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DIOCESAN SYNOD., Otago Witness, Issue 2539, 12 November 1902
THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS — THE WOBE. Bishop Nevill delivered the following presidential address at the opening of the Anglican Synod on the 4th inst. : — Dear Brethren of the Clergy and of the Laity, — It is becoming that my first words to you to-day should have reference to the loss which the Church has sustained in the removal by death of our honoured Primate, the late Bishop of Auckland. I ' shall touch upon this subject more at length I should I be spared to address the Provincial Synod when it meets in Auckland, but at this time it is natural for me to remark that, however great the loss to the Church at large, that sense of loss is enchanced to me from the fact that a friend of over 35 years' standing is removed from my side. Our rcetories in Staffordshire were only some 15 miles apart, and I accepted several invitations from the late Primate to preach in his great Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Stafford. The removal of Mrs Cowie, toe» who so pathetically followed her husband after the briefest interval, carried me back in memory to their visit to our English home very shortly after their nuA'riage, and just before the Bishop, then newly consecrated, tailed for New Zealand. Of her bcautifnl life I need say nothing, for her -works do follow her. Of her death I may surely say it was fvlix opportunitate, and of both we may say, " Lovely in their lives, in death they were not divided." New Churches. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of our diocesan history during the past yetx is the large number of new churches which have been erected in the course of it. Eight new churches in one year would be a. I creditable record for a diocese containing ' a larger and richer church population than | our own ; and I am bold to say, as I do i most thankfully, that sucli a fact bears ■ emphatic witness both to the energy of our | clergy and to the self-denying loyalty of our , , lay people. The churches I refer to are the I following :• — St. Aidan's, at Alexandra, a .'tone church built upon a most suitable cite, which I had the pleasure of approving when spend- , nig a short visit at the house of Mr Rivers. jun., perhaps two years ago. Last aynod I I mentioned that the church was in progress, j and on the 18th of the December following I was able to open it for divine service. This large and very valuable church owee ite origin, indeed, to the vigour of the Rev. W H. Brown<\ lately vicar of the Dun«tan parish : hnt he himself would be the first to «iy that for it« to speedy completion we are indebted to the praiseworthy exertion* of the Rev. C. C. Oldh am and the band of faithful workers who generously supported him — notably, T must say, the Rivers family, sincp that family has stood unflinchingly to the Church throughout tho whole period of my episcopate, and in times when it seemed little likely that we should be able to build any church in Alexandra at all, much less one of such imposing proportion?. Should the Molynoux River again yield her treasures, I hope that some successful person will feel moved to bufld the western tower, which is needed, not only to carry
I bells, but to stand out as the central I ornament of the town. The new St. Mary's, Riverton, a great ornament to that very pretty place, is built upon a site kindly given by Mr Mills, than which for situation there could be no better, convenient as it is to both divisions of the town, and an attractive object to pleasureseekers on the estuary, the beauty of which makes me often wonder that Riverton is not more frequented as a holiday resort. When passing the other day I was glad to observe that the church grounds had been filled in and duly fenced, showing thac 1 the interest has beep kept up since the opening o r he building. I hope my dear friends will shortly turn their attention to the ; very necessary work of erecting a vicarage i house upon the old church ground. Riverton is almost the oldest parish in the diocese; it is also the ecclesiastical centre of a large district v.hich should combine for the accomplishment of this important work. The : clergyman ought not to have to pay house ' rent out of his small stipend. Two other churches have been opened within the Riverton charge during the year, an event, I should think, unique in the history of any I pariph. Three churches built in one year. I visited Otautau in May last for the purpose of opening ihe new church there, but finding it not quite ready, that function was subsequently performed by Archdeacon Stocker, who kindly acted in my stead. On the sth of October I was again in Mr Davidson's district to open the commodious and somewhat imposing church which has been built upon a site very kindly presented by Mr Scandrett, one of the layrepresentatives of this diocese in the General Synod. There were five services held in this