Project Canterbury

His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, President of the Society












Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, 2008

"I most heartily commend this little book. I hope it will help Church people to realise the manifold and varied ways in which this Society, old in years and ever renewing its youth, puts itself at the service of the Church. If this were realised as fully as it ought to be, membership of the Society would be regarded as a privilege, and the support of it as a duty."

Cosmo Cantuar


The Stone-breaker


was what he asked for. He was an African Christian wanting to buy a copy of "Oxford Helps to the Study of the Bible," published in Luganda by S.P.C.K.; only "Bula Mapari"--"The Great Stone-breaker"--was the pictorial way in which he described it. "For," as he explained, "when I read my Bible, I come across many difficult passages. They are like great stones in the road. I turn to this book, and it explains my difficulties. It breaks up the stones on the road, and I can pass along quite easily."

"Bula Mapari"--"The Stone-breaker"--is the title given to this little book because it seems that no other phrase could present more aptly the contribution of S.P.C.K. to the mission enterprise. There are many other stones of difficulty besides vernacular literature and Biblical commentary to be broken in "making a highway for our God": endowment of new dioceses; building work for churches, schools, training colleges, hospitals; the cost of training native clergy, catechists, teachers; the training of doctors; linking up the old with the new countries by the spiritual care of migrants; besides the work of restoration after natural calamities. All these are the problems that beset the missionary and bring increasing anxiety, wellnigh despair. But these are the very stones along the road that S.P.C.K. [3/4] labours to break up. The chapters of this booklet are set out to tell that story.

But part of the story, and an important part, they do not tell. "Always resourceful" was the fine tribute paid to S.P.C.K. at Founders' tide, 1930, by the Archbishop of Canterbury; but not always full of resources. There is a difference. Lack of financial resources is the greatest stone of all that obstructs the Royal Road. To promote the work of "Bula Mapari" is the purpose of this booklet. At present, though the field of S.P.C.K. appeal is not limited by colour or party, only one-third of all the parishes in England and Wales give a single farthing in support. More parochial help is claimed, more annual subscribers are sought, more box-holders desired. Much progress has been made, and many stones have been broken. The figure on the cover of this booklet shows that. But the figure shows also how long a journey yet lies in front, how many rough places there are yet to be made plain. The figure rests, but is not idle. It contemplates accomplishment and possibility, and longs for resources to justify more fully still the claim of S.P.C.K. to be everywhere "Bula Mapari," "THE GREAT STONE-BREAKER."


Six different pairs of eyes have surveyed the history and work of S.P.C.K. for the purpose of this book, and what they have seen has been recorded. All are obviously well qualified to treat of the subject with which they deal, but all cannot be expected to have the same intimate knowledge as some. Some look back to the past, some onwards to the future. The main attention of some was obviously to the home field, of others to the field abroad. The former would doubtless wish the reader who has assimilated his view to project it into the wider mission field, and, contemplating that past experience here, see it still powerfully effective there, and only cut off from more abundant success by the limit of interest and support. The latter, assuming the reader's knowledge of the past, bids him rather to look forward, appreciate the difficulties, and gird himself for the task.

For example, it is clearly shown by the Bishop of Durham that Christian education loomed largest in the minds of the founders of S.P.C.K.; but it is of importance that the objective was largely ulterior. To raise the tone of our people at home, and get them to see again the glory of life in Christ our Saviour, was calculated of necessity to kindle their eagerness to impart the good news, to extend the Kingdom throughout the world. So to-day in the help given to building schools, colleges, and universities among our own people and the native races overseas, and the grants [5/6] for scholarships amounting to several thousands of pounds a year, the Society still stands as par excellence the Promoter of Christian Knowledge; and every quarter of the mission field, and every other Society, will pay its tribute due.

The same thing is true of Christian vernacular literature. Basing everything on the Bible certainly, as the Bishop of Worcester rightly says, the Society endeavours to provide in nearly 150 different languages that wide variety of literary culture that increasing intellectual development demands. From elementary readers to deep theological treatises, the fruits of Western study are given to the younger Churches by S.P.C.K. in manifold translations. And, more important still perhaps, the Society is seeking to discover, develop, and record the special inherent genius of the many different races by encouraging original work by native Christians. What English literature owes to the inspiration and care of the Church is incalculable; that same debt by this section of its work S.P.C.K. endeavours to lay upon the literature of the world at large.

