Project Canterbury

Colonial Church Histories: New Zealand

Containing the Dioceses of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Waiapu, Wellington, and Melanesia.

By Henry Jacobs

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1887.

Part III. The Period of Subsequent Growth and Development.


Seventh General Synod--Character of Session--Formularies Bill--Other Proceedings--Letter of Bishop Reinkens--Consecration of Bishop of Melanesia--Bishopric of Waiapu--Consecration of Bishop Stuart--Death of Bishop Williams--Eighth General Synod--Theological College--Suffragan Bishop--Diocesan Boards--Diaconate and Lay Ministrations--Church of Sweden--Close of Session.

A familiar form was greatly missed from the next General Synod, that of the Right Rev. William Williams, Bishop of Waiapu. He was living, and his last days on earth were being passed in profound peace, and freedom from any acute suffering, at his beautiful home at Napier, overlooking the broad Pacific. But on the 25th day of March, 1876, just fifty years to the day from the date of his first landing at Paihia, it pleased the Heavenly Father to withdraw him from active labour by a stroke of paralysis. Feeling that his work was done, he was anxious to resign the bishopric at once; but, in deference to the opinion of his friends, he delayed taking this step for two months. He continued still to take a lively interest in the affairs of the diocese and of the Church at large, and was much concerned at the delay which occurred in filling up the vacancy in the see. The Primate made a touching reference in his opening address at the Nelson Synod to the [374/375] illness of Bishop Williams, and a resolution was adopted, on the motion of the Bishop of Nelson, in which it was said that "the Synod regrets the loss from its counsels of one who has eminently contributed to the harmony of its proceedings, and trusts that his remaining years, though spent in retirement, may be cheered by the support of those truths which it has been the work of his life to promote."

We must now proceed to give a brief account, in due order, of this seventh General Synod, which was opened in the Provincial Hall at Nelson, on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, January 25th, 1877. The members met previously for Divine Service and celebration of the Holy Communion at the Pro-Cathedral Church of Christ Church. The Most Rev. the Primate presided, and there were present also the Bishops of Nelson, Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin. Twenty clerical and twenty-four lay representatives attended, a larger number of each order than had attended any former Synod. Among the lay members was a veteran colonist of the North Island, to whom reference was often made in the first part of this History, Hugh Carleton, Esq., Vice-Chancellor of the University of New Zealand, son-in-law and biographer of the Ven. Henry Williams, an interesting man, of highly-cultured mind, wide and general information, and large legislative experience, who, by his independence of thought, combined with his earnestness as a Churchman, imported in spite, or perhaps by reason of, his small acquaintance with Synodical work, much [371/372] freshness into the debates of the session. At the conclusion of the President's Address, the Bishop of Nelson, in accordance with the ancient custom of the Councils of the Church, laid on the table a copy of the Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures, and Archdeacon Maunsell also deposited a copy of the Maori Version.

This Synod will be remembered as one that was prolific in talk, but productive of few practical measures. Its legislative force was exercised more in a negative than in a positive direction, no less than eleven Bills having been introduced but not carried, while six only passed safely through all their stages, including in both categories amendments of existing statutes. This criticism, however, must not be understood as by any means of necessity implying censure; the wisdom of a legislative body is probably as often manifested by what it declines to do, as by what it does. It must be borne in mind also that, in the Synods of the Colonial Church, in which no measure can be carried except by the concurrence of all three Orders, every motion has a threefold ordeal to pass. Neither is abundance of talk, of necessity, a waste of time. Certainly it was not wholly so at the seventh session of the General Synod, in proof of which statement we quote from a contemporary record [Footnote: The New Zealand Church News, for March, 1877.]:-

