Project Canterbury

Six Months of a Newfoundland Missionary's Journal
from February to August, 1835.
by Archdeacon Edward Wix [1802-1866]

second edition
London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1836.

An Appeal on Behalf of the Protestant Episcopalians of the Town of St. John's, Newfoundland

The town of St. John's contains above 13,000 souls; about 8,000 are Roman Catholics, and the remaining 5,000 are principally attached to the Protestant Church; and it is for the poor emigrant Protestant Settlers in Newfoundland that this appeal is made to the British public for the erection of a new Protestant Episcopal Church in the capital of the Island. The present church in St. John's does not accommodate more than 800 persons. There are two Dissenting meeting-houses--one a Wesleyan, the other a Scotch place of worship. These Chapels contain about 500 in each; this leaving about 3,000 Protestants without any accommodation in a place of worship; whilst a second Popish chapel is soon to be erected in our capital--and this in a colony where the state of society equals, if it do not exceed, in ignorance, superstition, and insubordination, the worst parts of Ireland. This want of Church-room exists in a town where intermarriages between Roman Catholics are lamentably frequent--in a town where a resident Roman Catholic Bishop and three or four Priests are not only most zealous and indefatigable in their spiritual duties and endeavours to make converts, but where they also use every means in their power to encourage the natural superstition of the people; and by forbidding the children of Roman Catholic parents attending Protestant Schools, they effectually keep them in that best suits their false and idolatrous doctrines.

A Nunnery has been established, where a variety of fancy work is taught, to induce the Protestant children to attend the school attached to the establishment; and no scheme of allurement or intimidation is omitted to ensnare the poor and ignorant into the trap laid for them. A number of Roman Catholic females, called "Confraternity Women," are constantly employed about the town amongst the sick and dying, to impress upon the minds of the weak the advantages arising to all who die in the profession of the Romish faith.

You who value the religious privileges by which you are surrounded!--you who have found comfort from our beautiful Liturgy!--you who have families around you, and know not to what part of the world Providence may eventually call them!--you whoa re engaged in that most interesting employment, the Parish Sunday-school!--you who there watch and pray for your pupils, leading them to Christ the Saviour, and the Holy Spirit the Sanctifier--looking upon them as the heads of future families who may be scattered through the wilds of America, or settled amongst idolaters, infidels, or scoffers!--you who love the Church of your fathers, for which Martyrs have suffered and bled!--you who remember that the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, which is now a blessing to millions, is a scion from our English Church, the fruit of a seed sown by English Missionaries, watered by English bounty, blessed by HIM who has given her an abundant increase! To you this appeal will not be made in vain, for funs to build a new Protestant Episcopal Church in St. John's, Newfoundland. Two Thousand Pounds are immediately required for the project building, which will be considerably enlarged if a generous public should put a sufficient sum in the hands of the Archdeacon of Newfoundland, who has commenced the building on his own responsibility.

Project Canterbury