But this is only by way of illustration. The net result would seem to be that, looked at from far or near, studied from whatever angle it may be, a Churchman cannot rightly be unmindful of the quiet, unassuming, pioneering work of this Society. Throughout this book the view-point is that of the individual writer, though for the most part it would doubtless be shared with unanimity by all. The Society cannot be held responsible. Its task, and a happy one at that, is just to put before all what some have recorded about its contribution to the missionary enterprise.


THE first necessity when war breaks out is the mobilisation of the nation's fighting force. Recruiting becomes at once the supreme occupation. But after recruiting, and not less important, there follows the necessity for adequate equipment, and the more abundant the response to the call for recruits, the more urgent is the need for equipment, and the more tragic the nation's discomfiture if equipment fails.

It is so with the Church. In every generation the call for recruits to win the world for Christ sounds forth afresh, and that call will sound again and again so long as the world remains unwon. The response indeed is pitifully inadequate; for the task of extending the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world is grim and forbidding; it involves the renunciation of much that the normal man clings to. The initial discouragements are so great that nothing can carry a missionary forth in the teeth of the bitter opposing forces except strong conviction and loyal obedience. But as in military warfare, so in the heavenly warfare of the Church, recruiting is not everything. Missionary work is done through material instruments, and the material equipment is as necessary in the one sphere as in the other. First, there is the training of the recruit for his future work and his transport to the scene of his labours. Presently there must be a church for the converts to worship in, and schools [7/8] for the training of the rising generation in the Faith. Then there must be means of transport over the field of labour, whether by steamer or launch or sailing-boat or motor car. Parishes must be organised into dioceses: and finally, there is occasional need of repair after some great natural visitation such as earthquake or fire or storm. And these material needs bulk larger than any stay-at-home observer can well imagine. Nothing is more illuminating in the reports from the mission field than the matter-of-fact accounts which we sometimes receive of the missionary's daily life. "Took the launch to __ to bring back stores." "Spent all day unpacking stores." "Called all hands to repair the roof, which had been blown off in the night." "Spent most of the night struggling to save the boat threatened by the flooded river." Entries of this kind are to be found in most missionary diaries in tropical lands. And commissariat problems bulk even larger than that. Starvation sometimes comes in sight, and Bishop Gilbert White, late of Carpentaria, records somewhere his deadly sojourn on the Gulf from which he took his title while his food disappeared, and for six weeks the promised supply-boat failed to turn up.

Why do I enlarge upon these things? Because it is of great importance that all who care and work for the extension of the Kingdom should understand the reality and the urgency of this question of equipment. Certainly the call to the mission field does not come to every Christian, but most certainly there comes a call to every Christian to support those who go. The contribution of us who stay at home must be the contribution of equipment. It is for us to see that the men and women who represent us in the field are not compelled to go short of the necessaries for [8/9] their work. When will the home Church awake to this duty? The awful stress of all our great missionary societies at the present time is indeed a call to sacrifice on the part of us who stay at home. But somehow the sense of obligation seems to awake but slowly.

In this paper, however, I desire to concentrate attention upon one among these great Societies. The S.P.C.K. is unique among all the Societies of our Church in its devotion to the equipment of missionary work.

Nothing will illustrate the part played by the S.P.C.K. more clearly than a review of the expansion of the Church of our communion in the past hundred years. In 1820 there were three Anglican dioceses overseas. In 1929 there were 149, and of these 87 per cent have benefited as a start to their development by grants from S.P.C.K. towards endowment, varying from £1,000 to £5,000. Again, with the new dioceses, new colleges, both university and theological, have grown up. In eighty-nine instances grants have been made, and fourteen professorial chairs have been endowed.

But the main sphere of material equipment is naturally the provision of new churches, and in these days of depression in the home Church it is cheering to note that, in spite of the irreligion imputed to us as a nation, we do as a matter of fact build churches wherever we go. The figures for the past hundred years, if only we could obtain them, would be remarkable. Fabrics have sprung up like mushrooms all the world over, and whenever asked the S.P.C.K. has always given a grant of 10 per cent on the outlay. For three and a half years in comparatively recent times the Society gave grants at the rate of three a fortnight, [9/10] while in addition it has aided in the erection of sixty-nine new cathedrals, with a sum of £34,410.