"The Formularies Bill--The great debate of the session, extending over three evening sittings, took place on this subject, on the following motion made by the Ven. Archdeacon Harper on the 31st January: [372/373]--'That leave be given to bring in a Bill intituled, A Statute to Limit and Define the Powers of the General Synod in reference to alterations of the Services, Formularies, and Articles of the Church, and the Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures, and to settle the Mode of procedure in reference thereto.' This was, in fact, the Bill known as 'The Alteration of Formularies which was brought in by the Hon. H. Sewell, at the close of the session of 1874, but by amendment referred to the several Diocesan Synods for their consideration. In the course of this debate nearly every member spoke, and the liveliest interest was excited, both within and without the Synod, as it proceeded. There were great divergences of opinion as to the probable operation of the measure, if adopted, the mover and others asserting that it was a thoroughly conservative measure, while the speakers on the opposite side expressed much fear and suspicion of it, as tending in their opinion to invite, and pave the way for, change. The incidental results of this debate, judging from many remarks and acknowledgments, which fell from various members, both in the course of it and on subsequent occasions, were exceedingly valuable. Willingly or unwillingly, the eyes of many were opened to the true position of the colonial Church, while an absolute and remarkable unanimity prevailed as to the most important point of all, the desire to remain in the fullest union and communion with the Mother Church of England. It became more and more apparent, as it ought to have been for many years past, that the Church in a colony having [373/374] an independent legislature, cannot possibly remain an integral part of that Church, but is thrown, whether she will or no, absolutely on her own resources, and forced to legislate for herself. It was clearly seen, also, that this fact necessarily entails the responsibility of adopting from time to time such variations in our formularies as circumstances may require, and that, though it may be our wisdom to alter as seldom and as little as possible, it would be wrong and foolish to abnegate or shrink from the power and responsibility which have devolved on us by the Providence of God, and by no seeking of our own. If, however, the members of the Church's legislature had got no further than this, but little progress would have been made towards a solution of the difficulties and perplexities in which the Church of New Zealand is involved as regards constitutional questions, and her relations to the Mother Church. The real advance which was made in this memorable debate consisted in the better understanding arrived at as to our position in reference to our own Church Constitution. It was seen to be a fundamental vice of that Constitution that it attempted to impose certain unalterable provisions on all succeeding generations. These provisions laid down certain restrictions, but at the same time purported to give certain liberties and privileges. The unlooked-for changes of the last twenty years have left the restrictions where they were, but have made the privileges and liberties unavailable. Thus the Church finds herself hampered by obsolete and inapplicable provisions, styled unalterable by those who were chosen [374/375] to legislate for her twenty years ago. It was pointed out at an early stage of the debate that our real difficulty arises from these self-imposed shackles, and that, by reason of the terms in which these provisions are stated, we are deprived of that measure of relief and liberty which it was intended by means of them to secure. It was urged that, in matters relating to traditions and ceremonies, each branch of the Church must be responsible at all times for its own actions, and must be free to act, trusting in the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, and that the attempt of the Church of to-day to bind the Church of twenty years hence by unalterable legislation is contrary to true Christian principle, and is nothing less than an attempt to bind the Spirit of God."

It was argued, on the grounds stated in the preceding chapter, that it was really competent for the General Synod to excise the word "Unalterable" from the Constitution and so to make such alterations in the Fundamental Provisions as might seem necessary. But while they remain as they are, there ought to be no attempt to evade them. Alter them, if you will, deliberately and solemnly, but do not attempt to evade their force, as long as they remain the law of the Church. But it was pointed out that the Preamble to the Formularies Bill was such an attempt. We give the result in the words of the record from which the foregoing extract was taken:--"And this, and other objections, especially the vague apprehension that the effect of the Bill, if passed, would be to pave the way for change, prevailed to such an extent that the eloquence of the mover's reply, and his offer [375/376] to throw over the preamble, were unavailing to secure a majority in favour of his motion, except in the House of Bishops. When, at a late hour, on the third night of the debate, Friday, February 2nd, a division was called for, the result was as follows:--Bishops, Ayes 5, Noes 0; Clergy, Ayes 7, Noes 12; Laity, Ayes 5, Noes 14."

Apart from the foregoing, the most important business taken in hand by this Synod may be classed under the following heads:--

I. The Nominators Statute, No. 5.--A thorough revision of this Statute, now Title A, Canon II., was made. The Diocesan Synods had been asked by the last General Synod to consider the subject, and to submit recommendations with a view to amendments. A Select Committee was appointed to consider such recommendations as had been submitted, and, if they thought fit, to draft a new Statute. The result was a revised measure, based on the original principles, but containing many substantial amendments and additions, especially with reference to the resignation of Incumbents.