new church on the occasion referred to — viz., the sacraments of holy communion and baptism, confirmation, the opening of the church with morning prayer, and evensong, with a third sermon. I gave the name of St. Faith as that which I proposed to attach to this church, and was much gratified to find that this dedication was found to bo quite acceptable. Passing on to Fortrose, I opened on the following Tuesday evening another very suitable church, erected by. the brave efforts of a very small community upon a purchased site. A gale was blowing "on that evening, but it neither shook the building nor hindered the attendance of the people. I trust that both the material and spiritual edifice are strongly built. Many devoted clergymen have given of their best to this little place, from dear John Hobbss downwards to the present vicar. I hope in a very short time i.o be able to consecrate this church, which will be called St. Cyprian's. It is virtually free from debt. In the month of April last Archdeacon Robinson kindly visited Diptoa at my request to open the new church, of which I laid the foundation [ some months before. I have not yet seen I the completed church, but I understand it is entirely satisfactory, and it is built upon a valuable site most kindly given by Mr M'Laughliu, who was also a very ' generous Fubpcribnr to the building , fund. I Every credit is also due to other church ! people m Dipton for their steadfast sup- ' port under somewhat trying circumstances. Dipton is under the charge of the Rev. W. O. Wood, whose energetic labours are extended to Lumsden and the Wai roe* Plains. The great dearth of young clergy has pre- [ vented my being able to supply him with an assistant. The same fact is starving our | work in several osher places, both town | and country. Wonld to God that some of | our people would be moved to devote their sons to the service of Christ in the sacred ministry of his Church, or at least to assist I in the education of others who have the will but not the power to prepare for this. Happy as I have been in my vuits to the aforenamed places, I think that none of them afforded ire greater •encouragement than I derived from my visit to Waipiata, where, on the 15th of June, I was able to consecrate, as being free from debt, the very well-designed brick church which had just been completed. Waipiata, though as I think destined to importance from, its situation on the Maniototo Plain, is at present a very email place. The church I owes its existence to the united action of all, and the very suitable and ample site \va* presented by a Presbyterian gentlemnn whose name I am not sure that I am at liberty to mention May the present harmonious relations over icontinue to characterise the place. The church was dedicated to the memory of St. Clement, the very early Bishop of Rome, believed to be the Clement whose praise is in the Gospels. It is through no fault of the Rev. A. D. Mitchell or other person that I have not been able to give official opening to the church which ha.3 now been completed at Pembroke. The long-continued gale at tlie end of September rendered travelling over the Crown Range very difficult, if not impcsoible, on account of the depth of the snow at that elevation. I had therefore to cut off the northern part of a long toor which I hnd projected, and hope now to make that journey shortly after the close of this synod. The" formal institution" of the Rev. W. A. R. Fitchett to the parish of Dints tan has been deferred for the same reason. A very important purchase ha* been completed at the Bluff, by which the sehoolhouee and 6ite, very centrally situated, now become church property; and as an architect is now engaged upon planning the necessary alterations to transform the building into a church, with a schoolhouse or hallj I trust that ere loaa w« «haJl be very
I suitably equipped in that growingly important seaport. Not only i» the abovementioned property paid for, but, through the praiseworthy efforts of the Ladies' Guild and the Church Committee, money has been raised which it is hoped will suffice to effect the necessary alterations. Of other projects in church building it will probably be best to speak on another occasion. Next to the enumeration of these new churches and properties will naturally come improvements and payment of debts on existing ones. The synod will learn with (satisfaction that the reduction of our liabilities has gone on step by step with the enlargement of our machinery. The greatest achievement of this kind during the past year has been the raising of £1000 in reduction of the debt on the Cathedral. It is manifest that so splendid a result could not have been accomplished without much selfdenial and sustained effort. The whole diocese is under a deep obligation to these who have made it, for though it is natural"" and right that the regular worshippers in the Cathedral and residents within the Cathedral district should be foremost in this work, yet it must