One of the most depressing things in missionary work is the frequent recurrence of what the insurance companies call "Acts of God." A flourishing mission may be laid flat by a cyclone; a flood may wash away a hardly gathered herd of mission cattle; the carelessness of some ignorant convert may lead to a disastrous fire. No one who has not had the administration of a mission, with its soul-wearing financial anxieties, can quite realise the despair with which the superintendent hears of the wreck of a mission launch. I speak from personal experience when I say that the prompt and generous help which has reached us in the mission field from the S.P.C.K. on occasions like these kindles a spirit of thankfulness, and indeed affection, which does not soon die.

But I must not go on, though I have not even touched upon the development of Christian vernacular literature which must go side by side with the extension of the Church, and is one of the Society's especial domains. But this article must end; my object in writing it is to make sure that the Church recognises the vital importance of this side of its work. But I can honestly add that the writing of it is also an act of pietas--an act of affectionate gratitude to a Society who has stood by me in many a crisis, and has never failed to supply that encouragement and hope which is the characteristic service of a resourceful and understanding friend.


THE educational work of the S.P.C.K. was an integral part of its general policy, and stands in evident relation to the situation in which that policy was originally framed. The latter part of the seventeenth century was throughout Europe a period of intellectual and religious exhaustion. In 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia had brought to an end that fearful epoch of suicidal conflict which we call the Thirty Years War. Germany had been for a whole generation the victim and the teacher of a ferocious militarism, in which religion had become the spur rather than the bridle of human passion, and morality had declined into a sordid egotism. Religious wars were followed by wars of commercial rivalry and dynastic ambition, with the broad result that the population of Europe, obsessed with almost unceasing conflict, fell into a deplorable moral and intellectual decline. Ignorance generated crude superstitions, and public policy everywhere reflected the debasement of personal morality. England, which had escaped the worst experiences of the Continent, had endured the Civil War and the Stuart Restoration. The sons of the royal martyr returned from exile with furtive foreign ambitions of their own, which their subjects suspected and feared. The Revolution of 1688, which finally defeated those ambitions, and secured the freedom and religion of the nation, brought with it [11/12] no settled harmony, for the community was rent by sectarian strife and conflicting dynastic loyalties. It was in such circumstances that men of goodwill began to address themselves seriously to the restoration of Christian faith and morality in the habit of the English people.

Dr. Bray (1656-1730), one of the founders of S.P.C.K., was an enthusiast for education, and his educational zeal stamped itself on the Society. Happily he presented the uncommon combination of enthusiasm and persistence. He possessed both zeal and practical good sense, and to these admirable qualities he added an unselfishness which commended his cause to all men of goodwill. His efforts to provide clergy for Maryland had opened his eyes to the deplorable poverty of many of the clergy, and their consequent inability to provide themselves with books. Accordingly he framed the project of establishing libraries which should bring books within their reach. From the clergy he passed to the people. He sought to set up parochial libraries throughout England and Wales. From this library scheme there soon developed the larger project which took shape as the "Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge." Evangelistic and educational objects were originally combined in the work of the Society, but as the area of effort rapidly extended, these were found too much, and a second society was brought into existence by the establishment, in 1701, of S.P.G., specifically charged with the task of spreading the Gospel. "Thus Bray may be regarded as the founder of the two oldest Church societies." [* The Story of S.P.C.K., p. 8, price 2d.]

Charity schools were not wholly unknown, for an ejected Nonconformist minister, Thomas Gouge (1607-1681), who had gained considerable reputation [12/13] as a catechist during the Commonwealth, had started them in Wales, receiving the assistance of no less a person than Archbishop Tillotson. These Welsh schools, however, do not appear to have survived their founder, and their existence does not invalidate the claim of S.P.C.K. to be the pioneer of popular education. It is difficult for us now to understand how strong was the opposition of the governing classes to the education of the poor, or how meagre was the quantity of the knowledge which even the champions of popular education thought it safe to provide. Preaching in 1745, Bishop Butler felt it necessary to justify the policy of teaching poor children how to read. He pointed out that since a vernacular literature had come into existence, and knowledge was thus made accessible to all who could read English, the effect of withholding the power to read was to create a new and most serious disadvantage, for in the past, when literature was written in Latin, the mass of laity, rich and poor, stood in a like ignorance. "For till within a century or two all ranks were nearly upon a level as to the learning in question." He dwelt on the value of printing as an instrument for the spreading of knowledge, and urged that the poor could not equitably be excluded from its benefits. He pointed out that the general decline of pastoral intercourse between the clergy and their parishioners, a consequence of the widely spread abuse of non-residence and the low level of spiritual ministry in that age, made the distribution of religious books especially important, and eulogised the S.P.C.K. for having included the provision of cheap religious books among its methods. What was the use of publishing good books if nobody could read them? "This pious charity," said the Bishop, "is an additional reason why the poor should be taught to read, that [13/14] they may be in a capacity of receiving the benefit of it."