II. Statute No. 19, for making certain Necessary Alterations in the Formal Organisation of the Church. An attempt was made to alter this Statute (now Title G, Canon I.) very materially. In the interval which had elapsed since the session of 1874, Sir William Martin had published in England a second pamphlet entitled "Church Legislation in 1874," in which he had passed severe strictures on this Statute. Archdeacon Maunsell obtained leave to introduce a Bill, in which it was proposed to substitute a few simple [376/377] introductory words in lieu of the elaborate Preamble, which was so objectionable to many, and to rescind the two enacting clauses which have reference to Explanatory Notes, to be added to two of the 39 Articles. A protracted debate took place, which resulted in the rejection of the Bill on the second reading by a majority of one in the episcopal Order, although the numerical majority was nearly three to one in favour of it, the voting being as follows:--Bishops, Ayes 2, Noes 3; Clergy, Ayes 16, Noes 3; Laity, Ayes 11, Noes 5.

III. Ecclesiastical Tribunals Statutes.--There is nothing like experience for finding out flaws. Though this Statute had been carefully revised by the preceding Synod, yet when it came to be tested by actual trial in the prosecution of the Rev. Hubert E. Carlyon, for certain alleged errors in teaching and practice, commonly known as the "Kaiapoi Case," which had arisen in the Diocese of Christchurch in 1876, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Mr. Philip Hanmer, was met by difficulties in the practical working of the measure, which convinced him of the necessity of making important changes in it. Being himself a member of the Synod, he, with the able assistance of three other members of the legal profession, practising at Nelson, and members of the Synod, Messrs. Acton Adams, Fell, and Pitt, drafted an entirely new measure, mainly on the lines of the English Church Discipline Act. As the Bill was carried rather hastily through all its stages at the close of the session, the Synod trusting almost implicitly to the guidance of its legal members, it was thought wise to secure an opportunity of revision at [377/378] the next triennial session but one of the Synod. So the provisional element, which the old Statute had got rid of at the last session, was revived in the new by the enactment that "this Statute shall continue in force until the end of the next session but one of the General Synod, but no longer."

IV. Old Catholic Movement.--Here again we propose to quote from the contemporary record of the New Zealand Church News:--"The motion of the Bishop of Dunedin on this subject, introduced as it was by a lucid explanatory speech, giving briefly the history of this important movement, drew the Synod aside for a while from the beaten track, and widened the horizon of its interest and sympathy. The motion, which was cordially adopted by the Synod, was as follows:--'That this Synod of Bishops, clergy, and lay communicants of the Church of the Province of New Zealand, having heard with deep interest the progress of the Old Catholic movement, records its appreciation of the devoted efforts of the leaders of that movement to bring about a return to primitive doctrine, discipline, and unity; and respectfully requests the Primate of this Church to forward this resolution to the Bishops of the Old Catholic communion, and to Dr. Von Döllinger, as an expression of Christian regard.'" The resolution was forwarded accordingly, and in the September number of the same periodical the following acknowledgment, received by the Primate from Bishop Reinkens, is published:--

" Reverendissimo Episcopo Henrico Joanni C. Harper, fratri venerabili, venerabundus Josephus Hubertus Reinkens, Salutem in Domino!

[379] "Literas tuas accipienti gratissimas mihi venerunt in mentem verba illa Firmiliani praeclara (St. Cypr., ep. 75); 'Potens est enim gratia Dei copul et conjungere caritatis atque unitatis vinculo etiam ea, quae videntur longiore terrarum spatio esse divisa, secundum regulam veritatis et sapientiam Christi?' Gratulor igitur ecclesiae, cujus episcopus sum, de benevolentia et fraterna dilectione provinciae ecclesiasticae tam remotae. Convenit sane inter nos, ab eis, qui principalis ecclesiae doctrinam, ritum, disciplinam restituere sincere nitantur, pacem simul Christianorum veramque unitatem recuperari posse, imo tales esse jam unitatis quodammodo participes. Praeterea autem unum quodque caritatis signum unitatis est vinculum. Quapropter concilio vestro provinciali cui praeeras d IX. m Februarii h. a., quum nobis eundem sensum et spiritum testificari vellet, nomine eorum catholicorum per Germaniam, qui principalis ecclesiae formam appetunt, gratias ago quam maximas. Si diligamus invicem, Deus in nobis manet (1 John iv. 12), principium unitatis. Qui dilectione, etiam oratione conjuncti sunt. Vale!

