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 IV. The Seven Dioceses.



Staff of the Diocese--Statistics--Endowments--Home Mission Fund--Institutions of the Diocese:--1. Christ's College, Canterbury--2. Christchurch Cathedral.

Bishop.--The Most Rev. Henry John Chitty Harper, D.D., Oxford, Primate, consecrated A.D. 1856. Bishopric founded 1850.

Dean.--The Very Rev. Henry Jacobs, D.D., Oxford. Appointed 1866.

Archdeacons.--The Ven. Henry William Harper, M.A., Oxford. Archdeacon of Timaru and Westland. Appointed, 1866. The Ven. Benjamin Woolley Dudley, M.A., Cambridge, Archdeacon of Rangiora, 1876. The Ven. Edward Atherton Lingard, Archdeacon of Akaroa, 1885.

N.B.--The dean is also Archdeacon of Christchurch. Appointed 1876.

Canons.--The Ven. Archdeacons B. W. Dudley and H. W. Harper. The Rev. George Cotterill, B.A., Cambridge; the Rev. George James Cholmondeley, the Rev. William Bedell Stanford, M.A., Oxford.

Lay Members of Chapter.--The Hon. Henry Barnes Gresson, Chancellor of the Diocese, ex officio, Messrs. R. J. S. Harman, C. R. Blakiston, F. De C. Malet, T. W. Maude, and C. C. H. Cook, Professor of Mathematics, Canterbury College.

Secretary to the Chapter.-Professor Cook.

[428] Treasurer.--The Rev. Canon Cotterill.

N.B.--The lay members, the chancellor excepted, are elected once in four years by the Synod.

Diocesan Secretary.--The Rev. Canon Cotterill.

Diocesan Treasurer.--The Rev. Francis Knowles.

Number of Licensed Clergy.--Sixty-one.

Church Members.--European, as shown by last census, March, 1886, 62,434. Maori, about 500 in Canterbury, and 100 in Westland.

Communicants.--5,000 approximately.

Baptisms.--About 1,900 for the last year. Returns incomplete.

Confirmations.--For year ending at Easter, 1887--males, 323; females, 482; total, 805.

Lay Readers.-Unpaid, upwards of 100.

N.B.--In some cases travelling expenses are paid.

Churches.--Ninety; besides schoolrooms and other buildings, in which divine service is regularly held.

Sunday Schools.--About eighty-six.

Sunday Scholars.--1. On the books, about 7,000. 2. Average attendance, about 4,500.

Endowments.--I. Bishopric estate. Acreage, town lands in Christchurch, 5 acres. Rural lands, about 2,800 acres.

This estate is valued by the Government for the property tax assessment at £43,796.

From the income of this estate the Bishop receives £1,000 a year. The remainder of the revenue is applied at present to the payment of (1) Bishop's Secretary, £100 per annum. (2) Chaplains, £400 per annum. (3) Official expenditure, a varying amount.

[429] There is a separate property, called the Jackson Trust Estate, a portion of the proceeds of which, varying from £200 to £250, is payable annually to the Bishop. The total income of the Bishop at the present time is from £1,200 to £1,250 per annum. There is a suitable house with extensive grounds, free of rates.

II. Dean and Chapter Estate.--Acreage, rural lands, 1,000 acres. Property tax value, £52,416.

The income of this estate is thus applied:--The Dean's income, £600 per annum. Five canons, each £100 per annum.

The remainder of the income, after paying expenses of management, and interest on loan contracted for the building of the Cathedral, is applied towards the stipend of the precentor (£400) and the maintenance of the Cathedral services.

III. General Trust Estate.--Acreage, town lands in Christchurch, 35 acres; town lands in Lyttelton, 8 acres; rural lands, 1,738 acres; total acreage, 1,781 acres. Property tax valuation, £144,398.

The income of this estate, after paying expenses of management, and interest on loan, contracted in 1879, chiefly for the building of churches, parsonages, and schoolrooms, is applied towards the payment of the stipends of the clergy. A grant of £50 per annum each is made at present to forty-seven cures, including hospital chaplaincies.

The acreage given above does not include glebes, reserves, and special local endowments.

The above endowments, together with the Christ's College estate, of which we shall speak presently, [429/430] were required by the Canterbury Association for founding a settlement in New Zealand, incorporated by Royal Charter on the 13th November, 1850. An important--we might almost say the distinctive--feature in the design of the association was to set apart a proportion of one-third--£1 out of every £3, the price per acre of land sold by them--"for the establishment and endowment of ecclesiastical and educational institutions," in connection with the Church of England. These estates are managed by a body called the Church Property Trustees, incorporated by Ordinance of the Provincial Council of Canterbury in the year 1854, to which body the agent of the Canterbury Association, Mr. H. Sewell, conveyed the property, together with the reserves made by the Association for churches, parsonages, schools, cemeteries, &c., by deed bearing date March 14th, 1856. The bishop is ex officio chairman of the trustees; the remaining members, eight in number, are elected by the Synod of the diocese, two retiring by rotation every year, but being eligible for re-appointment. They may be either clergymen or laymen, but must be all communicants. Their management is subject to all directions and regulations of the Diocesan Synod. The benefits of the property are limited to the provincial district of Canterbury, excluding Westland, which is a part of the diocese, but forms a provincial district of itself.