The Charity Schools of the eighteenth century gave place in due course to the National Schools of the nineteenth, and in 1811 the S.P.C.K., realising its many other commitments and the magnitude of the educational task involved, decided to relegate this part of the work to a body especially formed for the purpose, with which, however, it might still co-operate effectively, and took steps to constitute the National Society. The provision of religious and other wholesome books at a cheap rate went hand in hand with the organisation of the training of school teachers, a work which has steadily gained in public importance since the development of elementary education on undenominational and even secularist principles.

The printing of wholesome literature at cheap rates passed easily into a systematic provision of all necessary books for the National Schools, and then, after 1826, into a general publishing business. S.P.C.K. now takes high rank among the great book-producing houses of the world.

No subjects are of greater intrinsic importance, and none are now holding a larger place in the anxious thought of good citizens than the intellectual equipment of the clergy and the religious training of the school teachers. As the clergy are drawn increasingly from the poorer sections of the community, there is apparent danger that they will be inadequately educated, and that, after ordination, they will be inadequately provided with indispensable books. S.P.C.K., by its grants of books to ordination candidates, clergy, and missionaries, makes an important contribution to the solution of a still unsolved problem of the utmost practical importance,

[15] In 1878 S.P.C.K. provided, and still maintains, S. Katharine's Training College for School Mistresses at Tottenham, an institution which enjoys a well-earned reputation for the efficiency of its training and the quality of its students. If the "dual system" of public education is drawing visibly to an end, as some maintain, and if the direct control of the elementary schools by the Church is passing away, it is clear that the sole guarantees for the moral and spiritual soundness of the State system of education must be provided by the teachers themselves. It needs no argument to show that, in addressing itself to the work of training teachers, and more particularly at the present time in such a venture of faith as will allow it to make a capital outlay of over £50,000 for the enlargement and improvement of the College, S.P.C.K. is rendering service of the highest value both to the Church and to the nation.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . ."

SUCH is our Lord's commission to His Church here on earth. The primary business, therefore, of the Church of Christ, whether at home or overseas, is to teach: to teach, as our Lord taught, the right ideas of God, His nature and purpose; the right ideas of man, and man's relation to God and through God to his fellow-men; the right ideas of the world and the Church; of prayer and sacrament, of cooperation with and dependence upon God, and of the life of service and sacrifice which will issue therefrom. The objective before the Church is the same objective which our Lord had in coming into the world, that man "might have life, and might have it more abundantly," and the secret of life, according to Christ, lies in the ever-increasing knowledge of the one true God as revealed and made known and taught and demonstrated by His Incarnate Son in the one language common to the whole human race--the language of a human life.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations." And if the Church is to fulfil its Master's commission, its primary concern must be to provide teachers, who know the message, whose lives demonstrate it, and who have been trained to pass the message on to all sorts and conditions of men.

Here at home we are beginning to realise as perhaps [16/17] never before the urgency of this need. The grave shortage in the number of the clergy is not only bringing home to us the need of more clergy, but of men better qualified to be teachers of "the faith once committed to the Saints." The need is not only for a greater quantity, but for a higher quality.

If this need is to be met it is essential that an adequate general education and special training should be provided. To do so costs money. Great as the need is here at home, it is infinitely greater overseas. Anyone who has worked in Africa, India, China or Japan--or indeed in South Africa, Australia or Canada--knows well enough that the most urgent of all the many needs is that of a well-trained native indigenous ministry, for without such a ministry we can never hope to build up a really indigenous branch of the Catholic Church.