Bonnae, a.d. XXIII., m. Junii, a. MDCCCLXXVII."

The following is a translation:--

" To the Most Reverend Bishop Henry John C. Harper, our venerable brother, Joseph Hubert Reinkens, with all veneration, wishes health in the Lord!

"The receipt of your letter brought to my mind those admirable words of Firmilian (St. Cyprian, ep. 75), are [379/380] 'For the grace of God hath power to couple and join together by the bond of charity and unity places even which seem cut off from each other by an exceeding earthly distance, in accordance with the rule of the truth and with the wisdom of Christ.' I congratulate, therefore, the Church, of which I am bishop, on the goodwill and brotherly love of an ecclesiastical province so remote. There is a manifest agreement between us and you on this point, that there is a possibility of the peace of Christians, together with their true unity, being recovered by such as sincerely endeavour to restore the doctrine, ritual, and discipline of the Primitive Church; nay, that such are already in some degree partakers of unity. Further than this, every single token of charity is a bond of unity. Wherefore to the Provincial Synod of your Church, over which you presided on the 9th of February in this present year, when it desired to testify to us the same sentiment and spirit as that which I now express, in the name of those Catholics throughout Germany who crave after the model of the Primitive Church, I return most cordial thanks. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us (I John, iv. 12) the principle of unity. Those who are united in love are united also in prayer. Farewell!

"Bonn, 23rd June, 1877."

V. Bishopric of Waiapu.--On the last day of the session, the Synod passed a resolution, expressing its regret that no nomination of a Bishop to the vacant See of Waiapu had yet been made, and urging that [380/381] steps should be taken to secure an election at as early a date as possible.

VI. Bishopric of Melanesia.--On the second day of the session, January 26th, the Bishop of Auckland moved, and the Rev. R. S. Jackson, a former member of the mission staff, seconded, "That the Synod do appoint to fill the vacant Bishopric of the Islands of Melanesia the Rev. John Richardson Selwyn, who has been recommended to the General Synod by the members of the mission now engaged in carrying on the mission work." Thereupon, on the invitation of the President, all present knelt and united in silent prayer to Almighty God for His guidance and blessing. The motion was then put and carried unanimously.

The Bishop-Elect was at that time spending a few weeks in the South of New Zealand to recruit his health after his last island voyage, but his arrival at Nelson was looked for daily, as it was hoped that his consecration would take place before the Synod broke up. His coming was delayed longer than had been expected; at a late hour of the last evening of the session, it was announced by the Bishop of Nelson that he had arrived in the harbour, and would presently appear in the Synod room. The announcement was received with much pleasure, and it was agreed that, on his entrance, the Primate should invite him to take his seat among the clerical members. On his arrival, at about 11 o'clock, the Synod rose to receive him, and then reverted to the business in hand. Presently, when a convenient break occurred in the proceedings, the Bishop-Elect rose, and briefly [381/382] thanked the Synod for the honour they had conferred upon him in appointing him to so high an office, and expressed the sense of unworthiness he felt in being called upon to occupy the post which had been held by Bishop Patteson: at the same time, he hoped that, by the blessing of God, and with the assistance of such an able staff of fellow-labourers, he might be able to carry on, without discredit, the Mission so firmly established by his predecessor.

At an early hour of the morning of Saturday, February 17th, the business of the seventh General Synod was brought to a close after a session of seventeen days, being the same length of time as that occupied by the Synod held at Wellington in 1874. The session ended with the same acts of devotion as on previous occasions.

On the following day, before the majority of members from other dioceses had left Nelson, the deeply-interesting ceremony of the consecration of the new Bishop of Melanesia took place in the Pro-Cathedral Church, which was filled with an earnestly expectant and sympathetic congregation. The sermon was preached by the Rev. B. T. Dudley, now Archdeacon of the Waitemata, and formerly a member of the Mission staff, having been himself ordained by Bishop Patteson. Taking for his text 1 John iii. 16, he dwelt principally on the great truth that the secret of spiritual success is self-sacrificing love, and showed how this principle had been exemplified in the history of the Melanesian Mission. The Mandate of the Primate to the Comprovincial Bishops to proceed to the consecration was read by Mr. W. Acton-Adams, [382/382] and all the requirements of the Ordinal having been duly complied with, all the Bishops present joined with the Primate in the solemn Laying-on of Hands. In the evening, in the same church, the new Bishop preached a memorable sermon, delivered with striking vigour and earnestness, on the words, "And they went both of them together" (Gen. xxii. 6). The picture of the willing sacrifice of a father and son of old, going "both of them together," at God's bidding, to the same heart-searching work, though applied with much modesty and reserve, could not fail to be understood, and was, indeed, most significant and touching.

