Project Canterbury










transcribed by David and Norma Sharp
AD 2001

To the Most Reverend the Lord Archbishop
of Canterbury.


I beg respectfully to lay before your Grace the following printed Statement of the unrighteous treatment which I and my Congregation and Parishioners of   Holy Trinity. Bordesley, have received.

I should have made, in proper form, a canonical Appeal to your Grace, but for the fact that the present anomalous condition of the relations between Church and State, and the consequent condition of Ecclesiastical judicature, render such an Appeal nugatory.

I can only trust that the following pages may strengthen the efforts of those who are seeking to amend a condition of "law," which makes such a statement possible, and that thus our sufferings shall not have been endured in vain.

I am, my Lord Archbishop,

Your Grace's faithful Servant,


Care of Jacob Rowlands, Esq.,
121, Colmore Row, Birmingham,
April 30th, 1883

At the commencement of my Prosecution a common idea seemed to prevail that the Parish of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, was pleasantly situated in the country, some miles removed from Birmingham. The fact being that Holy Trinity was taken in 1823 out of the very extensive parish of Aston, and became the mother church of "the ancient Hamlet of Bordesley," which now contains several other churches, and has for many years formed a very populous part of the town of Birmingham. The population of Holy Trinity is 12,500, or, with the populations of two other ecclesiastical Districts—S. Alban’s; and All Saints', Small Heath-not yet completely separated from it, upwards of 33,000. The population are mostly of the artizan or working classes.

I was offered the Benefice of Holy Trinity, Birmingham, in 1874, the year of the passing of the Public Worship Regulation Act. That Act was avowedly passed with the intention of "stamping out" of the Church of England clergy and laity holding my principles—principles which we believe to be the most faithful embodiment of the Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline of the reformed Church of England. When the offer of Holy Trinity was made to me by the late Vicar of Aston, at the instance of. friends, I at once bethought me of the Act just passed. I was well acquainted with the opinions of the Bishop of Worcester, and therefore, before applying to him for a licence, I made up my mind that if he raised any difficulty I should at once decline the offer of Holy Trinity. I should have done so, had the Bishop replied to my application for his licence in anywise as follows: -"I am bound to inform you that the Ritual practice of your predecessor, Dr. Oldknow, was in several respects contrary to the now ascertained law of our Church, and if you should be proceeded against under the Public Worship Regulation Act I should be unable to protect you, unless you should be willing to alter such practice. I therefore hope that you will undertake to bring the Ritual of Holy Trinity into accordance with the law of our Church as laid down by the Courts of the Realm." Instead of any such reply, I received upon applying for the Bishop's Licence, a most kind note, from him, in which he said:-"I have much pleasure in welcoming you to the Diocese of Worcester." I naturally interpreted the Bishop’s reply to mean that as a clever man, a good lawyer, and an excellent man of business, having made himself acquainted with my antecedents as set forth in "Crockford," and having perused my papers, he was determined to stand by me so long as I did not innovate upon the well-known opinions and practices of my learned and venerable predecessor, Dr. Oldknow. I therefore thankfully accepted his Licence, and "read myself in" upon All Saints' Day, 1874.

The Bishop continued to treat me with uniform kindness, and held two Confirmations in Holy Trinity previous to 1878. Upon the first of these occasions he conversed with me about matters at Holy Trinity, and shewed himself to be fully aware of all points in which our ways and practices were contrary to various decisions of the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council. This I also took as an encouraging sign of the protection which I might expect from the Bishop.

My surprise and grief were therefore proportionately great, when, in 1878, the Bishop permitted an order of events to commence and go forward, which necessitated either my trampling under foot my conscientious convictions of duty, or my endangering the surrender of my cure to persons whom I considered to be the avowed enemies of the Truth of God, as embodied in the Articles and other formularies of the Church of England. Had I had any previous warning, I should never have endangered the interests of Holy Trinity, by accepting its incumbency. I therefore could not but think that I had not been fairly treated in the matter of my entrance upon that charge. At least I had not been treated as I should have felt it right to treat another under similar circumstances.

It is my duty, as it is my humble desire, in no way to overstate my case. I am also bound to believe the best of the intentions and acts of the Bishop. I would therefore testify to the fact that when I was threatened with prosecution, the Bishop appeared to be very grieved at the prospect, and he discouraged it as much as he could short of preventing it altogether. That he might consistently have followed the latter course will be obvious from the fact that whereas there must be the gravest doubts as to any real "lawlessness" on my part, the branches of Church law upon the part of the "Church Association" [1] clergy are glaring and manifold. [2] Why could not the Bishop have made the same answer to my enemies that was made some years ago on a similar occasion by Bishop Lonsdale, of Lichfield, namely, that he might be ready to allow a certain prosecution, if those who were moving him were willing to have their own illegalities and delinquencies treated in a similar manner? A just statesman-like, and sensible answer which nipped the intended prosecution in the bud!

Looking at the Bishop's Charges in 1868, 1874, and 1877, I cannot see that he can blame anyone but himself for the trouble that has occurred. He seems in those Charges to invite prosecutions in the plainest manner. For instance, in his Charge in 1877 he says: -

The voice of the governing power in Parliament has prescribed the conditions under which our Churches are to be used . . . If existing means are not sufficient, the legislature will provide others for the enforcement of obedience.

Here, as always, the Bishop entirely ignores the Church’s constitutional and legal right to a voice in her own sacred affairs. It is noteworthy that this Charge was delivered shortly before the appearance upon the scene of Mr. John Perkins.

Upon Easter Tuesday, 1878, our Easter Vestry, which used to be attended by some half dozen persons was suddenly invaded by a number of men, several of whom were Dissenters, who carried by a show of hands Mr.John Perkins as Parish Churchwarden. My supporters present immediately demanded a poll. This, upon my urgent request, was not proceeded with, as I was averse to disturbing the peace of the parish. A similar election of Parish Churchwarden took place at Easter, 1879. My opposition to a poll created, I found, wide-spread dissatisfaction throughout the parish; but my motive was peace, and I trust I acted rightly, however much subsequent events may have led me to doubt at least the worldly wisdom of the course which I then deliberately adopted.

Immediately after Easter, 1878, Mr. Perkins, acting; under the counsel and direction of the misnamed "Church. Association," [3] commenced a series of annoyances to me and the Congregation and Parishioners—including five inflammatory Lectures, and Sermons, in the immediate neighbourhood repeated circulation at every house in the Parish of "Church Association" and other abusive literature, repeated placarding of the Parish against me, a self-styled "Parish. Committee" [4] constantly meeting to concoct plans of injury, and other efforts. All he succeeded in doing was to exasperate the Parish more and more against himself.

It is worthy of notice that when one of these Lectures; by a Dr. Wainwright, was afterwards repeated in Wolverhampton, with a view to injure another clergyman there the following incident occurred. The Rural Dean of Wolverhampton, Mr. Bolland, himself a member of the "Church Association," was present at the Lecture. So deeply did the truthful and charitable eloquence of the "Church Association" champion affect him that, according to the Wolverhampton papers, he wrote a letter that night to the Secretary of the local branch of the "Church Association" saying that he could not go to bed until he had written to say that he must place his charity above his Protestantism, and resign his position in a branch that could allow so uncharitable and unchristian a Lecture to be delivered.

Mr. Perking shortly after Easter, according to the usual tactics of the "Church Association" in similar cases, presented a Paper of charges against me to the Bishop of the Diocese, calling upon him to use his fatherly influence to induce me to desist from my various supposed "illegalities" in the Communion Service, or connected therewith.

The Bishop asked me for an explanation.

At a personal interview and in a written statement I replied to the charges as follows:

As regards the charges or the Paper: -

1.- I would say, generally, that I have continued the Ritual of this Church substantially as I found it.

2. - Several of the charges are not true.

I have continued the Processions which I found here, on great Festivals

I have never used and have never directed or sanctioned "Prostrations," and have never seen them used in this Church; but I can readily understand persons belonging to a section of opinion which has not learnt even to kneel, not appreciating ordinary acts of reverence towards Almighty God.

I never do more nor sanction more than to "humbly present and place" "the decent Basin" "upon the Holy Table." I am not aware of having ever in this Church practised or sanctioned the ceremony technically termed "Elevation" of the consecrated Elements.

We have never worn Birettas during any Service.

I have never done, nor sanctioned anything being done, to hinder anyone from seeing the Officiating Minister break the Bread or take the Cup into his hands. A

considerable number of the communicants can, if they so desire, see every action of the Celebrant.

I have never prostrated myself, nor even knelt, or sanctioned, such ceremony upon the part of the Officiating Minister, "in the Consecration Prayer."

The Cross has been in its present position for many years.

3. - In arranging and conducting Divine Service, I have anxiously cared for the needs of all the parishioners.

(1). When I became Incumbent there was a late celebration of Holy Communion only on the first Sunday in the month. I put on an additional late celebration on the other Sundays in the month.

But we always have Morning Prayer and Sermon on Sundays at 10.30 a.m. proceeding, and as a separate service from the second celebration of Holy Communion. So it is only on the dog-in-the-manger principle that persons who habitually absent themselves from our Celebrations can desire to mar, or take away (which I believe to be their real object), additional services deeply valued by others.

(2). But, moreover, to meet the possible requirements of any persons in the parish who may desire a plainer service, we always. have had the celebration of the Holy Communion at midday on the first Sunday in the month, without Lights or Vestments, &c. I should have celebrated it with even more plainness than at present had I had reason to think such would be acceptable to any persons. But the objectors, more suo, have not attended it.

In reference to any points truly stated in the Paper the Congregation since this matter was first broached have repeatedly expressed their belief that your Lordship will not listen to the complaints of persons who in no way represent them, and whose present conduct they indignantly resent as all impertinent interference; but will continue to consider, and treat with fatherly justice, the convictions and wishes of an old and united congregation, which desires earnestly to be faithful to the Reformed Church of England, and deeply values the spiritual privileges it has had for many years.

I would append a few general statistics in reference to parts of our work, 38 showing that it does not seem deserving of being reproved or crippled.

1. -The whole endowment of this Church is £100 per annum. For the rest of our Church income for all purposes (between eight and nine hundred [5] a year) we are entirely dependent on our people, with the exception of £50 a year from A.C.S. By thus heartily supporting their Church, parish work, and Clergy, the Congregation show that they appreciate the way this Church is conducted; and have by plain and abundant signs proved that the blessing of God has rested upon our manner of conducting Divine Service.