Not only is the need overseas even more urgent than here at home, but the difficulties in the way of meeting that need are far greater. Here in England, owing to the generosity and foresight of past benefactors, the opportunities of obtaining both a sound general education as well as the special training needed are available and ready to hand. It is not so, or at the best it is only just beginning to be so, overseas. Take, for instance, the case of South Africa, about which I happen to know something, having worked there for some seventeen years. Twenty-seven years ago, in the diocese of Pretoria, covering an area of over twice the size of England, with a native population of well over one million, there was one native priest, and he had been imported from the Cape, no native deacons, a few elementary native schools inadequately staffed, no training school for teachers, and no training college for catechists or ordinands. [17/18] One of the first things which the present Archbishop of Capetown (Dr. Carter), who was then Bishop of Pretoria, tackled was this question of the training of catechists and ordinands; a little later he started a Training College for Teachers, which has resulted in a great increase both of the number and quality of native schools, and consequently in the number and quality of catechists and native clergy. In the two dioceses of Pretoria and Johannesburg, into which the former diocese of Pretoria was subdivided eight years ago, the number of native clergy is now thirty-six. Humanly speaking, this result would never have been attained but for the generous financial help given by the S.P.C.K. both to the building up of the College for Catechists and Ordinands, and of the Training College for Teachers, as well as to Church schools; for all three departments of education hang together. Without a sound system of elementary and secondary education it is impossible to provide men capable of profiting by the special training given for the ministry; and without an adequate supply of trained teachers it is impossible to provide any adequate elementary and secondary schools.

What is now needed in South Africa is an adequate university education, such as is being given at Fort Hare; but the Anglican Hostel there, [* S.P.C.K. has promised £500 for the permanent buildings.] though in being, is from lack of funds hopelessly inadequate for its purpose, and until the Church can give a thorough university education at least to its best candidates for Holy Orders, it can never hope to have a really adequate native ministry, and without that there can never be a strong indigenous branch of the Catholic Church among the Bantu peoples of South Africa. It is only the native himself, trained not only in the [18/19] message which he is sent to deliver, but trained to pass that message on, and trained too in the life of personal devotion to our Lord and dependence upon Him in study, prayer and communion, who really understands the mentality of his own people, and can bring the message home to their hearts and consciences and reason.

It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that the greatest obstacle in the way of providing a well-trained native ministry in South Africa or in any other part of the world--as it is being proved to be here at home--is the lack of funds. I know something of the multitude and the urgency of other demands, but I am convinced that at the present time and for many a long year yet there is no demand which is more urgent or more vital for the whole future welfare of Christ's Church at home or overseas than that of a really efficient supply of men for the ministry.

Other missionary societies are doing their best to meet this demand, but cannot meet it. The S.P.C.K. has from the first put education as its prime objective, and the work which it has done for the training of men, both native and white, for the ministry overseas has a claim upon the generosity of everyone who, realising our Lord's commission to His Church and the urgent need of being faithful to His orders, looks ahead far enough to see that the training of the ministry is the most vital necessity in the life of the Church.


I AM told that I ought to make a contribution to this little volume as being one who happens to have long served as a member of S.P.C.K. committees, and indeed does so still, as far as other responsibilities permit. The reason alleged is only too true. It must be nearly thirty years--equivalent to about one-eighth of the Society's long and honourable course--since I first joined the General Literature Committee; and all the while I have at some time or other been a member of most of the Committees. But there is this exception that I "attained not unto the first three"; I was never a member of the Religious Literature Committee, which makes it at once odd and natural that the subject assigned to me now should be the Society's achievements in the realm of Christian literature.

Now, at the head and front of all Christian literature stands the Bible, and none realise better than the bishops assembled for the Lambeth Conference from every corner of the world, that this description of the Bible is true for folk of every land and of any language. The principle of vernacular literature is fundamental for S.P.C.K., and this principle begins with the Bible. The resolution of the Society's first meeting, "that Dr. Bray be desired, as soon as conveniently he can, to lay before the Society his [20/21] Scheme for Promoting Religion in the Plantations," [* 8th March, 1698-9. Lowther-Clarke, Short History of S.P.C.K., p. 17.] accepted the principle, though there might not be immediate need to put it into practice. And, in fact, for many years S.P.C.K. greatly concerned itself with missionary versions of the Scriptures, and there was rivalry, which can now be forgotten, with the intensive and more concentrated activity of the British and Foreign Bible Society. It can be forgotten because it is definitely at an end. A year or so ago our last surviving vernacular issue of the Bible--in Mota, for the Melanesian Mission--was ceded by agreement to Queen Victoria Street; and Northumberland Avenue still stands. [* Report, B. and F.B.S., 1929, P. 213.]