Before the eighth General Synod met--before the close, indeed, of the year 1877, another consecration had taken place--that of the second Bishop of Waiapu. The resignation of Bishop Williams took place, as we have seen, in May, 1876. In the following September, his son, the Ven. Archdeacon William Leonard Williams, was asked, at a meeting of the Diocesan Synod, over which he presided as Commissary for his father, to allow himself to be nominated for the vacant office, but declined on the ground that work among the native population had the first claim upon him, and that there appeared to be no one else who could take up this special work. On October 2nd of the same year, the Ven. Archdeacon Harper, eldest son of the Most Rev. the Primate of New Zealand, was elected by a large majority of the Diocesan Synod. He also declined, chiefly on the ground of his ignorance of the Maori language, the majority of the population of the diocese being of the native race. The Rev. Edward [383/384] Craig Stuart, the present bishop, who had been previously proposed by the President, not being at that time known in the diocese, had not received a sufficient number of votes in either order to constitute a nomination; but at the next annual session of the Synod, held on the 24th September, 1877, at which Archdeacon Williams again presided, Mr. Stuart was unanimously nominated to the see, and signified by telegram his acceptance of the offer. The nomination having been duly confirmed by the Standing Committees of the several dioceses, the Bishop-Elect was consecrated by the Most Rev. the Primate, assisted by the Bishops of Auckland and Wellington, in the Pro-Cathedral Church, St. John's, Napier, on the 9th December, 1877. Archdeacon Williams, in proposing Mr. Stuart for election in October, 1876, had spoken of him as "a gentleman aged forty-nine, a graduate in honours at Dublin in 1848, and subsequently a Missionary in India, but now in New South Wales. He had twice visited Napier. His services in India were highly valued by the two bishops under whom he served, Bishops Cotton and Milman." His revered predecessor survived the consecration just two months. The memoir of Bishop Williams by his son, the Archdeacon, to which frequent reference was made in earlier chapters of this history, thus closes in the number of the New Zealand Church News for November, 1878:--"After this was done,"--i.e., the consecration of Bishop Stuart--"on the 9th December, 1877, he seemed to be relieved of a great burden, and it was with evident gratification that he was enabled to place his hand on the head of the [384/385] newly-consecrated bishop, and to give him his blessing, presenting him at the same time with a copy of the Maori version of the Bible. At this time he was quite confined to his bed, having had an alarming increase of unfavourable symptoms about a month previously. It was not, however, till February 9th, 1878, that he was called into that rest to which he had been so long looking forward. In connection with the part which he took in the translation of the Scriptures and the Prayer Book, it is interesting to note that one of the last works on which he was engaged was the revision of the Prayer Book. This was finished a very short time before he was laid aside."

On the 26th April, 1878, the Most Rev. the Primate sailed by way of San Francisco to England to attend the second Lambeth Conference, presided over by Archbishop Tait, and on his arrival in the old country found, to his great sorrow, that the Bishop of Lichfield, whom he had hoped to have greeted once more, had expired on the 11th April. His Lordship reached Christchurch on his return from England, by way of Melbourne, on the 12th December, in the same year.

We now pass on to the history of the eighth General Synod, held in Christchurch in 1880, The session was opened on the 14th April, in the library of Christ's College, Canterbury, by the Most Rev. the Primate, after Divine Service and the celebration of Holy Communion in the Pro-Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels. The Bishop of Dunedin was the only other prelate present at the opening, [385/386] no less than four bishops, with several archdeacons, and other clerical and lay members of the Synod, having been storm-stayed, and not having arrived in Lyttelton Harbour until the afternoon. All were present, however, at a special evening service in the same church, when the sermon was preached by the Right Rev. the Bishop of Nelson, on Acts xv. 28--are "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things." Bishop Selwyn of Melanesia, and Bishop Stuart of Waiapu, took their seats for the first time on the Episcopal Bench, which now for the first time contained the complete number of seven. Twenty clerical and twenty-three lay representatives attended. Among the latter are specially to be noted the Hon. Henry Barnes Gresson, formerly a judge of the Supreme Court, and Chancellor of the Diocese of Christchurch, and Henry John Tancred, Esq., Chancellor of the University of New Zealand, who, with the Primate and Bishop of Wellington, was a member of the Conference which drafted the original Constitution of 1857. Mr. Tancred died, deeply regretted, in April, 1884.