2. - (1). From Easter, 1877, to Easter, 1878, there has been an increase in Communions made in this Church of 1,390 over the corresponding period last year.

(2). This Easter there was an increase of 105 Communicants over the number in Easter, 1877; and the total number of Communicants this Easter was only 36 less than double the whole number of Communicants at Easter, 1875. On most of the Great Festivals last year the Communicants, were more than double the number two years ago.

(3). Last year, we baptised 668 persons, including 27 adults, which is an increase of 339 over the previous year.

(4). Last year we presented 146 candidates for Confirmation, including 65 males.

(5). Last year there were preached in this parish more than 300 Sermons and Addresses, and considerably over 1,000 separate Services were held, excluding occasional offices.

Most respectfully I submit the above to your Lordship's fatherly consideration.

The following endorsement was appended to the above statement of facts:

We hereby, in our own names, and in the name of the Congregation of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, heartily endorse the above statement of the Vicar.

Vicar's Warden for past year.

Vicar's Warden for the present year,
and Parish Warden for the past two year;.

I should here mention that a Mr. William Adkins [6] had been in the habit of going to Mr. Thomas Harris who preceded Mr. John Perkins as Parishioners’ Churchwarden, and trying to stir him up to oppose me. Mr. Harris and I consulted together upon the subject many times, and I repeatedly offered to modify the Services, should the Congregation, or any reasonable number of Parishioners, make me a request to that effect. But no such request was made to me, and, as far as the Congregation was concerned, I, who must know best the feelings of the Congregation generally, never could ascertain that any such wish was entertained by more than a very few individuals. Upon the last occasion Mr. Adkins told Mr. Harris that he would go to a Mr. Greening [7], and get his assistance to prosecute me.

The result of my explanation to the Bishop was that he directed me to give up four of the points complained of, viz.: -

(1). The two Eucharistic Lights when not wanted for the purpose of giving light:

(2). The Chasuble and Alb:

(3). The Ceremonial Mixing of Water with the Wine in the Communion Service: and

(4). Making the Sign of the Cross towards the congregation in the Communion Service.

As the two first of these four points are commanded by the Ornaments Rubric, with unfeigned and deep distress I expressed my inability to conform to the Bishop’s "Direction" on those two points. But I expressed my readiness to conform myself on the other two; considering that, although I believed I had a right to continue them, yet, possibly it came within his canonical discretion to prohibit them. I added that I believed to obey my Bishop, if possible, was my plain duty.

The Bishop expressing himself unable to accept my offer, I made two further offers. I offered either to obey him on all four points at and after 11 a.m., on Sundays; or if he would satisfy my scruples as to obedience to decrees of what I held to be the usurped jurisdiction of a mere State Court, by giving me a canonical trial before himself, I promised to conform implicitly to his judgement, pending the result of an appeal on my part to the Convocation of Canterbury.

The Bishop expressed himself unable to accept, any of these propositions.

Could I reasonably have been expected to offer the Bishop more? [8]

A number of respectful remonstrances were sent to the Bishop by different persons, and one signed by a number of the oldest members of the congregation, stating their value of the services, and that I had only kept up the Ritual which I had inherited from Dr. Oldknow, and which I was placed at Holy Trinity expressly to continue. Several members of our late Congregation have attended Holy Trinity for so long periods as 55 and 53 years.

So the matter ended until Easter, 1879, when Mr. John Perkins made a "Representation" against me to the Bishop, under the Public Worship Regulation Act.

The Bishop wrote to me to say that as I had not submitted to him upon all the four points, he had "with very great grief stated to the Registrar of the Diocese that proceedings must be taken."

Upon this certain influential Birmingham Churchmen, unexpectedly to me, asked my permission to enter into treaty with my enemies as to a possible compromise of the matters in dispute.

They asked what I was willing to surrender, and the one amongst them whose judgement on any such matter must carry great weight—the Stipendiary Magistrate of Birmingham, Mr. T. C. Sneyd Kynnersley—expressed his opinion in writing as follows;

I think Mr. Enraght's offer is one which ought to satisfy any reasonable person.

But the disturbers of our Parish and work were not "reasonable persons," and the kind efforts of these gentlemen were rejected. The one of them who was foremost in the negotiations told me at the time that Mr. Adkins stated to him that my offer would have been accepted by the [so-called] "Parish Committee," only that Mr. Greening was not satisfied.

That none might be able to say that I had not done all that was possible for the peace of the parish without altogether sacrificing my conscientious convictions, I subsequently sought an interview with the promoters of my prosecution, and offered -

(1). To put our Sunday Choral Celebration at 9.45 a.m.; and have, every Sunday, Matins, Litany, and Sermon at 11 a.m.; although I knew such an arrangement would be most inconvenient for worshippers at the Choral Celebration;

(2). To give them one or two monthly Sunday Celebrations, without any of the points complained of. I had all along given one.

(3). Never to have Processions before or after the 11 a.m. Sunday Service, as in any way connected with it;

(4). To cease signing myself with the Cross, and bowing my head at the Gloria, at Sunday Matins and Evensong, and the Celebrations specially held for them;

(5). To disuse at Sunday Matins and Evensong and the before-mentioned Celebrations, an Altar Frontal to which they raised objection;

(6). And altogether to try and make them satisfied as far as might be in my power, without giving up what I and my congregation held to be of principle.

Could I possibly have done more?

Many Churchmen will think that I thus offered far too much, but my offer was rejected. I knew that it would be when, upon entering the room, I saw Mr. Greening there. He argued against me throughout the interview, and plainly was determined to prevent all reconciliation.

Thereupon I sent the Correspondence which had taken place between the Bishop and myself to the printer, with the intention of at once publishing it, as the date of my trial before Lord Penzance was fixed, and this was my only resource in justification of an unhappy position so capable of misinterpretation and misrepresentation.

But the unexpected action of the Convocation of Canterbury, on Friday, July 4th, 1879, compelled me to change my course.

My contention has uniformly been that only Convocation - that is the authority which placed the Ornaments Rubric in the Prayer Book - could abrogate it, and certainly the only authority in the Province of Canterbury which has any sort of right to dispense from its observance is the Convocation of the Province. In the course of my correspondence with the Bishop I had more than once, to prove my dutifulness and my desire for peace, expressed my readiness to abide by any decision of the Convocation of Canterbury upon the matters in dispute between us.

When, therefore, both Houses of the Convocation of Canterbury, on [9] July 4th, passed a Rider to the Ornaments Rubric to the effect that the Eucharistic Vestments should not be used in a Parish Church, "contrary to the monition of the Bishop of the Diocese," I was much distressed by such unexpected action; but I felt that no other course was open to me than to submit to the Bishop’s Direction on the question of Vestments. I, however, determined to go far beyond my promise to the Bishop, and to submit to him upon the four points of his Direction. [10]

The Bishop, in consequence, wrote to the promoter of my prosecution upon July 12, 1879, as follows: -

The Vicar of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, has written to tell me that, having regard to recent resolutions adopted by the Convocation of the province of Canterbury, he has determined to comply with the directions which I gave him, in regard to his conduct of divine service, in the month of June, 1878. These directions were [the four recited above]. If the Vicar had notified to me his intention to comply with these directions within the time limited by the Public Worship Regulation Act after my receipt of your Representation, I should have felt it to be my duty to state that proceedings ought not to be taken on the Representation, on the ground that his conduct of divine service would be hereafter in all material points in conformity with the law and order of the Church of England. The Representation, however, having now been transmitted to the Archbishop, I have no power to interfere to stop proceedings; but I think it right to make you acquainted with the present disposition and intention of the Vicar, that you may have the opportunity, if you are so disposed, to stay the suit in its present early stage. I shall be truly glad if, the main grounds of complaint having been thus removed, the peace of the parish may be protected from litigation.

The prosecutor, having taken counsel with the "Church Association" and Mr. Jeune, replied to the Bishop, refusing to stop the prosecution. Such is a sample of their boasted "support of Episcopal authority."

Subsequently I was tried by Lord Penzance upon August 9th, 1879.

Here I should say that in the "Representation" there were several distinct mis - "representations."

1. - It was represented that I "set up and placed, in 1875, a metal cross on the ledge above the Communion Table."

The Cross was in the same position for at least five years before I became Incumbent in 1874.

2. - It was represented that I stood at the West side of the Communion Table during the Prayer of Consecration "with the intention of preventing the people seeing [me] break the bread [and] take the Cup in [my] hand."

All who know me are aware that I never hide my ministrations from any one. The charge was false and ridiculous.

3. – It was represented that I "knelt when saying the Prayer of Consecration."

I have never done so.

4. - It was represented that, "while officiating in the Communion Service," I have "kissed the Service Book."

However harmless or pious such a ceremony may be, I have never been an advocate for multiplying unnecessary ceremonies, and I have never once used this ceremony since my Ordination.

5. - It was represented that I caused the "Agnus" to be sung after the Prayer of Consecration.

It had been discontinued for more than a year previously.

6. - It was represented that, "when officiating in the Communion Service and in the administration of the Holy Communion," I have "worn a vestment known as a biretta."

I have never done so.

7. - It was represented that I "caused to be formed a procession" "without any break or interval" between it and "Morning Service," "and as connected with and being the beginning of and a part of the rites and ceremonies of public worship."

This is absolutely untrue.

8. - Moreover, although it was a matter of notoriety that as regarded the four very important points of the Bishop's "Direction," I was at the time of my trial conforming to his "Direction," yet the four points were nevertheless retained in the "Representation."

These are but samples of the recklessness with which attacks are made upon clergymen by the "Church Association."

As I could not recognize Lord Penzance or his court, which derives its authority - not from "this Church and Realm," but solely from an Act of Parliament, as having any spiritual jurisdiction over me, I was unable conscientiously to defend myself before it. The whole of the charges were in consequence taken as true by Lord Penzance, and I was condemned. If I had been able to appear and plead, there can be no doubt that the issue would have been different, inasmuch as, since I obeyed the Bishop, there were really no valid charges remaining against me.

According to all the ordinary principles or justice the Bishop should have required the "Representation" to be reformed before forwarding it to the Archbishop, inasmuch as he was convinced that it contained several false charges. The following are proofs of this. Upon July l0th, 1878, he had written to the prosecutor as follows;

Among the practices which you enumerate as illegalities committed in the course of service, there are some with regard to which the Vicar assures me that you and others who have observed him are mistaken as to the facts. There are others, again, which I am not able to declare to be illegal, or say that in allowing them the Vicar exceeds the limits of discretion permitted to a minister. There, are, however, some which I am obliged to consider as not permissible by the law of the Church of England. I have directed the Vicar to discontinue these practices; but I regret to say that hitherto he has not thought right to submit himself to my directions with regard to all of them.