The fact is, of course, that from fairly early times we found endless scope for vernacular enterprise in other directions. If they were not the actual publishers of the Mohawk Prayer Book of 1715, [* W. Muss-Arnott, The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World (S.P.C.K., 1914), p. 376.] the founders of S.P.C.K. were individually at the back of the missionary to whom it was due. For this and many such purposes we stand at the back of the missionary to-day. He needs in the vernacular the Prayer Book (and especially the Church Catechism), hymn-books, special forms of Service for special needs (think what it means, for instance, that Christians round Lake Nyasa should ask us to provide a form of Service in Yao for use "in the absence of a priest"), commentaries on various books of Holy Scripture, histories of the Church, the life-stories of great Christians, even simple instruction in domestic science and the nurture of children.

[22] The work is full of contrasts, and the differences of circumstance and of tradition call for a wise resourcefulness on the part of the various literary committees, and also on the part of the Standing Committee, as being the fount of general policy. We have to deal on the one hand with peoples in their infancy, to whom some portion of Holy Scripture was the first printed page to come their way. Such peoples are fewer than they once were, but they still exist; and the man of God who goes to them with his supreme message must educate their very patois for the due receiving of it. From us he needs the production of elementary grammars, lexicons, simple lesson-books for his school, simple instructions in Christian truth or natural science. We have often dealt with these men of God one by one as they happened to remit some precious manuscript for reproduction. But we are coming to see that great continents must organise their vernacular efforts from within. S.P.C.K. should be well centred in some such place as Nairobi, in order that the African need for Christian literature may be reckoned up with the help of all those who are entitled to assist in the calculation of it.

The needs of the East are of a different order. In this case the convert often comes to the Gospel out of the midst of a hoary civilisation and through an acquired dissatisfaction with ancient and outworn faiths. He is often highly "literate," as learning is understood by his nationals. What we hope for, and what S.P.C.K. sometimes gets, from him is a contribution to the interpretation of the Faith of Christ in the light of his needs. It is a great thing that we should be able to publish Gairdner's commentary on "Galatians" for the Moslems whom he so well knew. It will be a greater thing when some able "ulema" turns [22/23] his back on the false prophet and explains to Islam why he faces now towards the Christ of God. You need an S.P.C.K. centre, say, at Cairo, to grasp that chance when it comes.

But you will still need Northumberland Avenue to provide a perpetual supply of Christian books and of books which, if not specifically Christian, are technically of a high standard and make for righteousness. My thirty years have let me see great changes in the development of the whole department, great courage in making ventures and in facing the stress due at once to high prices and trade depression. It is all to the good, it all tends to the greater glory of God, if from this centre we make it our business to scatter the results right over the field which is the world.

General Secretary of S.P.C.K.

"HEAL the sick" is most certainly a part of the full message of our Church, and the missionary doctor is a necessary member of every well-equipped mission station.

Think what his (or her) presence means to the other European missionaries, men and women, in times of accident or illness. That alone might be considered sufficient reason for the presence of the medical man or woman and should appeal to the senses of anyone who can visualise the loneliness (in the way of living among peoples of other languages and other races and other colours) of those who have gone to carry the message of the Church to those who are still far off.

But the medical missionary combines in his (or her) work the duty of an evangelist and of a doctor. The work brings the sick and suffering (and in some countries their relations in embarrassing numbers) to the dispensary and the hospital, and the message of Christ is given along with the soothing of pain, relief of suffering, and lessons in health and hygiene.

One likes to think that some at least who have been patients go from the dispensary with a message to their people of the kindness which has met them, and that some of them are able to say in Whose name [24/25] they were healed. The late Bishop Scott, of North China, stated that forty years' experience in that country had taught him that more conversions to the Christian faith could be traced to the work of the doctor than of the teacher or preacher.

Other evidence of a similar kind could be produced, and from many countries where the Church has her medical missionaries. Their work is welcomed by Governments for the teaching of methods which build up health and cancel, perhaps at a long distance of time, superstitions and practices which are bad and cruel, but deeply rooted as the customs of the country.

The Bishop of St. John's, Kaffraria, wrote lately:

"We are building a church for the lepers at the institution at Mkambati, which is in Holy Cross parish. This is a Government institution, but our mission doctor from Holy Cross goes down weekly and is responsible for the medical oversight of the patients, and we have also one of our mission nurses stationed there. Up to the present the only building available for services has been a building of poles and grass, which the rain poured through on a wet day, as I found to my cost on my last visit. It is very urgent that there should be a proper building, and the lepers have so little to bring happiness into their lives that we ought to provide them with a good church."

