Project Canterbury






Protestant Episcopal Church of the U. S. of America





MAY 18th, 1892.



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

[2] Officers of the Convocation.


THE REV. R. J. NEVIN, D. D.--Rome, Italy.


REV. J. B. MORGAN, D. D.--Paris, France.



Clergy List.

In Order of Canonical Residence.

THE REV. R. J. NEVIN, D. D., Rome, Italy.
THE REV. J. B. MORGAN, D. D., Paris, France.
THE REV. WM. S. ADAMSON, Geneva, Switzerland.
THE REV. T. F. CASKEY, Dresden, Germany.
THE REV. G. M. ROYCE, Florence, Italy.
THE REV. E. F. H. J. MASSE (assistant), Paris, France.

Parishes and Lay Delegates.

Church of the Holy Spirit, Nice.--MR. WM. DE GROOT.
Church of the Holy Trinity, Paris.
St. John's Church, Dresden.
St. Paul's Church, Rome.
St. James' Church, Florence.--MR. THOMAS BALL.
Emmanuel Church, Geneva.
American Church, Lucerne.

[3] Journal.

The Convocation met at the call of the Secretary by authority of the Bishop in charge, at St. James' Church, Florence, Italy, Wednesday, May 18th, 1892, 11 A. M. Morning Prayer and Holy Communion by the Rev. R. J. Nevin, D. D., acting as celebrant. Rev. Messrs. John Cornell, G. M. Royce (rector of the Parish) and Rev. H. Venables (assistant) took part in the service. At 12 M. the Convocation met in business session in the Vestry. Present: Rev. Dr. R. J. Nevin, Rev. G. Monroe Royce, Rev. John Cornell, Rev. H. Venables and Mr. Thomas Ball, lay delegate from St. James' Church, Florence. The Convention was organized by the election of the following officers: President, Rev. R. J. Nevin, D. D.; Secretary, Rev. J. Cornell; Treasurer, Rev. J. B. Morgan, D. D.

A letter was read from Rev. Dr. Morgan of Paris, dated May 14, 1892, regretting that he could not attend on account of an engagement in Paris at the date of the meeting of the Convocation, made before he had received the notice of the meeting (April 16th). A letter was read from Rev. Wm. S. Adamson of Geneva, regretting that he could not be able to attend the Convocation, and authorising the secretary, in case it could be done, to vote for him by proxy. A letter was also read from Rev. T. F. Caskey of Dresden, regretting his inability to attend on account of the distance of Dresden, and suggesting that on account of the difficulty of getting members of the Convocation together some arrangement might be made by which absent members might vote by letter. The following letter to the secretary from the Bishop in charge of Foreign Churches was read:

My Dear Brother:

Acting under the standing order of delegates from Missionary Jurisdictions and from Foreign Churches, I do hereby as Bishop in charge of Foreign Churches direct that a Convocation of the Churches in Europe be called at such time and place as may be agreed upon after consultation among the clergy in charge of Foreign Churches for the purpose of choosing one clerical and one lay delegate to the next General Convention of the Protestant [3/4] Episcopal Church in the U. S. of America which is appointed to meet in the City of Baltimore on the first Wednesday in October, 1892.

Faithfully your Brother,
ALBANY, Dec. 25, 1892.
Bishop in Charge of Foreign Churches.

On motion of the Rev. G. Monroe Royce, the Convocation resolved to hear the report of the delegate sent by the last Convocation to the General Convention in New York, 1889. The Rev. Dr. Nevin reported as follows:

Your delegate attended all the sessions of the Convention from Oct. 3d to Oct. 24th. He secured on the Third day an amendment to the standing order of the House of Deputies by which the Foreign Churches were put on a similar footing to the Missionary Jurisdictions, in the matter of representation in that House, so that hereafter the Foreign Convocation will be entitled to send there, one clerical and one Lay Delegate, with similar privileges to those of Deputies from Dioceses, except only the right to vote (Journal of Convention, 1889, p. 263). Your delegate secured also an amendment to the Standing Rules of order by which a delegate from the Foreign Jurisdiction is added to the standing Committee on the state of the Church (Journal of Convention, p. 307). He introduced on the 6th Day a series of amendments to the Canon prepared after careful consultation with the Presiding Bishop and approved by him (Journal of Convention, p. 277). The object of these was to remove the Standing Committee entirely to Europe, making it elective by the Convocation and to prepare the way for the recognition of the Foreign Churches as a fully organized Jurisdiction, when all constitutional and Canonical requirements should have been complied with. On the 10th day, he was able to present to the House, the preamble and resolutions adopted by the Convocation at Paris in 1889--moving that they be referred to a special committee to report at this Convention (Convention Journal, p. 307). Both of these resolutions went in order on the Calendar, but as the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, occupied the time and thought of the House to the exclusion of nearly all other business, neither of them came up for debate until the last night of the session. The House in general was most friendly to the Foreign Churches--yet very few of the Deputies knew any thing about them, and they hesitated to act decisively against an unfathomable report from the Committee on Canons, when there was no time for extended debate, or presenting full information. The amendments moved by your delegate were lost by a close vote. He does not hesitate to say that they would have been carried had it not been for the opposition stirred up against them, by the late Bishop in charge of Foreign Churches, who, although he had promised to do all in his power to further [4/5] the wishes of the Paris Convention, your delegate regrets to have to say worked against them with extreme antagonism both in the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. In the place of your delegate's amendments, the Committee on Canons offered as a substitute and compromise, an amendment by which a quorum of the Standing Committee should consist of a majority of all the members, whether resident in the United States or not. Then it was said you can have Meetings in Europe. The quorum had previously been a majority of the members resident in the United States. This made it really impossible to hold a legal meeting anywhere. As under the present Convention, this was the best safety against ignorant and unwise action, and as it was now at the last hours of the session and too late to contest the matter further, your delegate allowed this kindly intended compromise to pass without remark or opposition, hoping that its actual "reductio ad absurdum" of the existing Standing Committee would force the Church to give a more serious consideration to the position of the Foreign Churches, at the General Convention in 1892. As the House of Bishops sits with closed doors, the petition of the Paris Convocation was presented to it through the Bishops of Iowa and Albany. Your delegate had the honor of appearing before the House of Bishops, sitting in Council (not as a part of the General Convention) and of speaking as to the wishes of the Foreign Churches. It had already however become evident that no favorable action was to be hoped for from the House of Bishops, in the face of the active antagonism of the late Bishop in Charge and of his predecessor, and with no representative of the Foreign Churches to speak for them.


After report of the Delegate, on motion of Rev. Mr. Royce it was resolved that the Convocation proceed to the election of one clerical and one lay delegate to the General Convention. On motion of Mr. Royce, Dr. Nevin was nominated as clerical delegate, no other nomination having been made the vote was put by the secretary and Dr. Nevin was unanimously elected. Adjourned to 2:30 P. M. Convocation met at 2:30 P. M. On motion, Rev. Wm. S. Adamson was elected alternate clerical delegate. Also, Mr. Jessup was elected lay delegate and Mr. G. S. Coddington, alternate.

On motion it was unanimously resolved that the resolutions in regard to a fair representation of the Foreign Churches in General Convention and a better provision for their Episcopal oversight, which were unanimously adopted by the whole body of the Foreign Clergy in Convocation held in Paris, June 12th, 1889, be reaffirmed, and that the delegates of the Convocation be instructed to present them to the General Convention in Baltimore.

At the request of the Bishop in charge certain amendments to the Canon on Foreign Churches which had been previously communicated [5/6] by him to the several Chaplains were taken up for consideration. On motion it was unanimously resolved that inasmuch as the existing congregations of the American Church on the Continent of Europe were severally organized as Churches, and not as Chapels, and as such have been distinctly recognised as a separate jurisdiction by the General Convention and have acquired the large property they now hold, under such constitution; in the opinion of this Convocation the changes in the existing Canon proposed by the Bishop in charge of Foreign Churches are of doubtful constitutionality and would be distinctly prejudicial to the interests of said Churches.

"Resolved: that if it be found desirable to organize additional congregations either as summer chaplaincies, or in places where they could not be duly organized as Churches, according to the regular order of the Church's constitution, in the opinion of this Convocation, the organization of such congregations might best be provided for, by a special Canon which does not touch the constitution of the existing Churches."

On motion of Mr. Royce the president was requested to draft rules of order governing the future meetings of the Convocation and to submit them to the next meeting of the Convocation with any suggestions which may be made by the several clerical members. On motion the Convocation adjourned to meet at the call of the President.

JOHN CORNELL, Secretary.


Baptisms (Adult 12, Infant 22),--34
Confirmations (5 parishes reporting),--56
Families and parts of families,--813
Individuals (3 parishes reporting),--584
Sunday School Teachers (2 parishes reporting),--7
S. School Scholars and Bible Class Scholars (3 parishes reporting),--91
Contributions in all (5 parishes reporting),--$24,875
Value of Church Property,--$1,205,000

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