I had offered in 1878 to obey the Bishop upon two points out of the four contained in his "Direction."

Again upon May 2nd, 1879, the Bishop wrote to me in the following terms: -

I have received from your Churchwarden, Mr. Perkins, a Representation, framed under the Public Worship Regulation Act, respecting certain alleged illegal practices in your conduct of Divine service. You will not have forgotten the conversation and correspondence which you and I had upon the subject last year, and as Mr. Perkins’s complaints include the points upon which I then thought it my duty to direct you to alter your practice, I cannot protect you against his proceedings. It is with very great grief that I have stated to the Registrar of the Diocese that proceedings must be taken.

Here the Bishop plainly implies that if I had meanwhile desisted from the four points, he would have been satisfied as to my "legality."

In several other letters, as in the very important one, dated July l2th, 1879, which I have already quoted, the Bishop expressed himself to precisely the same effect. He therefore knew that the "Representation" contained false charges. In fact two-thirds of its charges were more or less false. But if the Bishop had insisted on its being reformed before sending it forward, it follows that when subsequently, on July 11th, 1879, I had obeyed his "Direction" as to the only two remaining points upon which there had been any difference between us, no points whatever would have been left in which, in the Bishop’s judgement, I was obnoxious to the charge of "illegality."

If it be that the Bishop had no power under the P.W.R.A. to require this to be done, the fact only makes still clearer the anomalous condition into which Ecclesiastical judicial procedure has been brought by the bungling legislation which has issued in the P.W.R.A.

Still, can anyone believe that if the Bishop had placed the above facts before Lord Penzance at my trial, he could have condemned me? Therefore the fact seems to be that, through the Bishop’s silence I have been permitted to be condemned and finally ejected from my Church and Parish upon false pretences.

To some extent the Bishop’s position under the P. W.R.A. must answer to a court of first instance. But what would be thought of a bench of Magistrate who, having publicly announced their decision that two-thirds of the charges made against a prisoner were groundless, should commit him for trial upon the whole of the counts? In my case it was more than ever incumbent upon the Bishop as the father of his Diocese to protect me against false or frivolous charges, because he was permitting my prosecution before a so-called "court," before which, as he knew, my conscience forbade me to appear to defend myself, and rebut the false charges.

I cannot therefore but think that I have not been justly treated, and I think I have good cause to denounce the invention of a modern Parliamentary system of supposed ecclesiastical judicature, which conscientious clergy, jealous of Church rights, being unable to recognise, can only suffer from as I have done. At all events, were the respective positions of the Bishop and myself reversed, I will undertake to say that he should never have been permitted to incur condemnation and its consequences while I remained a silent looker on.

Upon this most important phase of my case, the Churchwardens, in a correspondence with the Bishop, which I have mentioned in its proper place later on, wrote to him last November (1882) as follows:—

We would also submit to your Lordship that as you were satisfied with Mr. Enraght’s submission to you, dated July 11th, 1879, upon four points of Ritual, and as the subsequent proceedings against him and his final conviction by Lord Penzance, on August 9th, 1879, proceeded entirely upon charges against him which your Lordship, in 1878, had not considered sustainable, and as your Lordship, In 1879 endeavoured to stop the proceedings against Mr. Enraght; it will be altogether unjust and a dishonour to yourself if your Lordship now permits further action to be taken upon grounds which you, in 1878, set aside as not sufficient to sustain the charge of a breach of what you considered to be "the Law of the Church of England."

At my trial, a consecrated wafer, stolen from the Communion by a non-parishioner, was produced in evidence by Mr. Perkins. As soon as I became aware of the fact I wrote to the Bishop, but he declined to interfere. I therefore on the following Sunday read a solemn Protest from the Altar. Subsequently, under pressure from Churchmen, the Bishop wrote to Mr. Perkins a letter m which he says: -

It has been represented to me that you produced for the examination of the Court some Bread which had been consecrated for use in the Holy Communion in the Church of Holy Trinity, Bordesley; and that, though you did not yourself obtain possession of the Bread by pretending to communicate, you received it from a person who did so profane the Holy Sacrament, and knowing how it had been obtained made use of it for the purpose of the prosecution in which you were engaged, and thereby made yourself partaker of the profanation. I am not surprised at the deep feelings of pain and grief which this circumstance has excited. I think it my duty to make you acquainted with them, and I desire to express my own hearty condemnation of the offence which has been committed. I regret greatly that so grave a charge can be brought against an officer of the Church, whose special duty it is to preserve order and promote reverence in our services.

Our Churchwardens, in their correspondence with the Bishop, refer to this profanation of the Holy Sacrament in the following terms: -

The Archbishop of Canterbury [Tait] who promoted the Public Worship Regulation Act, was so shocked at Mr. Perkins’ profanation that when the Counsel for the Church Association had appeared before Lord Penzance, and asked that the consecrated Bread might be delivered out of Lord Penzance’s Court, the Archbishop reverently, in his Chapel, consumed the same. We beg of your Lordship, then, not to assist Mr. Perkins against the parishioners of Holy Trinity, and thus crown sacrilege with success.

But the Churchwardens’ faithful efforts have been unavailing, and "sacrilege" has been "crowned with success."

At the Vestry Meeting held upon Easter Monday, 1880, there were upwards of l000 men present, and Mr. Perkins, as against Mr. G. L. Clay, Surgeon, obtained fifteen votes; the Birmingham Daily Post of Easter Tuesday, said twelve.

A Poll was demanded for Mr. Perkins. It was ordered to continue two days. Mr. Perkins within the first three hours received only 23 votes, his opponent having received 243 votes. Whereupon Mr. Perkins, with his supporters, entered the place of polling and expressed his desire to withdraw from the contest. He thereupon, after having voted for Mr. Clay, signed the withdrawal and request following: -


To the Rev. R. W. Enraght, B.A., Vicar of Holy Trinity: -

I hereby withdraw from the contest for the office of Parish Churchwarden for Holy Trinity, Bordesley, and shall not further oppose the return of Mr. Clay, for whom I have recorded my vote, and I hereby request you to close the poll at once.

Dated this 29th day of March, 1880, at 1.45 p.m.


Mr. Clay was then declared duly elected, and the Poll closed.

Mr. William Adkins then proposed a vote of thanks to me for my courtesy and impartiality as Returning Officer. He expressed the belief that I had acted fairly from the commencement of the prosecution. This was seconded by Mr. Perkins, and carried with waving of hats and acclamation. They asked me to shake hands. I really was for the moment under the impression that my enemies must be returning to kindlier feelings regarding me, and I still think that at the time they meant what they did, and would not have returned to their previous mind but for influences afterwards brought to bear upon them by the "Church Association," and especially by one person, a non-parishioner. I am persuaded that had parishioners been the only persons concerning themselves with my prosecution, I could have made peace at the beginning.

I had again that year, previous to the Dissolution of Parliament, arranged, for peace sake, that the Election of Mr. Perkins should be unopposed, incurring much censure thereby, as in the two previous years. But upon the Dissolution of Parliament and the prospect of a General Parliamentary Election at Easter, I felt that amid a General Election a Parish Poll could do no harm. I expressed my altered mind to our Church Committee, and the above was the result. But although the Public Worship Regulation Act was avowedly passed to defend the rights of parishioners, this unmistakable proof of the real mind of our parish was not permitted by the law courts to make any difference whatever as to my prosecution. Can we believe that, had I been a "Low-Church" Clergyman, prosecuted by a "Ritualistic" Churchwarden, the law courts would have taken a similar view of their duty in the matter? No justice may be expected by a so-called "Ritualistic" Clergyman or his Parishioners.

After several preliminary failures to get me imprisoned by Lord Penzance, the Prosecutor at last succeeded. I was imprisoned in Warwick gaol from November 27th, 1880, to January 17th, 1881. While I was in prison, the English Church Union took steps to quash the proceedings that had been taken against me. Their case seemed unanswerable to an unprejudiced mind, but it was soon clear that the judges meant at all costs to stand by Lord Penzance. I was, however, released by the Court of Appeal upon the ground of a technical informality in the writ for my committal. The Prosecutor, by the advice of the "Church Association," at once endeavored to have me re-committed, but the English Church Union, by taking further legal proceedings, frustrated his attempts.

Our Churchwardens, Mr. Harris and Mr. Clay, also took legal proceedings to have Mr. Perkins removed from the suit, and themselves substituted - Mr. Perkins having ceased to be Churchwarden and having removed to a distance from the Parish. But the Courts refused their petition. For what good reason in law or justice it is hard to see.

Just previous to my imprisonment, the Bishop, upon November 2nd, 1880, sent me a second Direction, in which he ordered me to desist from seven further points, including several which he had previously held to be either altogether falsely charged or mis "represented." When I respectfully asked him for an explanation of so strange a proceeding, he replied to me as follows: -

My object in writing to you as I did on the 2nd inst. was mainly to get the power of making a Representation to the Court of Arches, which might have the effect, if I could gain a hearing there, of inducing the Judge to look leniently on the charge of contempt of court which will probably be brought against you.

But as to such intervention by the Bishop - (1) If he had really desired to befriend me, why had he not intervened long before, as I have already pointed out and then no second Direction would have been necessary. And (2) he showed subsequently to his second Direction, that he had himself no faith in it, by writing to the Prosecutor on February 3rd, 1881, after my release from prison as follows: -

I cannot abstain from referring to the opportunity for putting an end to litigation, which seemed to present itself at an early stage of your proceedings against the Vicar, when I had obtained from him the acknowledgment of a principle which. I had reason to believe would have prevented any material departure from the law and order of our Church in the conduct of Divine Service.

I was with great regret that I then received your decision that the case must take its course.

At the Vestry Meeting held upon Easter Monday, 1881, Mr. Clay was again unanimously elected Churchwarden. Nine thousand printed copies of the Notice of Vestry had previously been distributed throughout the three Ecclesiastical Districts of the Parish, which include a population of more than thirty-three thousand.

At the Easter Vestry, in 1882, Mr. Clay was again unanimously re-elected. The following Notice of Vestry had previously been placarded throughout the Parish, and left at every house. It was unanimously passed.