never be forgotten that as St. Paul's belongs to the whole diocese, so the debts upon it are the debts of the diocese. In Canterbury a very large sum — about £14,000, I believe — has recently been raised towards the completion of their cathedral, by efforts spread over the whole diocese. We are not yet, indeed, in a position to begin building ' a cathedral worthy of the name, but it is surely right for our diocese to prepare the way lor such a work, and. to relieve the chapter of its present strain by aiding the removal of the present burthens. The parishioners of St. John's, Roslyn, 'have in like manner bravely done their part. The snm of £300 has been raised in the first year of effort towards the liquidation of a debt of £700 or £800. . We ha.v© now, , I think, only seven churches in the whole diocese with debts upon them, except in the case of some of those newly opened, and all of these seven are in Dunedin and its neighbourhood. We possess 60 churches, besides some other building 3. The parishioners of All Saints' have not, indeed, addressed themselves to the payment of their debt, but they have spent a considerable sum upon the renovation of their church ; while both that and St. Matthew's have been much beautified by the addition of certain memorial windows. Green Island has paid off the encumbrance on its Sunday School building. We shall have to present our diocesan returns to tht General Synod of 1904. With perhaps two or three exceptions, I think it would be possible for us to say at that date that we had no debts upon the churches of this diocese ; it would be worth a strugele to be able to make so unique a statement. Clerical Change?. I have but few clerical changes within the diocese to report. The Roy. W. Swinburn succeeded the Rev. D. C. Bates at Gladstone and the Bluff, and, like his energetic predecessor, has thrown himself also into the nrissiouary work at Stewart Island. Mr Bates, who laboured with his usual assiduity in the very difficult post of army chaplain, has now cliarge of Hamilton, in the dioeeae of Auckland. Mr Browne having left for his English parish, the Board of Nominators selected and presented to me for appointment the Rev. William Alfred Robertson Fitchett, M.A., late of Selwyn College, Cambridge. We are glad to welcome back to our fellowship in work and friendship the son of our Dean, who began his studies for the sacred ministry in Selwyn College. Dunedin. Judging from affectionate lettera received from Mr Browne on. hie _ Homeward journey. I think I may cay his heart is still in New Zealand. The Rev. E. L. Woodhouse, 8.A., son of a Canon of Manchester Cathedral, is working acceptably as assistant curate to Canon King in Caversham, and as one result of his advent a Sunday school ha» been opened in a part of that overgrown parish, which has made a good beginning. T recently ordained one of the Selwyn College studonte, Frank Tubman, 8.A.. to be deacon assistant to the Rev. W. CurzonSiggers, vicar of St. Matthew's. Selwyn College. I ■ The good name won for our Divinity School in its early days is being well maintained under the present auspices, the results of the examinations recently held bringing credit alike to tutor and students. It would be a good thing if a school could be established for youths who aspired to devote their lives to the highest of all callings — viz., the calling of God. This should be in the true sense of the word a grammar school, &c that scholarship in Latin, Greek, and perhaps also Hebrew, might not die out among our clergy. Degrees in arta might I>e thus- taken at an early age and the Divinity School entered with a good founda- ' tion laid for the deeper study of theology. Several of the alumni of Selwyn have sub- , milted themselves to examination under the Australian Board of Theology. It ought to be possible for divinity certificates and degrees to be obtained within our own province, and my mind is engaged upon a scheme of closer union with our several theological colleges which should contribute to this sod upon a satisfactory basis. j I cannot conclude this report of our work and the doers of it without allusion to certain institutions which, though not directly connected with the synod, nor under it 3 authority, are, nevertheless, diocesan in a very true sense of the word. They are under the sanction and guidance of the Bishop, and they are ministered to by chap- [