IV. Jackson Trust Estate.--This estate, which originally consisted of 3 1/2 acres of townland in Christchurch, and 650 acres of rural land in one [430/431] block, lying westward of the Lincoln-road and beyond the Sunnyside Asylum for the Insane, was acquired in the year 1850 mainly out of moneys collected by subscription by the Rev. Thomas Jackson, then Bishop-Designate of Lyttelton. This estate was formerly vested in the bishop as a corporation sole, but, under the Bishops in New Zealand Trusts Act, 1871, was by him conveyed, together with other properties similarly situated, to a body called the Diocesan Board of Trustees, appointed by the Diocesan Synod. This, though a totally distinct body from the Church Property Trustees, consists, by arrangement made for the sake of convenience, of the same persons. The books and accounts are separate, but otherwise they are practically one body, with the same officers and the same arrangements as to times of meeting. Of the Jackson Trust Estate, some portions are held in trust for the Clergy Maintenance Fund of the diocese, some for the Bishopric Endowment Fund, some for the endowment of the bishopric or bishoprics of those portions of the original diocese of Christchurch, which lie outside of the original Canterbury Block, so that a certain proportion is payable annually towards the endowment of the bishopric of Dunedin; some portions also are held in trust for the endowment of professorships and scholarships in connection with Christ's College. Fifty acres of the rural land, forming the chief part of the endowment of one of these scholarships--the Buller and Reay scholarship--has been sold to the Government for the extension of the grounds of the Sunnyside Asylum, and the [431/432] proceeds, amounting to £7,000, invested in other securities. The total value of this estate, according to the Property Tax Assessment, is £34,475, of which the portion held in trust for Christ's College is valued at £8,960.

Clergy Stipend Aid Fund.--This is a Home Mission Fund. It consists partly of an endowment of £4,000, set apart out of the general estate, for the purpose of increasing the stipends of the clergy in the less populous and more sparsely inhabited districts, and partly of the proceeds of quarterly offertories, required by the Synod to be made, both morning and evening, in every place of worship belonging to the Church in the diocese. It is managed by the Standing Committee, and distributed according to regulations made by them, subject to general directions laid down by the Synod. One of these general directions is that the cures in Westland, which are excluded from a direct share in the benefits of the Church Property Trust Estate, should receive from this fund annual grants equivalent to those made from the proceeds of that estate to the clergy on the eastern side of the dividing range of mountains (the Southern Alps). The total amount of the sums contributed through the offertory to this fund for the last year was nearly £600.


Christ's College, Canterbury.--The Canterbury Association, when it was about to expire, made it an indispensable condition of the transfer to the Church Property Trustees of the diocese of the lands held [432/433] in trust by the Association for Ecclesiastical and Educational Purposes, that the trustees should found and endow the college, which had been from the commencement contemplated by them, and put forward as one of the leading features of their plan of colonisation. The trustees, accordingly, set apart one-fifth of the town and rural lands vested in them as an endowment for the college, and founded it by a solemn Deed of Foundation, bearing date May 21st, 1855, under the name of Christ's College, Canterbury. On the 28th June, in the same year, the college was incorporated by an Ordinance of the Provincial Council of Canterbury. The following are extracts from the Deed of Foundation:--"We do hereby found the said college to the honour and glory of the eternal and ever-blessed Trinity, for the propagation of the most holy Christian religion, as it is now professed and taught by the United Church of England and Ireland, and for the promotion of sound piety and useful learning, more especially within the said Province of Canterbury And we do hereby declare that the said college shall be constituted as follows, that is to say:--There shall he a Warden, Sub-Warden, and Fellows, not fewer than six, nor exceeding twenty-five in number The Bishop of the diocese shall be ex officio the Warden, subject to his consent The Metropolitan Bishop for the time being of the Ecclesiastical Province, within which the said college shall be situate, shall he the Visitor thereof." The first Sub-Warden and the first body of Fellows, to the number of ten, were named in the Deed of Foundation. All future Sub-Wardens and Fellows to be elected by the Fellows for the [433/434]time being, subject in the case of the Sub-Warden to a veto to be exercised by the Warden. The first and present Sub-Warden is the Very Rev. H. Jacobs, D.D., Dean of Christchurch. The college consists of two departments, that is to say:--1. The Upper Department, principally for the instruction and training of students for Holy Orders, but also intended to provide a home, with religious instruction and discipline, for young men matriculated in the University of New Zealand and attending lectures at Canterbury College, a secular institution founded and endowed by the Provincial Council of Canterbury, and affiliated to the New Zealand University. The Principal of the Upper, or collegiate, department is the Rev. W. Bedell Stanford, M.A., of Balliol College, Oxford. The number of students at present residing under his charge and tuition at the College House is eight. There are two professorships attached to the Upper department, both of which are at present held by the Principal, namely, the Watts-Russell Professorship of Divinity and the Hulsean Chichele Professorship of History. There are also several scholarships, some of the value of £100, others of £80 per annum. 2. The Grammar School Department, of which the Head Master is Mr. C. C. Corfe, B.A., Cambridge; Chaplain and Assistant Master, the Rev. F. A. Hare, M.A., Cambridge. There are also fifteen other assistant masters, including all departments, of whom we may specially mention Mr. E. A. Worthy, B.A., New College, Oxford; Mr. J. B. Harrison, M.A., Queen's College, Oxford; Mr. W. C. F. Walters, M.A., of Pembroke College, Oxford; and Mr. W B. [434/435] Worsfold, M.A., of University College, Oxford. There are several scholarships attached to the school, of which the most valuable are the Somes Scholarships, founded by Mrs. Maria Somes, widow of Mr. Joseph Somes, sometime Chairman of the New Zealand Company. The number of boys attending the school as boarders or day scholars is 225. Boarders are taken by the Head Master and three of the Assistant Masters, also by the Rev. Canon Cotterill, formerly Second Master.