To the Parishioners of Holy Trinity; St. Alban’s; and All Saints, Small Heath.

We earnestly request your attendance at the Easter Vestry Meeting, which will be held in Holy Trinity Church, Bordesley, on Easter Monday morning, April l0th, at 10 o’clock precisely, to elect Churchwardens and to support the following Resolution: -

"We, the Parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, assembled in Easter Vestry, 1882, hereby repudiate all the proceedings connected with the prosecution of our Vicar, the Rev. R. W. Enraght, under the Public Worship. Regulation Act; and express our strongest condemnation, of the Prosecution and its promoters:

"We deeply regret, that, through the Vicar's influence, opposition was not raised to the election of Mr. John Perkins as Parish Churchwarden at the Easter Vestry of 1878, or at his re-election in 1879; feeling sure that, if a Poll of the Parishioners had been taken, Mr. Perkins would not have been elected to an office which he used for the purpose of prosecuting the Vicar; and we are confirmed in this opinion by the result of the Poll at the Easter Vestry of 1880, when Mr. Perkins, after less than three hours polling, retired from the contest, being defeated by a majority of more than ten to one:

"We hereby express our determination to use all legitimate means to prevent the eviction of our Vicar; and we appeal to the proper authorities, ecclesiastical and civil, to attend to this our Resolution in Vestry, and to disallow further action in this matter against the Vicar:

"We request the Churchwardens to forward copies of this Resolution to Her Majesty the Queen; to the Bishop of the Diocese, and the Proctors in Convocation for the Diocese; to the Archbishops and the other Bishops and Clergy of the Convocations of Canterbury and York; to the Prime Minister; to the Home Secretary; and to the Patrons of this Benefice."

THOMAS HARRIS, Churchwardens of
G. LANGSFORD CLAY, Holy Trinity.
Holy Trinity Church,
April 3rd, 1882.

Early in November, 1882, the Bishop wrote me a letter stating that he had been compelled by the requirements of the Public Worship Regulation Act to send to the Patrons "Notice" of the "voidance" of Holy Trinity, the three years from the issuing of Lord Penzance’s "Monition" having elapsed. Upon the following Sunday evening I took the Bishop’s Episcopal Licence, issued to me upon October 31st, 1874, into the Pulpit, and read it to the congregation. I pointed out to them that the Bishop’s "Notice of voidance" was a document of no ecclesiastical or spiritual significance, and that no such action upon his part could possibly cancel or withdraw the Episcopal, spiritual Licence to the "Cure of Souls" which I had received from him. But I added that if he should think proper to cancel or withdraw my licence to "Cure of Souls" I would submit. I have tried hard all through this painful business to reconcile my conflicting duties to the Church of England and to the Bishop, and this last offer upon my part was meant to be only consistent with all my previous efforts. Whatever my faults may be, I am not open to the charge of willful or careless disobedience to my Diocesan. I have all along offered to the Bishop concessions much exceeding what my Ordination and other promises demand. If any logician doubts this, I hereby respectfully challenge him to try his hand at answering my Pamphlet – "My Ordination Oaths and other Declarations: Am I Keeping them?" Published by Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., in 1880. , I shall be happy to send him a copy.

It was with much satisfaction that last summer I heard the impartial opinion of a most respected "Evangelical" dignitary who had watched my case from the beginning. He expressed his opinion to me to the following effect:-- "You ought not to have been prosecuted, and if you had not been under the Bishop of Worcester you would not have been." [11]

In consequence of the Bishop’s "Notice of Voidance," the Churchwardens called a Special Vestry Meeting, which was held on Saturday, November 11th, 1882. The following Resolution was, with two dissentients, passed by a body of Parishioners numbering about 500:-

That we, the Parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, in Vestry assembled, desire to express our deepest indignation that our repeated protests in 1880, 1881, and 1882, against the prosecution of our Vicar, the Rev. R. W. Enraght, have been entirely disregarded by the authorities, and that an attempt is now being made to forcibly remove our Vicar from among us; and, we further pledge ourselves to support the Rev. R W. Enraght, and to oppose all efforts to deprive us of his ministrations by every means in our power.

Shortly after this Vestry Meeting the Churchwardens had a correspondence and interview with the Bishop, in which they respectfully and with great force urged upon him the point as to the "Cure of Souls" and other points. [12] But he declined to grant the prayer of their Letters, saying that he considered himself morally bound to carry out the

provisions of the Public Worship Regulation Act. He expressed his opinion of that Act that it was unfortunate in its conception, hastily and badly drafted, passed in a panic, and had led to painful results. He believed that anxiety and worry caused by that Act had shortened the life of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been doing what he could to undo the mischief of the Act. He said he hoped great things from the coming Report of the Royal Commission upon "Ecclesiastical Courts."

Upon Thursday, March 8th, 1883, the Registrar of the Diocese, Mr. A. C. Hooper, served upon me at Birmingham the following Revocation of my License, and Inhibition from "Cure of souls":--

Henry, by Divine permission Bishop of Worcester, to the Reverend Richard William Enraght, clerk, B.A., greeting:-- Whereas we did, on the thirty-first day: of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, by a license under our hand and episcopal seal, grant to you our license and authority to perform the office of curate of the perpetual curacy or vicarage of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, in the county of Warwick within our diocese and jurisdiction; and whereas, under the provisions of the Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874, a monition was issued on the twenty eighth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine, by the Right Honourable James Plaisted, Baron Penzance, the Official Principal of the Arches Court of the province of Canterbury, commanding you, being then the incumbent of the said benefice of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, to abstain from certain ecclesiastical offences in the church of the said benefice, and the said monition was duly served on you on the thirtieth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine; .and whereas, you having disobeyed the said monition, an inhibition was issued on the ninth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and eighty, by the said official principal, ordering that you be inhibited for a term of three months from the time of the publication of the said inhibition, and thereafter, until the same should have been duly relaxed, from performing any service of the Church, or otherwise exercising the cure of souls within the diocese of Worcester, and the said inhibition was duly served on you, and published shortly after the date of the issue thereof; and whereas said inhibition having remained in force for more than three years from the date of the issuing of the said monition within the meaning of the said Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874; and the said benefice of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, having under the provisions of the said Act thereupon become void, it became our duty, under the provisions of the said Act, and the Act therein referred to, to give notice of the said avoidance to the patrons of the said benefice, and we did accordingly give such notice in writing under our hand on the thirtieth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two, and the same was shortly thereafter delivered to, and received by, the said patrons; and whereas the said patrons of the said benefice having duly presented or nominated to us the Reverend Alan Hunter Watts for license to the said benefice, we have this day, according to law, duly licensed the said Reverend Alan Hunter Watts, and committed to him the cure of souls in. the said benefice. Now, therefore, we, Henry, Bishop of Worcester, by virtue of our episcopal authority, do hereby revoke, and declare null and void, the license granted to you by us on the thirty-first day of October, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, and do further forbid and inhibit you from performing any service of the Church, or otherwise exercising the cure of souls within the parish of the said benefice of Holy Trinity, Bordesley. - Given under our hand and episcopal seal, at Worcester, this seventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three.

With any Churchman whose ideas of Christianity and the Church can rise above the clauses of an Act of Parliament passed without the necessary constitutional sanction of the Church, and in opposition to her earnest remonstrances, and who is at all conversant with canon law, this inhibition can possess no weight. But, most unexpectedly to me, the Bishop had thereby taken up my respectful challenge [13] given to him in November, 1882, and I had no course left to me but to submit. But, by thus interposing. the Bishop changed his former professed conscientious obedience to state authority in Church matters, into active support of state tyranny. Moreover, the mode of the Bishop’s interference has, by his own confession in the inhibition, committed him to an episcopal licence of the intruding priest which by no possibility can be ecclesiastically valid. I replied to this inhibition as follows :-

Holy-TrinityVicarage, Bordesley, March 9, 1883.

My Lord, - I submit myself to your lordship’s inhibition, reserving my right of appeal and any other legal rights which I may have in the matter. At the same time I hereby enter my respectful protest against the inhibition as uncanonical, because unwarranted by the proceedings upon which it professes to be founded. A priest cannot canonically, validly, and legally be inhibited except for commission of some canonical offence. I cannot acknowledge any of the proceedings lately taken against me. The Court which pretended to try me was created by an Act of Parliament passed in opposition to the voice of the Church in Convocation. The interpretations of the Prayer Book, which it attempted to force upon me, are in antagonism to the uniform interpretation of that book by Church authority for the past 300 years, and to the clear meaning of its words; they contradict historical facts, and were invented by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, another Court founded solely by Act of Parliament and therefore possessing no spiritual authority over the Church. The whole proceedings were therefore uncanonical, in plain violation of the. constitutional law of "this Church and Realm" (to which my ordination and other oaths bind me), subversive of the rights and liberties of the Church of England, and are now generally discredited.

The services of this Church as carried on by me have been the same in all points of ritual as they had been for years before I came to the parish, and were well known to your lordship when you received me in the kindest manner and licensed me to this benefice. The congregation were attached to the services, and the parishioners generally supported them. This has been clearly shown by the almost unanimous resolutions of four very largely attended vestry meetings held since the commencement of my prosecution.

Upon these grounds I respectfully submit my belief that In any other part of Christendom, and in the Church of England, if her spiritual rulers had not handed her over into bondage to the State, and destroyed her canonical discipline, your lordship’s action would bring down upon you the gravest ecclesiastical censures. I herewith hand over to your lordship the keys of the church. - I am, my lord, your lordship’s obedient servant,


To the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester.

Upon Passion Sunday, March 11th, the day upon which the intruder "read himself in," the Churchwardens, before the commencement of Morning Service, handed to him the following protest:--

To the Rev. Alan Hunter Watts.

We, the Churchwardens of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, in the name of the parishioners and congregation, solemnly protest against your presence here to-day. You accepted this cure of souls while, by the law of God and His Church it belonged to another, thereby subverting the uniform rule and practice of the entire Catholic Church. Your intrusion, therefore, is an outrage upon a Christian congregation, to whom your presence and ministrations can never be acceptable. You have allowed yourself to be the instrument of a persecuting association to deprive us of our beloved vicar, the Rev. R. W, Enraght. He has worked amongst us for eight years and a half as a worthy successor to Dr. Oldknow, and has maintained that catholic teaching and worship which are prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer, and which we have been privileged to enjoy in this church for a period of more than forty years. He has carried on, with untiring zeal and energy, the frequent daily services of the church and our numerous parochial organisations. [14] Many of these have been inaugurated during his incumbency, and their number and efficiency have increased every year. You, sir, come to degrade these services, to disperse these agencies, and to disorganise the whole work of our parish. We leave you, therefore, to imagine, with what deep sorrow and regret for our late vicar, and with what righteous indignation against yourself, we regard your usurpation of the office which you come to seize upon to-day.