lams who hold the Bishop's license so id minister, but most of all they are diooesant in the services— r hardly to be exaggerated in importance — which . they i render to the Church and the causa of religion generally.. You will anticipate my saying that I refer chiefly to St. Hilda's Collegiate School and! to the Mission House as a place of residence) and work for deaconesses I am indeed! happy in the success which has go far be©» vouchsafed to these invaluable institutions, and devoutly thankful that such helper* have been given to me as the workers mC each of these institutions. Of the school I need say nothing, save that I have reason to believe that a real religious awakening: is, by God's grace and the instrumentality of the work, not infrequently excited int the hearts of the children. As to the work of the mission, I have asked the e Sister Superior to bfe so good as to furnish mm with a ehort report, which I propose to lay upon the table, and will ask the secretary tot read at a convenient opportunity during our*' session. No mere report could give at all an adequate impression of "the work done either in quantity or quality, but it is desirable that the more distant parts of tho diocese should have their interest in this work stimulated, and -also as there- was much concern evinced in. our discussions last year as to the visitation of the hospital and gaol, it will show that I have been thus able somewhat to meet that need. It i» far frai^ my thought that the* work of deaconesses can be a substitute for that oE a clergyman, either in parishes or. in. such ■ institutions as I have named; but a»J» auxiliary thereto, and oftentimes reaching" where the clergyman cannot, their services arc- simply invaluable, and I must impress it upon our people everywhere- that demands upon the labour and sympathetic effort off the workers come up continually from the> country. There is a very important depart— ment of women's work, and that of a most* distressing character, which we are unable, as yet to undertake systematically for wanfc of funds to maintain workers beyond those paid for as general assistants in parishes. I earnestly solicit regular subscriptions to the mission work, to be sent to th» Rev. W. Curzon-Siggers, the- financial manager. In these ways, then, and in the less formal shape of ladies' guilds, to the mem' bera of which we owe an immeasurableobligation. We are at length restoring * long-paralysed arm to effective us© in tha Church. I mean the services of women. Women who ministered to the Lord's body physical were surely foreordained to minister to His body mystical, and I thank God that thus much of my early design is now accomplished. But of another arm, but weakly employed as yet: I mean the services of young men. Whether as Neaniskoi or Diakonoi — that is, whether as young men who will offer such opportunity and strengtbi as they posses to church work, or as th» regular ministers of the sanctuary, we need both. I have always thought that all our larger churches, should have several deacons attached to them, certainly the Cathedral, and to this end I tried long ago to get the canonical age for ordination to the diaconate lowered to 21, with a view to restoring? this ministry to general use in the Church* J did not succeed in overcoming the objections, -though I never desired to lower theage for admission to the priesthood. This question will come up again r but if we cannot have the deacon, let v*. at lea«t use the young man. These are plenty of themf in Dtmedin; perhaps they go -so* much tq waste because the Church has not laid hold of them strongly enough. I. have, for this reason, sought to establish a~ branch off that society so wonderfully vigorous - jro America — the Brotherhood of St. Andirew* A few young men are doing very good worii in this society, but we want many more* There is very much for such men to do. I want clergy to «?nliet the suitable and devout ones for active eervice. The teaching at the, Industrial School lias broken down. We want a Bible class at the Benevolent among the old people. There are ne-> glected districts within reach of Dunedin where Sunday work is much needed. Selfdenying work and regular prayer are tho two rules of the brotherhood. In the montf* of October just passed a great gathering of deloppates of this brotherhood from all parts of America, assembled in Boston to> consult together as to how best the yotragj men of that country may labour for Christ and His Church. I pray earnestly that the wave of spiritual energy starting from that; centre may extend to us. We want young; men, not to go forth into the dark with the dead bodies of worldlings, like those* of Ananias and Sapphira, but to bring in to the pulsating centres of light and spiritual vitality- the wandering strangers who hay* not yet found out the way. This synod may aid in all our work by rising to a higher 1 standard in the appreciation of our task,—* (Applause.) *
■Several case* of scarlet fever are reported at Naseby. Hydraulic buffer stops for stopping train* at the end of a line have, been; tried successfully at Altona by the engineers of the German State railways. They withstood the shocks of a train of 200 tons at a speed of 11 mike an hour. Some of those who do not agree with the action of the Kaitangata butchers in resolr. ing to give no credit in the future propose' to start a co-operative butchery there, but the project «o far is receiving very littM cncouxagexoeil&i
DIOCESAN SYNOD., Otago Witness, Issue 2539, 12 November 1902
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