From the business transacted at this session we may single out the following matters as worthy of special notice:--

I. Theological College.--The most interesting and valuable debate of the session was on this subject. In pursuance of a recommendation from the Diocesan Synod of Dunedin, Archdeacon Edwards moved:--"That, in the opinion of this Synod, steps should be taken towards the amalgamation of all Church of [386/387] England theological colleges in New Zealand, and the formation of one central college, which might be called the Selwyn College." To this the Bishop of Wellington moved the following amendment:--"That, in the opinion of this Synod, steps should be taken towards the formation of a theological college for this Ecclesiastical province of New Zealand." In his speech he advocated the adoption of St. John's College, Auckland, as the one college for the province. The Bishop of Melanesia spoke strongly in support of this amendment, but said he would like to see the college, to be established or chosen, not exclusively a theological institution, but a Churchman's college, where men studying for Holy Orders might mix freely with those preparing for other occupations. Both motion and amendment were opposed by the Bishop of Nelson and the Dean of Christchurch, who argued, on the one hand, that the motion was utterly unpractical, and, on the other, that the proposal of a Churchman's college was premature; that, for the present, it would be best for the Church to devote all her efforts to the improvement of such means as were at present available for theological teaching, and to make use of the secular colleges in the chief centres for classical and general instruction. "The Bishop of Melanesia had well said that the desiderata for a good theological college were (1) numbers, (2) free intercourse with men preparing for other professions, and (3) opportunities for secular instruction. But these would all be wanting in the case of St. John's College on account of its distance from Auckland." Mr. R. J. S. Harman of [387/388] Christchurch, made a valuable speech, in the course of which he expressed his belief that the laity of the country were very generally agreed in thinking that the time was not far distant when the bishops should be asked, as a rule, not to admit any one as a candidate for Holy Orders who had not graduated in some university. The final result was the adoption of the following amendment, moved by the Bishop of Nelson, and seconded by the Rev. Canon Cotterill: [Footnote: Younger brother of the late Bishop of Edinburgh.]--"That, in the opinion of the Synod, the interests of theological education would best be promoted under present circumstances by Exhibitions, which would enable intending candidates for Holy Orders to take a degree at the University of New Zealand, and afterwards to continue their theological studies, together with the acquisition of practical knowledge of parochial and missionary work, either at theological colleges, or with experienced clergy, such theological exhibitions to be tenable on such conditions as may be prescribed by the Board of Theological Studies. 2. That the authorities of all provincial and diocesan institutions for the encouragement of theological studies be requested to make the standard of their examinations as much as possible equal to that of the Mother Church."

II. Suffragan Bishop.-A memorial from the native Church Boards of the Diocese of Auckland was laid before the Synod by the Bishop of Auckland, praying for the appointment of a Suffragan Bishop for the Maori portion of the Church in the Diocese, [388/389] and a Select Committee was appointed to consider the answer which should be given to it. The answer recommended to be given was that the Synod "received the memorial with great pleasure, regarding it as a proof of the vitality of that portion of the Church, but regretted that for want of funds it was unable to comply with the request." But an amendment to the following effect, moved by the Bishop of Nelson, was ultimately adopted:--"That the Synod receives with much pleasure the memorial of the native Church Boards of the Diocese of Auckland for the appointment of a Suffragan Bishop for the Maori portion of the Church in the Diocese, regarding it as a proof of the vitality of that portion of the Church; but the Synod, looking at the oneness which exists between the English and Maori portions of the Church throughout New Zealand, and hoping that they will be brought yet closer together in worship and Church organisation, considers that the present proposal for the appointment of a Suffragan Bishop would not be desirable, and is unable to comply with the request." It was generally understood that, had the request been complied with, the Ven. E. Clarke, Archdeacon of the Waimate, would have been appointed to the office at the request of the natives. The Archdeacon, in the course of the discussion on this subject, bore interesting testimony to the increased vitality of the Maori Church, and expressed his belief that those words, which were among the last utterances of Bishop Selwyn, would be verified, "They will all come back." The Bishop of Auckland, in moving the appointment of the Committee, stated that the [389/390] natives were not desirous of having a Bishop of their own race, as that might tend to separate the Maori Church from the English, which was very far from their wish. As a proof of the liberality of the Maories in Church matters, his Lordship mentioned that thirteen Maori clergymen were working in his Diocese, who were maintained chiefly by endowments raised among the natives themselves by their own exertions.