THOMAS HARRIS, Churchwardens of
G. LANGSFORD CLAY, Holy Trinity, Bordesley.
March 11, 1883.

In reply to this Protest, the intruder altogether repudiated the "Church Association," said that he wished to have nothing to do with the self-styled "Parish Committee," and expressed the desire to be acceptable to all sides of opinion. The result is that he has chosen Mr. Adkins, the chairman of the "Parish Committee," to be his Churchwarden; a Mr. Nightingale, a secretary of the "Church Association," to be his Parish Clerk; and, unless I am misinformed, Mr. John Perkins to teach in his Boys' Sunday School.

During the Morning Service on Passion Sunday, so far as it proceeded, this champion of "the law of this Realm," use his words to the Churchwardens, committed or sanctioned the four following manifest illegalities. (1). Instead of himself "reading with a loud voice some one or more" of the opening "sentences" before Morning Prayer he permitted "I will arise" to be sung by the choir. (2). He permitted the Sanctus in the Communion Service to be sung after the Gospel. (3). He read only the first sentence of the Exhortation to Communion, "Dearly beloved, on- day next I purpose." ( 4). He neglected to obey the first paragraph of the last Rubric in the Communion Service, "Upon the Sundays and other holy days (if there be no Communion) shall be said * * * * the general Prayer [for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in earth] together with one or more of these Collects last before rehearsed, concluding with the Blessing."

These illegalities were reported to me from several different quarters. I cannot say whether there were others, or how many more might have been committed had the Service been continued to the end. That I should have been ejected from my benefice for what thousands of Churchmen believe to be strict observance of the law, while a person expressly appointed by Act of Parliament to see to the due and proper observance of "the law of this Realm" (to again use his own words) should be permitted thus to set at defiance rubrical "laws" of the Church about which there can be no doubt whatever, can only be explained by the now received rule of modern English "law" that a Protestant Minister may with impunity set the law of the Church at defiance, but a Catholic Priest incurs the heaviest penalties if he observes ordination obligations binding all alike, Catholic and Protestant. [15]

Much exasperated feeling was shown upon this occasion by several thousands of the parishioners and others assembled inside and outside the Church, and unfortunately there were some unseemly scenes during the time of service. But by the assistance of a strong body of police the intruding clergyman was borne away in safety after the Services.

In consequence the Churchwardens addressed the following letter to the Birmingham papers:-

Sir, - Adverse criticisms are being made upon the conduct of our parishioners on Sunday last. We cannot wonder at it. We deplore much that occurred, and we still more deplore the cause. But we cannot allow the public to forget that on November 11, 1882, we addressed the Lord Bishop in the following terms: -

"We consider it our duty to inform your lordship that in the present exasperated and determined state of the parishioners of this parish we cannot hold ourselves responsible for the consequences which may ensue upon an attempt to thrust an intruding clergyman upon us."

We respectfully ask the following question. If the rector, congregation, and parishioners of St. Martin’s, Birmingham, had been treated for four years as we have been, their repeated memorials and entreaties having been disregarded, their rector thrown into prison, and finally (with his family) turned out of house and home, some clergyman of quite opposite and obnoxious opinions and ministrations being thrust upon them instead of the clergy and ministrations they had learned to love, and which were ever constantly at their service, how would the parishioners of St. Martin’s be likely to feel and express themselves, and how would the public receive it? It is very easy for persons to condemn us, whose deepest feelings have not been wounded as ours have been, or who are unconcerned, or, it may be, glad spectators of the outrage which has been committed upon us. The persons who are really to blame for last Sunday’s proceedings are all, from first to last, who have had to do with the unrighteous and cruel deprivation of our vicar. We bear witness to the generally patient manner in which our parishioners have all along borne their wrongs, and to the way in which they have loved our beautiful, reverent, and dignified services.

We earnestly entreat all who cannot accept the altered ministrations to abstain altogether from attending the services at Holy Trinity. This, we should add, was Mr. Enraght's advice for Sunday last.

We are, sir, your faithful servants,

THOMAS HARRIS, Churchwardens of
G. LANGSFORD CLAY, Holy Trinity.
Holy Trinity Church, Bordesley,
March 15, 1883.

They also addressed the following letter to the London Guardian:-

Sir, - We regard the unfavourable remarks made by Churchmen upon the disturbances at Holy Trinity, Bordesley, on Sunday, March 11th, as somewhat ungenerous. Our congregation have bravely fought a long and depressing battle for the honour of the Altar and the solemnity of its services, and it might surely be assumed that they have not suddenly reversed their previous convictions and lost their respect for the House of God. We have hitherto always had dignified services, characterised by a reverence sufficiently marked to be a matter of comment by strangers coming from Catholic churches. But now our Vicar has been taken from us by an Inhibition from the Bishop of Worcester, our other clergy have been dismissed from their posts, and an intruder, uncanonically appointed and of antagonistic views, has been rudely thrust upon us. The matter does not merely touch our devout communicants or congregation. The parish consists of 12,500 persons, not to mention the large districts adjoining, which formed part of it till recent years, and still look to Holy Trinity as their mother church, and have a vote at its vestry. The people are chiefly of the Birmingham artizan class, which has been neglected for generations. It is too much to expect that the whole of this vast population of 33,000 persons should already have learnt the devotion of advanced Churchmen. But they have learnt to love and respect Mr. Enraght, who has laboured in his parish, with unwearied kindness, and to value the many agencies for good, which had grown up under his ministry. They were indignant at the wrong done to their clergy and to themselves, and if they expressed it by interrupting the services on Sunday, it was meant as no irreverence to God, but as a repudiation of a clergyman whose presence they rightly regarded as an insult to the church. When it is remembered that, besides our own people, there were present a number who came down, from Protestant churches in the town, and a number of idlers out of the streets, no one can wonder at what occurred. We foresaw it, and wrote to the Bishop last November telling him that, in the present exasperated state of the parish, we could not hold ourselves responsible for what might happen if an intruder was sent. The responsibility rests with those who allowed and perpetrated this outrage upon us. We do not defend all that was done on Sunday. But if, smarting under an injustice which cries out to Heaven for vengeance, some of our poor people overstepped the limits of decorum, we who know that their motives were good cannot sit in judgement upon them. Nor would Churchmen have the heart to throw stones at us, if they could witness the sorrow of our dispersed congregation and our troubled poor. They have been sacrificed in the cause of the Church of England; and, when criticism has found whatever fault it can, the Church will still have reason to thank them for the stand which they have made for her rights.

THOMAS HARRIS,  Churchwardens of
G. LANGSFORD CLAY, Holy Trinity, Bordesley.
March 17th, 1883.

At the Easter Vestry Meeting this year, held upon Easter Monday, and attended by several hundred men, Dr. Taylor, of 393, Moseley Road, Birmingham, was proposed by me as Parishioners’ Churchwarden for the ensuing year, and was returned without opposition. Immediately upon his election Dr. Taylor rose and proposed the following Resolution: -

That we, the parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, in Easter vestry assembled, being called upon to accept the Rev. Alan Hunter Watts as our canonically-appointed vicar, and thereby to recognise the Public Worship Regulation Act as part of the law of the Church of Christ in England, hereby emphatically refuse to do so. And, inasmuch as the said Rev. Alan Hunter Watts was licensed to the cure of our souls at a time when the said cure could not be canonically vacant (the licence of our vicar, the Rev. R. W. Enraght, being at the time unrevoked) we believe that the license of the Rev. A. H. Watts is utterly invalid [16]; and we hereby solemnly call upon him to resign a position to which he has no ecclesiastical right.

This Resolution was seconded, but the Chairman ruled it out of order, and declared the Vestry Meeting closed. But, having been proposed by the Parishioners’ Churchwarden, elected without opposition, and being in accordance with the action of previous Vestries, it must be taken as representing the views of the great mass of the parishioners.

Dr. Taylor subsequently sent his Resolution to the Bishop, with an explanatory letter, and disclaiming any personal discourtesy towards the intruding clergyman.

A crowded meeting of the late Congregation and Parishioners was held in the Highgate Board Schools, on Wednesday evening, March 28th, to bid good-bye to me and

Mrs. Enraght, when the following formed part of, the proceedings, as reported in the Midland Echo of Thursday, March 29th -

The Rev. R. W. and Mrs. Enraght, last night, gave a conversazione, in order that the late congregation and parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, might have an opportunity of wishing them good-bye. The proceedings took place in the Highgate Board Schools, Moseley Road, and a very large number of the friends of, and sympathisers with, the Rev. gentleman and his wife attended. The committee recently appointed to get up a testimonial to Mr. and Mrs. Enraght took advantage of the occasion to present an address and a purse of gold to them, and smaller gifts from Mrs. Enraght’s Mothers’ Meeting and Bible Class, were also presented. With respect to the principal testimonial it may be said that the purse contained 150 guineas, all of which has been contributed by parishioners and members of the congregation since the 17th inst. In addition to this sum, between £50 and £60 had been subscribed by persons living outside of the parish. This amount will be added to a fund for a general churchmen’s testimonial. Mr. Harris (Mr. Enraght’s churchwarden last year) accepted the position of chairman.

