of the Supernumerary Fund Committee. The balance-sheet showed the income of the fund to have been—lß94, £25.895 153 9d; 1895, £28,897 13s lid •: 1896, 29,385 13j 8d; total, £84,179 3a 4d. The expenditure for the same period left a balance in the bank and cash on hand on December 31, 1896, amounting to £7,682 13s Bd, while loans on mortgage totalled £8,259 14s Id. The capital account for the year ended December 31,1896, was £199,204 13» 9J, showing a reduction during three years of £13,137 12s 6d. In view of the continued shrinkage in the value of real
estates the Board of Treasurers had set aside £23,927 133 lid, making in all £43.927 13s lid reserved as provision for shrinkage in the value of securities and losses in interest. Since the last General Conference (1894) the sum of £7,756 had been invested in New South Wales and £6OO in Queensland. Practical difficulties had pnvented investment in New Zealand and South Australia. The numbers of supernumeraries and widows in 1894 were 68 and 56 respectively, and in 1896 "they numbered 71 and 62. The amounts paid as annuities for the three years had been £33,356 7s Bd. In view of the valuation report made by the Rev. John Cope, the Board were of opinion that the allowances to annuitants should be reduced for the next two years by 12£ per cent, from the scale of allowances as fixed by the General Conference of 1881, such reduction to take effect from March, 1896, to March, 1898, pending the action by the next General Conference.
Consideration of the Special Committee's recommendations occupied the whole morning session. The following recommendations were adopted.:—The arrears of ministers' subscriptions were ordered to be paid up at the rate of 20 per cent., fines to be strictly enforced ; the Committee's recommendation that allowances be reduced 12i per cent, were endorsed; ministers' subscriptions increased to seven guineas ; circuit contributions raised to £lO, payable quarterly to the conference treasurer ; annuities not payable until the eighth year of service. The provisions were also adopted relating to widows' allowances after a minister's second marriage.
Matters relating to the position of ministers of minor Methodist churches coming on to the fund after union, after a long discussion, were referred to a special committee for further consideration. It was decided that a committee of medical men be requested to consider the regulations for the medical examination of candidates and probationers in the ministry. The discussion was adjourned till Thursday morning. The Rev. W. Morley moved—" That the Conference express their concurrence in the following: «The Committee, after due inquiry, are satisfied that every care has been taken by the Board of Treasurers* to obtain reliable information as to the securities of the fund.' "—The Rev. W. H. Fitchett said there was no reason to question the prudence and fidelity of the Board, but Borne better method of administering the fund might be employed. They had £74,000 worth of surrendered properties on their hands, and these ought to be treated as a separate account, which had not been done by the Board. He hoped that the treasurers would adopt the suggestion for the future.—After discussion the motion was carried. The New Zealand Annual Conference were directed to appoint the Rev. VV. Isitt to circuit work, and also to consider the position of the Rev. L. M. Isitt. A Congregational Union deputation presented cordial greetings. November 18. Consideration of the supernumerary fund business was resumed on the Special Committee's report. The clause relating to the appointment of a board of treasurers was adopted, provision being made for a change in the personnel. It was decided that the Plampin bequest be invested in New Zealand, in accordance with the terms of the bequest, the New Zealand Conference to report to each General Conference. The Board of Advice nominated in each annual Conference is to confer with the Board of Treasurers. The church departments employing the services of a minister are required to pay £2 10i quarterly to the fund. The recommendation of the New Zealand Conference ic-lating to filling vacancies iu the acting treasurership during the intervals of the General Conference was referred to the Board for consideration and report.
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THE WISLEYAN METHODIST CONFERENCE., Evening Star, Issue 10474, 18 November 1897
THE WISLEYAN METHODIST CONFERENCE. Evening Star, Issue 10474, 18 November 1897
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