III. Diocesan Boards.--Our readers will remember that a statute was enacted by the fifth Synod in 1871, establishing diocesan boards for certifying to the general fitness of candidates for deacon's orders, with a clause providing that it should expire, if not re-enacted, at the close of the next session but one. At Nelson, in 1877, the Bishop of Wellington brought in a Bill for re-enacting it, but, meeting with opposition, withdrew it, and it consequently expired. An attempt was now made at Christchurch, in 1880, to revive this statute with some variations. The motion was made by the Ven. Archdeacon Harper, and seconded by the Rev. Canon Cotterill. The sequel shall be told in the words of the contemporary report, which appeared in the columns of the New Zealand Church News for July, 1880:--

"It was known that some, at least, of the Bishops regarded the Bill with much disfavour, and those who had had any experience of the operation of the former statute, while it was in existence, expected little benefit from its re-enactment; still there was a general feeling among both clergy and laity that there was need of something being done in the direction indicated. This was made very apparent by the [390/391] result. When the second reading was moved on Wednesday, April 28th, an unusual course was pursued. It is laid down in the first standing order that 'the members of the Synod shall meet for the discussion of business in the same chamber; but it shall be competent for any of the three orders at any time to withdraw to a separate chamber for the purpose of deliberation, at the requisition of any member of any such order.' The provision in the latter clause (so far as we are aware) had never before been acted upon; but on this occasion the right was claimed for the clergy by the Rev. Canon Cotterill, and for the laity by Mr. T. W. Maude. Both orders accordingly retired and remained in consultation in separate chambers for about an hour. On their return the Dean of Christchurch moved as an amendment, on the motion for the second reading of Archdeacon Harper's Bill, the following resolution:--'That a respectful recommendation be made to the Bench of Bishops that, before they receive any person as a candidate for deacon's orders, they should summon a Council of Advice to consider with them, as a preliminary question, the general fitness of the person for the office which he seeks.' This was seconded by the Hon. H. B. Gresson, and agreed to."

IV. Diaconate and Lay Ministrations.--A Select Committee, appointed at the beginning of the session, on the motion of the Dean of Christchurch, to consider several questions coming under these general heads, especially in connection with the Report on the Supply of Clergy, which we have before mentioned as having been presented to the Wellington Synod [391/392] in 1874, reported as follows:--A. With reference to the Diaconate, your Committee have had under their consideration two main questions:--(1) First, whether it is desirable at the present time to lay down any regulations as to the admission to the Diaconate of persons engaged in secular callings, on the understanding that they are to be allowed to continue in the same. (2) Secondly, whether it is desirable that effect should be given to the provision in the Ordinal which admits of the ordination of persons to the diaconate at an earlier age than twenty-three. I. With reference to the former of these two questions, your Committee are unanimous in thinking that it is not desirable at the present time to lay down any such regulations. 2. With regard to the latter question, the words in the preface to the Ordinal, above referred to, are as follows:--'And none shall be admitted a deacon, except he be twenty-three years of age, unless he have a faculty.' In the Church of England the power to grant such a faculty is understood to reside only in the Archbishop of Canterbury. By analogy your Committee are of opinion that the General Synod would have no hesitation in recognising that, for the Church of this province, a similar power resides in the Primate. But they are not prepared to recommend the exercise of such power until information has been obtained (a) as to the effect that ordination to the diaconate, at an earlier age than twenty-three, would have on the status of clergymen so ordained under the Colonial Clergy Act, and other similar enactments of the Imperial Parliament; (b) as to the working of [392/393] the system of earlier ordination in the American Church; (c) as to the number of faculties that have been granted by Archbishops of Canterbury, under the provision of the Ordinal above referred to, since the revision of the Prayer Book in the year of our Lord, 1662; and (d) as to the experience on the same point of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the rule of which is, that 'no bishop shall, in ordinary cases, admit any persons to the office of deacon, until such person shall have attained the age of twenty-three years.' For the purpose of making these enquiries, the Committee recommended that a commission should be appointed to sit during the recess, and report the result to the Primate, not less than six months before the next triennial session of the Synod. We may say here that the Synod adopted this recommendation, and appointed the Most Rev. the Primate the Right Rev. the Bishop of Nelson, the Rev. Canon Cotterill, and the Hon. J. B. Acland to be the members of the Commission. On the kindred subject of Lay Ministrations, the Committee reported as follows:--(1) They agreed in thinking that it is not expedient at the present time to take any steps towards the revival of the order of sub-deacons. (2) They are of opinion that it would be inexpedient at the present time to lay down general rules with reference to the appointment or removal of lay readers, or with regard to their functions, or to any distinctive dress to be worn by them in their ministrations. They are, however, agreed in thinking that it is desirable that lay readers should be admitted to their office in the face of the congregation."