The CHAIRMAN, who was loudly cheered on rising, said that for a congregation and parish to part with a clergyman who had the esteem and love of his people was always painful, but in their case the parting was made more painful and distressing because they all felt how cruelly and shame fully Mr. Enraght had been treated. If their enemies knew Mr. Enraght’s goodness and worth as much as he (the speaker) did, they would have been equally sorry with them to lose him. (Hear, hear.) Had Mr. Enraght been leaving them in consequence of his having accepted some reward the Church had to offer one of her most faithful sons, they should have felt the parting very much, but of course, under these circumstances they would have had some satisfaction in knowing that he was receiving a reward that his eminent services for the good of the church could claim. (Applause.) He (Mr. Harris) should feel the loss of Mr. Enraght very much. He had learned to look upon him as a dear friend. He believed him to be not only a Christian clergyman but a thorough hearted man - (hear, hear) - a lover of children, a hater of cant and hypocrisy, and altogether a man whose standard of goodness it was hard to reach. He sincerely trusted that the troubles Mr. Enraght and his devoted wife had had to pass through here might bring them blessings in the future. (Applause.) He had been requested by the testimonial committee to read the following address: -

"To the Rev. Richard William Enraght, B.A., on leaving Holy Trinity, Bordesley, Easter, 1883. - Our dear Vicar, - The parting of friends is always sad, but the parting is made unspeakably painful by the grievous injustice which has robbed us of your ministry, together with the church and worship which we loved so well. For your ready sacrifice of yourself in submitting to persecution, imprisonment, and now casting out from your home and your work, in the cause of the Church, we may be allowed to express our unfeigned admiration; for the ungrudging labour, the great ability, and the unwearied affection with which you have for eight years and a half exercised your office as vicar of our church and parish, we can offer you no adequate thanks. We believe that we shall show our gratitude best by bearing your many lessons in our hearts and proving them in our lives, when you are no longer here to help us. We feel that we owe Mrs. Enraght our sincerest thanks for the uniform zeal and the genial kindness with which she has always been eager to throw herself into every good work which concerned our welfare. In parting with you we ask her to accept a purse of 150 guineas which has been subscribed by us, the undermentioned members of the congregation, as a slight outward token of our love and our appreciation of the many benefits which have been conferred on us. We pray that God may comfort you both in your suffering, and may grant you a congenial and peaceful sphere of labour, where the enemies of truth will not molest you. In reluctantly bidding you good-bye as our Pastor, we ask you still to remember us who have been bound to you by the strong tie of this common sorrow.

"We are, yours most faithfully and affectionately,

G. LANGSFORD CLAY, Churchwardens,
&c., &c., &c., &c., &c."

The address, which was illuminated on vellum, and enclosed in a morocco case, bore the signatures of the rest of the subscribers, as well as those of Mr. Harris and Mr. G. Langsford Clay, Churchwardens.

Mr. Harris, continuing, said the total sum of 150 guineas in the purse embraced contributions varying in amount from the cheerfully-given 2d. of the poor to the £10-note of the well-to-do. The sum was subscribed in a few days, and only represented a portion of the money contributed. The remainder would be handed over to a committee having charge of a testimonial fund which had been started outside the congregation of Holy Trinity, Bordesley. It now only remained for him to place in the hands of Mrs. Enraght the purse, every coin in which was a testimony of the affection of its donor. (Loud applause.)

This speech and address, especially under the circumstances, were, it will be felt, very difficult to answer. I did what I could in reply, but it would be quite impossible to adequately express my sense of all the love and kindness I have received.

After another Gentleman had spoken, Mr. Blood proposed the following resolution: -

"That we, parishioners and congregation of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, desire to return our warmest thanks to our vicar, the Rev. R. W. Enraght, and to express our deep sense of his self-sacrificing generosity in coming to the Easter Vestry to propose the people’s churchwarden. We regret that the efforts he made to secure the orderly character of the meeting, by testing the qualifications of those who attended the vestry, should have failed, and that a number of non-parishioners obtained entrance ill order to prevent our voice being heard. At the same time he entirely succeeded in attaining for us the object we desired in securing the election of Dr. Taylor, a churchwarden who represents the great majority of the parish. We therefore feel deeply grateful to him that, regardless of obloquy and misrepresentations, he has thus stood by us to the end; and we shall remember this, the latest, as one of the most praiseworthy of his many acts of self-denial on our behalf."

Mr. JOHN MAISEY seconded the motion, which was unanimously carried.

The above facts speak for themselves.

Such is a simple account of the way in which the authorities, civil and ecclesiastical, have requited a clergyman in return for 22 years hard work in the ministry, exercised throughout with the uniform and earnest desire to observe strictly the via media of the Church of England. That via media I have never exceeded. My sufferings have come upon me in consequence of my conscientiously opposing passive resistance to efforts of the Puritan [17] "Church Association," supported by Parliament and some episcopal countenance, to destroy our Reformation heritage.

Such is the way in which a large town Parish in "the metropolis of the Midlands" - a town not generally supposed to be over addicted to Churchmanship—has been treated by the same authorities, notwithstanding its utmost efforts to save its incumbent from his doom; and in entire disregard of its repeated protests and entreaties—in days when public professions are loudly made at Church Congresses, Conferences, and elsewhere, of the desire to win back to the Church of England "the alienated classes."

The received method of these authorities in several recent cases seems to be to drive away the Clergy who have won back to the Church the affections of the people, and to trample upon the tenderest religious feelings of their parishioners.

Whether viewed from a religious or constitutional (the only true legal) standpoint, I believe more unrighteous or cruel treatment than I have received has never been used against any clergyman since the notorious days of "the Commonwealth." The blind and misguided rage of party fanaticism has been assisted to its ends by unjust legislation and perverted judgement. Such treatment in the once sacred names of religion, law, and justice has cast a shadow upon my future in this world which nothing can efface.

What an edifying, and alas! gratifying spectacle of the Church’s mode of working to be exhibited to the Roman Catholics and other Dissenters of Birmingham! What a subject of rejoicing to the infidel!

I have only a word to add. May God forgive all who have brought this great sorrow upon us, and lead them to bitterly repent of what they have done; and may He somehow over-rule all to His glory.

Since the above was in type I find from the Birmingham papers that the Bishop preached at Holy Trinity on Sunday morning, May 6th, and that the subjoined Protest was handed to him. Messrs. Harris and Clay were the Churchwardens last year. Dr. Taylor is the Parishioners’ Churchwarden for this year, and Mr. Nockolds appears from the papers to have been the Secretary of the Meeting which adopted the protest.

To the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Worcester.

My lord, - May it please your lordship. We, the undersigned, as representatives of a large body of the parishioners and of the late congregation of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, cannot allow your lordship’s visit to pass without personally offering to your lordship a statement of our grievances. For many years we have had the pleasure of taking part in the services of this church-services which were conducted in the spirit of the Book of Common Prayer, at once catholic and justifiable. Your lordship has seen fit to remove our respected vicar (Rev. R. W. Enraght); and, whilst offering no opinion as to your lordship’s action, we cannot but feel that had you, my lord, taken your part as chief pastor of this diocese, and come amongst us and ascertained our feelings and wishes, not only would your lordship have said that "you had no sympathy with the prosecution," but we are persuaded that your lordship would have used your prerogative, and stayed the prosecution, and also have recognised the great and good work commenced by Dr. Oldknow, and perpetuated by Mr. Enraght. But what is the result? The frequent daily services of the church and all the numerous parochial organisations which had increased in number and efficiency year by year have, at one fell stroke, been scattered, and we, the truly aggrieved, have been left as sheep that have no shepherd. Whilst deprecating the unseemly disturbances that took place within the church when Mr. Watts took possession, we consider that events have proved that the indignation felt at his appointment was not over-estimated. The services of the church that we loved have been uprooted, and men who took part both as spies, prosecutors, and in scandalous sacrilege have become active officials, and even the words uttered by Mr. Watts himself have been either wilfully or carelessly forgotten. We cannot but think that your lordship’s visit will be looked upon by many in this parish as an outrage upon the feelings of our faithful priests and the late congregation, whom we beg to assure your lordship you will not be addressing, We extremely regret that you, my lord, should forget that the one great principle of our glorious Church has ever been her comprehensiveness, and we feel that the action of your lordship both now and in the past, coming, as it does, with similar action from other members of the Episcopate, is fast hastening the time when even Churchmen themselves will long for disestablishment, as the only means by which the Church can once more take upon herself her early and rightful authority of making her own laws for the government of the faithful, without prostituting that authority to the beck and call of a mixed medley of religious believers and unbelievers composing a Parliament. We deeply regret that the death-bed desire of our late Archbishop to undo much of the pernicious mischief done by the Public Worship Regulation Act has not been faithfully followed by those enemies of peace and conscience within the Church, who, instead of hauling priests before State-created courts, should rather with them fight the torrent of infidelity rampant in the country. We do earnestly appeal to your lordship to think of the injury you have done us; and trusting that our words, however humble, may receive that attention which the occasion demands, we remain, my lord, on behalf of those who have drawn up this letter, your lordship’s most obedient and faithful servants,

R. W. NOCKOLDS (Secretary.)

At the Bishop's Visitation for the admission of Churchwardens, held on Tuesday, May 15th, 1883, in St. Martin’s Vestry, Birmingham, on Mr. William Adkins, the Vicar’s Churchwarden nominated at the Holy Trinity Easter Vestry this year, presenting himself, Mr. Thomas Harris, late Vicar’s Churchwarden, introduced a deputation of parishioners, who read and handed in the following protest against the admission of Mr. Adkins: -

On behalf of the Parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, we respectful1y demand whether William Adkins, who comes here to-day to be admitted to the office of Churchwarden, has been duly baptised, and, if so, in what church, and at what date, and if he can produce the certificate of his baptism? Further, we demur to his admission as Churchwarden, on the ground that he was nominated to the office by a clergyman who was not the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, he never having been canonically appointed; and, further, were he otherwise qualified, we protest against the admission, as Churchwarden, of the Chairman of the Committee which was responsible for the profanation of the Holy Sacrament, commonly known as "The Bordesley Sacrilege."

May 15th, 1883.

The Registrar, in reply, said that the protest would be handed to the Chancellor of the diocese, and that opportunity would be afforded to the Parishioners to make their complaint.

[1] Messrs. Adkins, Greening, Perkins, and Nightingale, whose names appear in this statement, are members of the "Church Association." I have in my possession a letter to my father, from Captain Palmer, the General Secretary of the Association, dated June 12th, 1878; and another from the Secretary of the Birmingham Branch of the Association, written to myself, dated January 3rd, 1879. Both these letters acknowledge the Association’s part in furthering my prosecution and those of other clergy.

[2] In my Pamphlet "Who are True Churchmen and Who are Conspirators," I have pointed out 42 instances. It does not fall within the scope of this statement to discuss the legal questions involved. I have myself done so in several pamphlets – "Who are true Churchmen, &c. "Not law, but Unconstitutional Tyranny," and "My Ordination Oaths, &c."

[3] Acting in concert with the "Church Association," and several of them members of it

[4] Several of them "Dissenters."

[5] This sum did not include the seat rents, the schools' income, and other items. And our work subsequently much developed. The following is the Summary of our Balance Sheet for the past year: -


£ s. d.