There is a view of the Church ministering bodily and spiritually to the unfortunate inmates of a Government institution; the mission doctor, who is also a priest of the Church, received help from S.P.C.K. when he was a medical student.

S.P.C.K. has taken, and is taking, a large part in the supply of missionary doctors, men and women, for our Church overseas. Since 1885 for men, and 1886 for women, grants have been given to meet [25/26] the cost of medical training for those who have decided to give themselves to that work, but who are debarred by lack of means from entering upon a long and expensive course of training to obtain the necessary degree or diploma. Adequate safeguards are provided to ensure that the money is not spent on unsuitable candidates, and under certain conditions repayment is asked for.

To-day, in 1930, some sixty students are being helped, and year by year, as some pass out at the end of their course of training, others are crowding in at the bottom of the list, and too frequently some have to wait for help.

Where do they come from?--a natural question to ask. The reply is that they are the accepted candidates of S.P.G., C.M.S., U.M.C.A., C.E.Z.M.S., etc., and that S.P.C.K. is the ally of all those Church Societies which send out missionary doctors. S.P.C.K. does not itself send out doctors, but makes this contribution to medical mission work, viz. substantial help to the cost of training those whose fitness and vocation have been tested by the Societies which will subsequently find for them employment in the mission field.

What does it cost? is another natural question to ask. The answer is that £6000 a year is the present expenditure, and that it could be usefully increased. There is a risk, when candidates have to wait, that they must turn to some means of earning a livelihood, and relieve parents of the cost of maintenance. There is the risk that their desire for this service will be quenched, that disappointment at what appears to be a closed door will cause them to turn back. It has happened that a candidate has been tempted to say, "You say you want me. I want to serve in this way. I have made my offer, and now it seems that [26/27] I am not wanted." That is a disaster which S.P.C.K. helps to make impossible. Those who enjoy health, who in times of illness have a choice of doctors, and especially those who realise that the Church cannot take her full message to the nations of the world without healing the sick--these are the people who can make it possible by their gifts to eliminate the risks referred to.

Let these pages end with a note of encouragement taken from the record of one who since 1894 has been priest and doctor in Zululand. He received from S.P.C.K. help for his medical training in 1886. After a curacy in England he went to Africa in 1894, and while serving as a priest, he was also appointed District Surgeon, i.e. Government Medical Officer, and was able to relieve the diocesan fund of payment for his salary. From that he retired in 1924, but is still actively engaged as a missionary. He writes:

"As the late Bishop remarked, some years ago, after a tour: 'The Church is in possession in North Zululand.' This is true, and it is due to the fact that Bishop Carter was able to occupy this place in 1894, at the request of Dinizulu himself, then at St. Helena. But owing to the straitened finances of the diocese, he could not have occupied it had not the Government come to our aid by asking me to go as District Surgeon, and I could not have accepted had I not been fully qualified as a medical man, and I could not have been fully qualified had not the Society, at Bishop D. Mackenzie's application, granted me one of its Medical Missionary Studentships."

It is well to end with the personal record of one who freely accords the S.P.C.K. the place which it has taken in enabling him (and numerous other men and women) to serve the Church in this ministry of healing.

[28] To a long list of English men and women there are added many Indian students, and some Chinese, who have been helped in a similar way to have a training which has enabled them to act as medical missionaries to their own people.


AMONG the manifold activities of the S.P.C.K. the work which is described in the Annual Report under the heading "At the Ports and on the Ships" stands out as peculiarly our own, though now shared with the Church of England Council of Empire Settlement. As the Report states, we are not in the ordinary sense a migration Society, though greatly interested in migration. What we are specially concerned with is the charge of our fellow-citizens who are also members of our Church brotherhood, while moving across the sea, from an old home to a new, within the Empire. Our ideal is a very noble one, and attractive in the highest degree. It is that the migrants leaving their old homes shall carry with them the Church Services which they have known from childhood, and the care and help which they have known or ought to have known on this side, without interruption and in unbroken continuity; that in leaving the homes of their childhood they shall not feel lonely for a single hour; that at a time of uprooting, of perturbation and anxiety, they shall always have at hand a counsellor and friend to whom they can turn, primarily, a spiritual guide, but also a friend in the things of everyday life. A large proportion of those who migrate are and ought to be young, for the young are more ready to adapt themselves to new conditions than those whose lives have been moulded into grooves, and the young are most valuable to the overseas peoples [29/30] of the Empire, to whom it is but right that we should give what they most will value. But the young specially need to be safeguarded by wise counsellors, on whom they have a right to call and on whom they can rely. And to the mothers who are left behind the pain of parting with their children is immeasurably softened by the knowledge that the children will be travelling in company with friends.