[394] V. Church of Sweden.--At an early period of the session, the Bishop of Dunedin moved "that a committee be appointed to consider and report upon the desirability of taking steps to enable lay members of the Church of Sweden, who may reside in this country to be received into the communion of this branch of the Anglican Church, and as to the conditions under which clergymen of that Church may be affiliated to this." The motion was seconded by the Rev. J. C. Andrew, and the committee appointed. In speaking to the motion, the Right Rev. mover gave an interesting account of his visit to the Churches of the North of Europe, as commissary for the Bishop of London, in the course of the preceding year, and of his personal communications with certain of the authorities and representative members of the Swedish Church. Several recommendations were made by the committee in their report, in the direction of an approximation towards union with that Church; but the Synod, being anxious to proceed cautiously in the matter, confined itself to ordering the report to be published in the appendix to the proceedings of the session, and to the adoption of the following resolution:--"That it is expedient that a correspondent be appointed by the General Synod to establish communication with the heads of the Church of Sweden, with a view to the issue of Letters Commendatory on behalf of emigrants from that country to our own." The Bishop of Dunedin was unanimously requested to fulfil the office of correspondent.

The last hours of the session, which lasted for [394/395] fifteen days, were marked by circumstances of special interest. The last day, being the Tuesday in Rogation Week, May 4th, was kept in many of the parishes of the diocese as the Day of Intercession for missions, in accordance with the recommendation of the last Lambeth Conference, and it was felt to be a happy opportunity for the Synod, before separating, to join in united worship and supplication for an object so closely associated with the work for which they had met together. It was accordingly agreed at the afternoon meeting, to adjourn the Synod to 8.30 p.m., "for the purpose of attending a service of Intercession for missions at St. Luke's Church." The preacher on the occasion was one who had been himself for many years actively engaged in missionary work, the Right Rev. the Bishop of Waiapu. What followed on the return of the members to the Synod room, after the transaction of some other business, shall be given in the words of the New Zealand Church News:--"Deceased Members.--The following resolution, moved by the Bishop of Nelson, and seconded by Archdeacon Clarke, evoked sad but not painful memories In reference to that portion of the President's address respecting those members of the late General Synod who have been called to their rest since the last meeting, this Synod desires to place on record its estimate of their worth and service, and of the precious legacy of holy example and devotion which they have left to the Church. Those whose memories they desire to commemorate are the Right Rev. George Augustus Selwyn, D.D., Lord Bishop of Lichfield, and first Bishop of New Zealand; the Right Rev. William [395/396] Williams, D.C.L., first Bishop of Waiapu; the Rev. George Thomas Nowell Watkins, A.K.C., incumbent of Greymouth, Diocese of Nelson; the Rev. Robert Simeon Jackson, of the Diocese of Christchurch, of the Melanesian Mission, and formerly secretary to the Primate; Philip Hanmer, Esq., Chancellor of the Diocese of Christchurch. Nothing of importance transpired after the silent adoption of the foregoing resolution. Instructions and votes of thanks concluded the business. At 11.15 p.m. the Most Rev. President requested the members present to join with him in repeating the Gloria in Excelsis, after which he brought the session to a close by pronouncing the Benediction."

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