Offertories and Collections. . 345 6 7

Subscriptions and Donation.. . .442 8 1

Pew Rents and Fees. . . . 200 0 7

Grants .. .. . .. 415 14 11

Sale. of Work .. .. .. 54 9 11

Rents, Payments, and Sales. . 312 13 4

Amounts due to schools, &c. . . 215 1 10

£1,985 15 4


Balance of debt on whole a/c,

1882 201 9 9

Church Expenses 311 5 1

Clergy (including Vicar's Testimonial)

692 0 7

Poor. . . . 94 6 01

Schools .. .. 460 4 10

Mission Houses .. . . 149 11 5

Societies and Missions 50 9 8

Magazine and Almanack 15 17

In hand, Mission House and

Guild .. 10 10 3

Easter, 1883.

THOMAS HARRIS, G. LANGSFORD CLAY., Churchwardens 1882-83

[6] Appointed Vicar’s Churchwarden by the intruder, last Easter Monday, By using the term "intruder" I mean no personal offence.

[7] A non- parishioner. He was prominent some years ago in the attack upon Mr. Pollock, with others who have attacked me.

[8] Some of the Bishops are fond of quoting the direction in the Prayer Book Preface - "Concerning the Service of the Church" - that "the parties that so doubt or diversely take anything, shall always resort to the Bishop of the Diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same" in juxta-position with our ordination promise to "reverently obey our Ordinary and other chief ministers unto whom is committed the charge and government over us; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting ourselves to their godly judgements." But, as any unprejudiced person can see (1) the latter part of the direction in the Preface must be added – "So that the same order be not contrary to anything contained in this Book," and (2) that no "admonitions" and "judgements" contrary to "this Book" can be "godly." The Bishops beg the whole question by taking for granted that orders rounded upon the judgements of the Privy Council and Lord Penzance are necessarily in accordance with "this Book." We have the witness of all Church authorities for our belief that most commonly they are not.

[9] This Rider was, on July 3lst, ordered to be reported to the Crown.

[10] In order that (1) equal dignity should not be given to Morning Prayer as to the Celebration of the Eucharist, and (2) that there might be no ground for thinking that I had obeyed the Bishop in order to escape from the prosecution, I gave notice that so long as the Ritual of the Holy Eucharist was shorn, I would have Matins on Sundays read plain. This continued for sixteen months, that is, until the Bishop sent me his second Direction, by which he broke the understanding between us. What my enemies desired was to bring the Eucharist into dishonour. They raised an immediate outcry against my new arrangement. Very likely had I not made it, they would have abandoned the prosecution. They professed to enjoy Choral Matins.


It is far from any satisfaction to me to make these painful allusions to the Bishop. I believe no Bishop tries to be more just, kind, and considerate to his clergy. Whenever he seems to have been the contrary I doubt not that he felt impelled by what I may think was a mistaken sense of duty. I am sorely grieved that a Prelate marked by so many generous qualities should have seemed to place himself upon a par with those who are much his inferiors in these respects.

[12] Another point urged by the Churchwardens is as follows: -"We would add that the whole prosecution appears to us to be a conspiracy. The "Church Association" has been promoting the Prosecution, and the patrons of Holy Trinity, Bordesley, are members of that Association, and it has been publicly admitted that the object of the Prosecution has been to supersede Mr. Enraght by nominee of their own." All this, if not actually contrary to the letter is certainly contrary to the spirit of the 16th clause of even the P.W.R.A.. That clause prohibits a Bishop or Archbishop if patron of a benefice, from having anything to do with the prosecution of its incumbent. I may add that the intruder, in repudiating the "Church Association" to our Churchwardens, as will be seen further on, repudiated his own patrons.

[13] The Bishop took me at my word, and revoked my Licence, in order to get me out of the way of the

P.W.R.A. intruder, but, as I have related, he refused to take me at my word, and exercise his spiritual authority, to satisfy my conscience, when a year before the commencement of my Prosecution I offered to be tried by him and to submit to his judgment. Had he then taken me at my word, he would have delivered me and my people from our enemies.

[14] See Appendix A.

[15] I have been ejected from my Church and Parish for certain alleged illegalities in the "Communion Service which all Church authorities have held to be nothing of the kind, but quite the contrary. The "Church Association" Clergy may do as they please in the Communion Service, as elsewhere, unrebuked and uncondemned. The following are a few their undoubted illegalities in that Service. They omit at times large portions of the Service; they omit to give notice of, or observe, the Saints’ Day and several other Festivals; they neglect, "when the Minister giveth warning for the celebration of the Holy Communion," to "read" (1) the whole of the "Exhortation"-"Dearly beloved, on - day next, &c"- (2) "after the Sermon;" they neglect to "humbly present and place the Alms upon the holy Table;" they place the Oblations of Bread and Wine upon the holy Table before the commencement of Morning Prayer by the hands of the Parish Clerk. instead of before the Prayer for the Church Militant by the hands of "the Priest;" they repeat the words of administration but once for a railful of Communicants; they for the most part make no attempt to "reverently eat and drink" any of "the remains" of the "consecrated Bread and Wine immediately after the Blessing," but leave them neglected upon the holy Table ; and they never "reverently eat and drink" the whole of what "remains of that which was consecrated," through their universal neglect of the catholic ceremony, necessary for reverence, of washing the last "remains" out of the holy vessels with wine and water drunk by "the Priest:"- all this in direct violation of the plain Rubrics of the Office, not to mention their other as flagrant violations of the Church’s " Order of Administration"

[16] On Wednesday, March 7th, the Bishop professed to license the Rev A. H. Watts to the "Cure of Souls" in the Parish of Holy Trinity, Bordesley. The Bishop’s inhibition directed against me recites that the Rev. A. H. Watts had been already licensed. The inhibition, moreover, was not served upon me until the following day, Thursday, March 8th. But until I was served with the inhibition I was in possession of the "Cure of Souls." It follows, therefore, that there was no vacancy in the Cure when the Bishop professed to license Mr. Watts on Wednesday, the 7th. But two Priests cannot each be the "Curate" and at one and the same time hold canonical possession of one and the same "cure". The license of the Rev. A. H. Watts is therefore ecclesiastically invalid; and unless the Bishop shall re-license him the Cure of Holy Trinity will remain canonically vacant. This must be so unless we are to believe that Episcopal license is unnecessary, and Parliamentary action alone is necessary in spiritual as well as in temporal matters

[17] The historical definition of the term "Puritan" is-a Nonconformist within the Church. The Puritan party during their 300 years history have been aliens from the Church’s spirit, have habitually and widely denied her Doctrine. mutilated her Services and disobeyed wholesale her plainest and gravest commands. They are condemned, along with other sectaries, in the Prefaces to the Prayer Book in the Articles, in the Canons, and wherever the Church has authoritatively spoken. Whenever they have had the power they have exhibited a persecuting spirit. They are doing now after exactly the same fashion, but upon a smaller scale, what, by a similar "turn of the wheel," they were able to do almost without limit in the days of Cromwell and the Commonwealth.


It may be of interest to give the following list of some of our Services and Parochial Institutions, &c., taken from our Parish Almanack for 1883. The list is not exhaustive. Mention is not made of our District Visitors and other matters.


Celebration, 8 a.m. (1st in Month, 7 and 8 a.m.); Matins 10.30 a.m.; Choral Celebration with Sermon, 11 a.m.; Litany, 2.45 p.m.; Catechizing. 3.30 p. m.; Evensong and Sermon, 6.30 p.m.

Saints’ Day.

- Sermon on Eve; Celebrations, 7 and 7.45 a. m.; Children’s Choral, 9.15 a.m. Matins, 11 a.m.; Evensong, 8 p.m.

Week Days.

– Celebration, 7.30 Matins, after Celebration; Evensong, 8 p.m. with Sermon on Wednesday.

N.B. – Additional Services on Great Festivals, and in Advent, Lent, etc.

Holy Baptism. –

Sunday, 3 p.m.; Wednesday, 4 p.m.; Thursday, 7.30 p.m. Infants ought to be baptized as soon as possible after birth.


- Same times as Baptisms, or ten minutes before any service. There is no charge, but the Prayer Books directs those who can afford to make a Thank- offering to God. It also says it is fitting that Churchings be followed by reception of the Holy Communion.

Holy Matrimony

is a very solemn Ordinance of God: see the Service for it in the Prayer Book. It should be prepared for, "solemnized," and treated afterwards, with reverence. The Prayer Book says it is fitting that it be followed by reception of the Holy Communion.

Visitation of the Sick.

– The Clergy will be much obliged by being informed of sick cases among the Congregation or Parishioners as soon as possible. (S. James v. 14-18). The Office for "The Visitation of the Sick" ought to be used at least once in grave sickness.


for rented Kneelings in Church, and Notices of Banns, Marriages, &c., should be made to the Clerk, Mr. G.A. Maisey, at the Church, or at 2o2, Camp Hill. The whole of the Galleries are free, and a considerable part of the floor. Everyone who enters any part of the Church is at once provided with a kneeling. The Working Classes especially are urged to attend regularly.

Church Finances.

– The whole Endowment of this Church is only £100 a year, although the population of the Parish is 12,500. We have also £50 a year from A.C.S. towards an Assistant Curate, and a Government Grant towards the Day Schools. For the rest of our Church income, for the stipends of three Clergy, the various Church expenses, and the agencies here set forth – as well as Charitable Collections – we are entirely dependant upon voluntary offerings, subscriptions, and donations. That we need liberal support will be clear. Therefore, all who can are earnestly asked to contribute weekly to the Offertory, and those who can afford it are asked to increase the amount of their weekly Offerings. We need an Offertory of at least £10 a week.

The Clergy

. – Rev. R. W. Enraght, the Vicarage; Rev. W. Elwin, 202 Bradford Street; Rev. T. L. Taylor, 393, Moseley Road.

The Vicar may be seen in the Vestry on Friday, between 12 and 1 p.m., and on Saturday at 8.30 p.m.; the Rev. W. Elwin, on Wednesday at 4.15 p.m., and between 7 and 7.45 p.m.; the Rev. T. L. Taylor, on Thursday, between 6.30 and 7.30 p.m., and at 8.30 p.m. Also after Service. At other times by arrangement.


Sunday Schools

(Trinity Terrace). – Morning, 10 a.m.; Afternoon, 2,30 p.m. A Savings Bank is connected with each School. Deposits of 1d. and upwards received.

