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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--Licensed Clergy and Lay Readers--Confirmations--Diocesan Trust Board:--A. Bishopric Fund; B. Theological College Fund; C. General Church Fund.

From the latest published Report of the Proceedings of the Diocesan Synod (1886), kindly forwarded to him by the Diocesan Treasurer, the Editor has been enabled to glean the following information:--

Staff of the Diocese.--The Ven. Edward George Edwards, M.A., Archdeacon of Dunedin, Incumbent of St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral; The Ven. George Philip Beaumont, M.A., Archdeacon of Invercargill and Queenstown, Incumbent of Holy Trinity, Lawrence; The Ven. John Albert Fenton, M.A., Archdeacon of Oamaru; The Rev. Algernon Gifford, Rural Dean of Oamaru, Incumbent of St. Luke's, Oamaru. [Since the publication of the Report, the Rev. Harry Stocker, B.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, Incumbent of Invercargill, has also been appointed an Archdeacon.] The Rev. Bryan Meyrick King is theological tutor of the diocese. The chancellor of the diocese is Bryan Cecil Haggitt, Esq.; Matthew William Hodgkins, Esq., Church Advocate; Spencer Brent, Esq., Diocesan Registrar; the Rev. William Ronaldson, Diocesan [438/439] Secretary; and Henry James Ainger, Esq., Diocesan Treasurer.

Licensed Clergy and Lay Readers.--The number of licensed clergy at the end of the year 1885 was twenty-five; of lay-readers thirty-three.

Confirmations.--From November, 1884, to November, 1885--the latest date to which our information comes down--confirmations were held in thirteen churches, at which 90 male and 163 female candidates were presented.

Diocesan Trust Board.--An Act promoted by the General Synod, and drafted under its direction, was passed through the New Zealand Parliament, and received the Governor's assent on the 6th November, 1884, entitled "The Religious, Charitable, and Educational Trust Boards Incorporation Act, 1884," under the provisions of which the several boards of trustees of Church property in the diocese registered themselves in the Supreme Court of New Zealand, Dunedin, on the 3rd of March, 1885, as an incorporate board, having perpetual succession and a common seal, under the title of "The Dunedin Diocesan Trust Board." The first Board consisted of seven laymen, of whom J. M. Ritchie, Esq., was Chairman. The various Trust Funds of the Diocese, including the Bishopric Fund, the Theological College Fund, the General Clergy Maintenance Fund, the Russell Trust (a valuable endowment given to the Diocese by George Gray Russell, Esq.), amongst others, were brought without delay under the management of this Corporation. Our acknowledgments are due to the Secretary of the Board, H. J. Ainger, Esq., for [439/440] sending us the recently-published annual Report of the Board, with accounts made up to Sept. 30th, 1887, whence the following information may be gathered:--

A. Bishopric Fund.--The capital of the Fund appears to be somewhat over £7,000. The income received by the Bishop for the year ending Sept. 30th, 1887, was £445.1s. [There is no house attached to the See.]

B. Theological College Fund.--The capital of this Fund, derived mainly from subscriptions raised by the Bishop in England, amounts to £2,050, and is under the management of the Board, while the disposal of the income is at the discretion of the Bishop of the Diocese for the time being. For the past year it was paid, under the Bishop's warrant, to the Rev. B. M. King.

C. General Church Fund.--By a Statute passed by the Diocesan Synod in 1886, four previously existing Diocesan Funds were amalgamated into one under this general title. The offerings in every church in the Diocese on the first Sunday in the months of February, May, August, and November in each year are given to this Fund. The capital is vested in the Diocesan Trust Board, and the income is distributed by the Standing Committee of the Diocese. It is the duty of this Committee to take the necessary steps for the formation of local committees in parishes and districts, to assist in raising funds for the objects in view, which are the payment, either in whole or in part, of the stipends of the clergy, especially those in charge of [440/441] the poorer districts, to make grants to clergymen doing Diocesan work, and towards the travelling expenses of clergymen, when deemed expedient. The distribution is to be made according to the following general rules:--

One-half the income of the Fund (necessary expenses having been first defrayed) shall be distributed amongst the parishes and parochial districts of the Diocese under a fixed scale--that is to say, as follows:--

(a) For the purposes of distribution the Standing Committee shall classify the parishes and parochial districts in three divisions, A, B, C, according to their greater or less ability to maintain a clergyman.

(b) The amount to be distributed shall be divided in such proportion that the incumbent of a Cure in class B shall receive twice the sum paid to the incumbent of a Cure in class A, and an incumbent of a Cure in class C three times the sum paid to the incumbent of a Cure in class A.

(c) Classes A, B, C shall be defined as follows:--Class A, clergymen in receipt of £400, and over; B, £300, and under £400; C, under £300.

The second moiety of the income of the said fund shall be at the disposal of the Standing Committee for the objects stated above. Any parish or parochial district receiving a grant shall arrange with the Standing Committee the amount of stipend which it can reasonably be expected to provide for its clergyman, [441/442] and shall pay that stipend by equal quarterly payments on or before the last days of March, June, September, and December to the Diocesan Treasurer; and the Treasurer shall pay that stipend to the clergyman of that Cure, with his grant according to the scale, and such additional sum as the Standing Committee may determine.

From the following remarks in the Board's Report, it appears that the plan has not been taken up with enthusiasm in the parishes and districts generally:--

"The income is not so good as it was hoped it would be, as the Sundays set apart by the statute for offerings to this Fund have all been wet; this has seriously diminished the income, and the rate of interest on some of the capital has also had to be reduced. It cannot be expected that success will attend this Fund unless the Committees in the various parishes and parochial districts take an active interest in it, and collect and send money to the Diocesan Treasurer as directed by Statute No. VIII. This as yet has not been done, with the exception of St. Paul's, Dunedin, which has contributed £25, besides offerings, which are also the largest in the Diocese. The Diocesan Treasurer wishes here to acknowledge the receipt from Archdeacon Edwards of his dividend returned as a subscription to the Fund."

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