Present conditions fall sadly short of the ideal. The means and the men are alike wanting. With our existing revenue, only about £4400 can be devoted annually to this service, only a handful of port chaplains can be employed--though the chaplains at the three great ports of Liverpool, London, and Southampton are of the best--and clergy willing to act as voyage chaplains are on an average available for only one in every four ships carrying intending settlers from the Old Country to the Dominions.

Still, with the goodwill of the shipping companies--and their goodwill calls for warm acknowledgement--not a little is being done on the lines which have been sketched out above. The Society publishes a handbook of information for intending settlers which is being constantly revised and kept up to date, and identity cards are issued, to be carried by members of the Church as evidence of their membership. Armed with these, it is for the vicar of the parish, if he knows that one of his flock is becoming a migrant, and if he does his duty, to write commending him or her to the chaplain at the port of embarkation. The port chaplain, having received him, her or them, will see them safely on board and into the charge of the chaplain of the ship where there is one. Throughout the voyage the chaplain on the ship is available as guide, counsellor, and friend until the port of arrival [30/31] is reached, when he hands over his charge to the chaplain or other duly accredited receiver on the other side, and he in turn watches over the new arrival and starts him on his journey up country, being careful to send word beforehand, until the newcomer reaches the new home and the friends who expect and will welcome him, the nearest clergyman of the Church of England, if there is one within measurable distance, being also apprised.

What is aimed at, and is being partially done, is as much a work for the Empire as a work for religion, as religion is interpreted, widely and generously, by the Church of England. It is the continuity, the absence of any break, however distant may be the destination, that is priceless; and the money now spent on it could be multiplied four or five times, at least, with a rich blessing to all who are exchanging the old for the new and that which has always been to hand for the far distant. It may well be--in many cases it will assuredly be--that religion will speak to those who are going out in terms of affection hitherto unknown, and that the sense of Divine protection will be wonderfully quickened. If more money is forthcoming, this year's Report shows that a port chaplain might with advantage be stationed at Plymouth, reviving what was the first port chaplaincy of the Society, established some eighty years ago. Cardiff again is a port where there is an opening for a port chaplain's work. But to make adequate provision "on the ships" is a greater problem than is presented "at the ports," and, moreover, want of men is likely to be in permanence a more formidable obstacle than lack of means. In default of a sufficient supply of clergy, it is possible that the services of well qualified lay readers might be utilised to great [31/32] advantage. What is primarily needed is to bring home to all lovers of Church and Empire that here is a service at once of unique value and of almost unique difficulty, to maintain unbroken continuity in spiritual care for those who are passing from one end of the British Empire to another, to make the call both of Church and of Empire more potent, more satisfying, more conducive to what is highest and best in the children of our Empire.

To thousands upon thousands England appeals as "the old country." In "the old country" the most familiar object in the landscape is the parish church. We want those who are going out from among us to take with them the associations of the parish church, so sacred and at the same time so familiar. If our Society can have spread abroad in any measure this parish church feeling, it will have done what is well pleasing to God and full of grace to man.


Eighty-seven per cent. of the Overseas Dioceses of the Anglican Communion have received Endowment Grants of £1000 or more from S.P.C.K. In the above Maps such Dioceses are coloured black. See page 9.


In Dioceses like those of the Far East and the West Indies the possibility of such "acts of God" would be a constant nightmare and their effect paralysing were not S.P.C.K. at hand to help. See page 10.


Nothing is too Big. In the building of this fine centre of higher education in Canada S.P.C.K. has given £1700 and £1000 more to endow a Theological Faculty. See pages 5 and 9.


S.P.C.K. co-operated with the Natives in building this simple village school. See page 5.


See introduction, page 3, and page 20.


The age of "teens" in a young Church is reached when, by the gift of S.P.C.K. printing presses and type, local publishing can be undertaken. See page 22.


The Power of a native medical Service is incalculable. See page 28.


The strongest Missionary Agency lies in the Christian example of white people. See page 30.

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