Teachers’ Class

for preparing the Sunday Lessons, Friday, 8.45 p.m., in the Vestry.

Day Schools

under Diocesan and Government Inspection. – Morning, 9 a.m.; Afternoon, 2 p.m. Fees, 4d., 3d., and 2d.

Mission House

202, Bradford Street. – Bible Classes are held – for Men, Thursday, 8 p.m.; for Women, Monday, 4 p.m.; for Lads, Sunday, 2.30 p.m., Tuesday, 8.30 p.m. and Wednesday, 9 p.m.; for Girls, Sundays, 2.30 p.m. Other Classes as required. A Mothers’ Meeting is held on Monday, from 3 to 4.30 p.m. A District Visitors’ Meeting on the last Friday in each month, at 4 p.m. A Dorcas Society, for making garments for the poor, meets on Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. A Soup Kitchen (entrance in Warner Street) is open during Winter on Tuesday and Friday, from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m. The best meat soup, 1d. a pint. Parochial Applications are attended to daily, between 9 and 10 a.m.

Mission House 8, Oughton Place.

- Sunday School at10 a.m., and 2.30 p.m. Bible Classes – for Boys, Tuesday, 6.30 p.m.; for Girls, Wednesday, 6 p.m. Mothers’ Meeting, Monday, 3 p.m.

S. Katherine’s Home, Spring Vale, Miles Street,

- Sunday and Week-day Classes for Boys and Girls, and a Day School, for Infants. Mothers’ Meeting, Tuesday, 5 p.m. Apply to Sister Mary.

A Bible Class for Girls

is held at the Vicarage, on Sunday, at 2.30 p.m.

A Mothers’ Meeting

is held at back of 119, Cheapside, on Monday, from 3 to 4.30 p.m.

A Guild of the Good Shepherd

in four Divisions, for Men, Women, Boys, and Girls. Subscription, 1d. a week. Service in Church on first Tuesday in each month, at 8 p.m. Weekly meetings of the several Branches at 202, Bradford Street.

Girls’ Friendly Society.

– Meetings, 1st and 3rd Monday in Month, at 202 Bradford Street, 7.30 p.m. Apply to Mrs. Enraght.

Church of England Temperance Society.

– Members may take a pledge either of Total Abstinence or of Moderation. Subscription 1d. a month. Meetings in Girls’ School, after notice, at 8 p.m.

Ward of Confraternity of Blessed Sacrament.

– Meetings in Church on first Wednesday of each month, after Evening Service.

A Prayer League,

to intercede for the Church and Parish.

English Church Union,

a Society of Communicants for the defence of the Church of England. Our Parochial Branch holds occasional meetings. Subscription from 6d. to 11s. 6d. a year.

Church of England Working Men’s Society,

for securing freedom of Worship and preserving the rights and liberties of the Church of England. Subscription, 1s. a year. The Birmingham Branch holds frequent meetings in this neighbourhood.

The Bordesley Choral Society,

for practising high class music, meets every Saturday in the Girls’ School at 8 p.m., from September to May. Conductor, Mr. A. Tricker, F.C.O., Organist of Holy Trinity. Terms, 2s. 6d. a term of four months.

The Bordesley Club,

202, Bradford Street (entrance in Warner Street), for Men. Age not younger than 18. Subscription, 2s. per quarter. The Club Rooms are open daily, Sunday excepted. Bagatelle, &c.

The Parochial Library

at 202, Bradford Street, is open for the exchange of books on Saturday, from 8.30 to 9 p.m.

The Spiritual Library

of Devotional Books, at 202, Bradford Street, is open for exchanges on Fridays, from 5 to 8 p.m. Subscription, 2s. 6d. a year.

The Parish Magazine

is a monthly record of parish affairs, price 1d. All interested in parish matters should take it

Birmingham Provident Dispensary,

for cheap medical aid for the poor. The Secretary attends at 202, Bradford Street, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 8 to 9 p.m.

Birmingham Provident Institution,

for insuring (1) Weekly pay in sickness, (2) Sums at death, (3) Medical attendance and medicine. Apply to Mr. Jesse Smith, at the Boys’ School, Trinity Terrace, on Mondays, from 7.30 to 9 p.m.

Camp Hill Sick and Dividend Society.

– The Secretary attends at 202, Bradford Street, every Saturday, from 8 to 9.30 p.m.

The Church Committee,

consisting of all Gentlemen belonging to the Congregation, meets, when necessary, to transact parish business, at 202, Bradford Street, on Monday, at 8.45 p.m.


I would at the present time recall the attention of my late parishioners to remarks contained in the last publication of my learned and venerable predecessor, written shortly before his death "A few Remarks, respectfully addressed to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester, on certain Statements of his recent Charge [that of 1874, the year of the passing of P.W.R.A. and of my entrance upon the Cure of Holy Trinity], by the Rev. J. Oldknow, D.D., Vicar of Holy Trinity, Bordesley:

"PROTESTANT CLAMOUR. - And now to follow your Lordship to more general topics. I feel no doubt that the clamour raised by the Church Association and its sympathisers against an important portion of the members of the Church, both clergy and laity, is grievously over estimated. It will not be forgotten that at the time of the French Revolution, Burke found it necessary to caution his correspondent in France against being misled as to the prevalent feeling in England, in these terms – ‘Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud, and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shrivelled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.’ It strikes me that these words might be profitably considered in the present day, with regard to the subject before us. Your Lordship speaks of ‘the patience of pious and intelligent members of our congregations being sorely tried by teaching and practices,’ ‘of which we now and then hear with pain;’ ‘of demands being loudly made upon persons in authority to repress them:’ [1] and as a proof of the importance of such demands, appeal is made among other things to a memorial to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, signed by more than 60,000 lay members of the Church. Is it, however, forgotten that more than twenty years ago a similar memorial was presented, signed by five times the number? that in the recent prosecutions for Ritual proceedings, persons having a direct interest in the respective cases could not be found to act as prosecutors, and so Mr. Purchas and Mr. Parnell have been proceeded against by persons connected with neither their congregations nor neighbourhoods, and Mr. Edwards by a Dissenter, whilst in each case the congregation has shown the greatest sympathy with their pastor, and indignation against his persecutors? [2] that those who are endeavouring to afford additional facilities for such acts of persecution have not ventured to restrict the right of complaint either to communicants, though it is in the celebration of the Holy Communion that those practices by which they are offended chiefly occur, or even to resident parishioners - and that whilst the petitions to the House of Lords in favour of the Public Worship Regulation Bill were 211, containing 295 Clerical, and 2,097 Lay signatures, those against it amounted to 625, with 2,640 Clerical, and 18,369 Lay signatures, all of communicants, a restriction not professed to have been observed in the case of the others? Surely the consideration of such facts should have some influence in neutralising the moral force of the clamour which has been so persistently raised.


I cannot but think, my Lord, that nothing has happened for many years so calculated to alienate a large portion - perhaps the majority - of the clergy from their spiritual rulers, and grievously to diminish whatever confidence in them has been hitherto felt, as the Archbishops’ Bill. It was obviously, and almost professedly, designed as a party measure, to enable them to repress with a high hand what was personally distasteful. They could view with indifference, or with favour, such proceedings as the Sacrilegious Communion, promoted by the Dean of Westminster, in Westminster Abbey, and the scandal perpetrated by the Dean of Canterbury, in taking part in a pretended Celebration of the Eucharist, at New York. They could bear omissions and contradictions of what is prescribed in numerous rubrics of our Prayer Book, with the greatest composure: but that a priest should ‘say the Prayer of Consecration’ , standing before the Table,’ in ‘such ornaments of the Minister as were in use in this Church of England by the Authority of Parliament in the second year of the Reign of King Edward the Sixth,’ and should use such private devotions at the time as Bishop Wilson had provided for himself, - this was too much, and could not be tolerated ; and so they go to Parliament, - an assembly consisting of men of all religions and of none, -against the advice of Convocation, to enable them to put down such extravagance and superstition, by affording facility and encouragement to any three ill-conditioned parishioners, for bringing such an offender before the Courts of Law, though his ministrations may give the most perfect satisfaction to the whole of his flock but themselves, in order that he may be visited with the desired punishment. Is this, my Lord, the conduct of Fathers in God, or likely to ensure them the reverence and affection of their spiritual sons.

"We would readily and gladly give our best support to the Establishment, on any theory which recognises the existence and rights of the Church, as a society essentially independent of the State, and deriving its origin and authority in no way from it, but from Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The financial and temporal affairs of such a society, if in union with the State, may well be under the State’s control; but with the exercise of its Spiritual authority, its doctrine and its worship, the State, independently of the Church, has righteously nothing to do; and it is only an unjust usurpation, when it claims or exercises such authority. We therefore feel bound by the decisions of no temporal court given on such points; and indeed the State, when it allows such decisions to be given, is acting in violation of its own professions, promises, and engagements. ‘We give not to our Princes,’ says the 37th Article, ‘the ministering either of God’s Word, or of the Sacraments, the thing which the Injunctions lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify:’ but surely to assign to any secular Court under the authority of the Sovereign, the power of declaring, in last resort, what may or may not be taught in the Church as the word of God, is to give to our Princes, in the highest sense, the ministering of God’s Word; and moreover to act in contradiction to the promise contained in ‘His Majesty's declaration,’ prefixed to the Articles, given originally by Charles I, (but accepted, I presume, by all subsequent Sovereigns,) ‘that if any difference arise about the external Policy; concerning the Injunctions, Canons, and other Constitutions whatsoever, belonging (to the Church of England), the Clergy in their Convocation is to order and settle them, &c.,’ and ‘the Bishops and Clergy , from time to time in Convocation, upon their humble desire shall have Licence under our Broad Seal to deliberate and to do all such things as being made plain by them, and assented unto by us, shall concern the settled continuance of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England now established.’ How widely apart from the spirit of these professions and promises was the Constitution of the late Committee of Privy Council, (and I would, my Lord, that I could see a less divergence in that of the Court by which it is to be succeeded,) to enforce compliance with one of whose judgements appears to have been the main design of the Archbishops’ Bill, it is needless to point out

"With great respect, I remain
"Your Lordship’s very faithful servant,


"Holy Trinity Vicarage,
"Bordesley, Birmingham,
"July 11, 1874."

[1] Charge, pp. 52, 53.

[2] This also applies to the case of Mr. Mackonochie, but I forget whether or not his prosecutor has any connection with his parish.

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