The foundation stone of the cathedral was laid with great ceremony by the Bishop of Christchurch on the 16th December, 1864, being the fourteenth anniversary of the arrival of the first Canterbury colonists. Extraordinary interest was manifested, and subscriptions of a surprising number and amount flowed in at first, so that the Cathedral Commission, a body appointed by the Synod, and charged with the erection of the building, were enabled to complete the foundations of the whole structure, and to carry up the walls to the height of 19 feet, within a comparatively short space of time. Then a time of severe commercial depression set in, which lasted for several years, and the building was almost entirely suspended, in consequence, not only of the failure of new subscriptions, but of the inability of many to fulfil the promises they had made. In the year 1873, however, there came a great revival of interest in the undertaking, and the Synod, with much enthusiasm, passed a resolution instructing the Church Property Trustees to raise, by sale or mortgage of a portion of [435/436] the Trust Estate, the sum of £5,000, to be applied towards the erection of the cathedral. A second grant of £5,000 was made in the following year. At the same period the subscription list was largely increased, partly by the exertions of a body of Church people, associated together under the name of the Cathedral Guild. In 1879, a further sum of £8,000 was raised, in accordance with a vote of the Synod, by a loan contracted in England for this and other purposes, the total amount of the loan being £50,000, secured by mortgage, partly on the General Trust Estate, partly on that of the Dean and Chapter. The building now advanced rapidly. The lofty tower and spire were erected in 1880 and 1881, being the munificent gift of one family, the tower having been built at the cost of the late Mr. Robert Heaton Rhodes, and the spire being the gift of the children of the late Mr. George Rhodes, his brother. Mr. R. H. Rhodes gave also a magnificent peal of ten bells, cast by Messrs. Taylor & Co., of Loughborough. An exceedingly handsome and spacious north porch was built about the same time at the cost of £600, being the gift of the late venerable Archdeacon Wilson. The building is of stone, and of the Early English style. The design is by the late Sir Gilbert G. Scott, and the work has been carried out mainly under the direction of Mr. B. W. Mountfort, Resident Architect, from whose designs the north porch was erected. The chancel and transepts are as yet in the future, with the exception of the nineteen feet of wall already mentioned. The nave, with a temporary apsidal sanctuary of wood, was [436/437] consecrated by the Most Rev. the Primate, on All Saints' Day, 1881, since which date full choral matins and evensong have been regularly kept up. There are six lay clerks, paid at the rate of £60 per annum, besides an adult voluntary choir of about twelve. There are sixteen choristers, and about half as many probationers, who are all boarders in the precentor's house. The precentor and minor canon, the Rev. W. H. Elton, superintends the Cathedral School, of which the head master is Mr. G. H. Merton. This school is not exclusively for the choristers, but is preparatory to Christ's College Grammar School, the governing body of which have set apart six exhibitions for the benefit of boys who have served their full time in the choir. The number of boys at the Cathedral School is generally upwards of fifty. The organist and choir-master is Mr. G. F. Tendall, Mus. Bac. Oxon., by whose exertions an excellent library of cathedral music has been largely increased

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