THE NEW CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS.
Yesterday, being the feast cf St. Michael and All Angels, was chosen as the most appropriate of days on which to lay the corner stone of the new church, the building of which is now, after much hope deferred, about to be commenced. It had been announced that the ceremony would be preceded Dy the solemnization of Divine service in the old church, at half-past eleven o'clock ; and before that time the church was crowded with persons, amongst whom were his Honor tho Superintendent, his Honor the Judge, and the Mayor and City Councillors. The services of the day were read by the Very Reverend the Dean, assisted by the Right Reverend the Primate of New Zealand, the Venerable Archdeacon Harper, and tbe Reverends Canons Wilson, and Dudley. The Primate read the Commandments, the Nicene Creed, and the Gospel for the day. 'Ihe Reverend Canon Wilson read the Epistle, and the Venerable Ar hdeacou Harper and the Reverend Canon Dud'ey read the leesons— the 32nd of Genesis and the 12th of the Acts of the Apostles, both containing narratives of the visits of angels to man on the earth. The responses were made by the following clergymen The Reverends ("anon Cotterill, W. W. Willock, E. A. Lingard, C. Bowen, J. W. Stack, J. Foulger, W. E. Paige, W. H. Cooper. W. J. G. Bluett, G. J. Cholmondeley, and L. Moore. After service the officiating clergy and the congregation proceeded to the site of the new building, which is on the grounds of the old church, and a little to the eastward of that edifice, where the special service of laying the stone commenced with the chanting ol the 127 th and 132 nd Psalms by the church choir. The Primate then addressed the congregation, and said, " Dearly beloved in the Lord, — Forasmuch as devout and hoy men, as well under the law as under the Gospel, moved lither by the sacred inspiration of the Blessed Spirit, or by express command of God, have erected houses for the public worship of the Lord, and separated them from all profane and c <mmon uses ; and forasmuch as in the 3rd chapter of the book of Ezra we have an express pattern set forth showing us how the people of God in laying the foundation of the second temple, did give thanks unto the Lord with great praise and prayer, let us not doubt that He favourably alloweth this charitable work of ours in meeting together this day to sanctify the commencement and progress of this holy building." Some passages of tbe morning service were then repeate 1 by the Primate, and Ihe re sponses were made by the people. After which, two lessons were read ; the first by tbe Venerable Archdeacon Il&rper, from the third chapter of I ( 'zra ; and the second by the Very Rev. the Dean, from the second chapter of First lrpistle of Peter. A hymn was now sung by the choir, and some prayers were said by the Primate, during which Mr Ainger, one of the churchwardens, deposited within a cavity beneath the stone which was to be laid, a glass cylinder containing the city newspapers of the day, and the following inscription written on parchment — In the name, and to the Glory Of the Eternal and Adorable Trinity, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, And in grateful remembrance of the high privilege we enj iy in the ministrations of those holy and blessed " ministering spirits sent forth, to minister for th;m who shall be heirs of Salvation." This Corner Stone Of the new Church of St MLhael and All Angels, About to be erected at the cost of the parishioners and others, in the place of, and on a site close adjoining the old Mother Church of the Canterbury settlement, Is laid By the Right Reverend Henry John Chitty Harper, D.D., Bishop Christchuruh, and Primate of New Zealand, On the Festival of St Michael and All Angels, Anno Domini M.D.C.C.C.L.X.X, In the XXXIVth. year of the Reign of Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. The Very Hey. Henry Jacobs, M. A., Dean of Christchurch, being Incumbent, Richard James Strachau Harman, and Henry James Ainger, beirg Churchward.u s. Richard Packer, Henry William Packer, James George Hawkes, John Edwin March, John Cowell Boys, George Hart, and I homas Mollet, being also members of the Building Committee, William Fitz-John Crisp being Architect, and Daniel Reese, Builder. Mr R. J. S. Harman read a copy of the above inscription to the congregation, and then the Primate, assisted by Mr Ainger and the builder, Mr D. Reese, laid the stone, saying— Through our Lord Jesu3 Christ we lay this stone in tbe name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in faith that this place hereafter to become the house of God, may be consecrated to prayer and the praise of His Holy name, Amen. Then followed some prayers by the Primate and praise by the congregation, and then his Lordship delivered his address in chief. He said he congratulated the congregation of St. Michael and All Angels on their having met together on the solemn occasion of laying the foundation stone of a new ohiuc!>, anil of celebrating »hat proceeding wi-li jir«)»r au-1 pmUe. '1 liuy hu-i lieriid ».
the lesson read from the Book of Fzra, that the foundation of the second temple had been laid with prayer and praises, and this of itself would be sufficient warrant for what they themselves had done on the present occasion. But, besides that justification, it seemed right that an edifice which which, if finished, was to be continued and ended in the service of God, should be begun with worshipping Him. The new building was about to replace one in which many of them had long worshipped, and they must contemplate the removal from the old church into that now to be reared with feelings of mingled joy and regret. And the regret was countenanced by that which was felt when the foundation of the second temple was laid ; for then the holy joy of the people was blended with the memory of past sorrows. The new church would be more suitable to the service of God, and that was a reason for laying aside their regrets and for rejoicing and being glad. The importance of building a house of God lay in its power to remind us of Him, and we needed everything we could obtain to remind us of Him. It was true that the works cf creation and the personal dispensations of good and evil brought Him to our minds, but there were liable soon to pass away from us, and therefore we needed to build a house of God that we might constantly be reminded of our dependence on Him, and of the worship due to Him. We needed something to force our attention upon things which were beyond this world ; we needed to have our spiritual life duly maintained ; and to do this there was no way so effectual as social and united worship. Other meins were not to be neglected, but if we did away with public worship our spiritual life would soon die *out. We should always remember the promise that where two or three were gathered together there would He be in the midst of them. And besides drawing us nearer to God, public worship also tended to draw us nearer to one another, and the more we made use of the house of God the greater the blessings that would be showered upon us. If we looked to the chapter of Ezra which had been read that day, we would also find an example of the gathering together of gold and silter for a purpose similar to that for which their own offerings would now be made. The 266 th hymn of the Supplement was then suug by the choir, during which a collection was made in aid of the building fund, and the bags containing the money were placed on the stone. The glorious Old Hundredth was pealed forth by the congregation ; and about fifty children of both sexes stepped up to the stone, one at a time, and each deposited thereon a bag containing money collected by the depositor, and labelled with his or her name. The Primate then read a prayer which brought the solemnities to a conclusion. The collection made on the ground amounted to ,£4l 0b 6d, and that presented by the children to £51 15s : total, £92 15s 6d.
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THE NEW CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS., Star, Issue 735, 30 September 1870
THE NEW CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS. Star, Issue 735, 30 September 1870
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