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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.



Boundaries of Diocese--Bishops--Endowments:--1. For Bishoprics; 2. Educational--Statistics--Finance--Pension Fund.

For the following information respecting this diocese the editor's best acknowledgments are due to the Rev. Thomas Fancourt, diocesan secretary, With regard to the constitution of the diocese, enough has been said in the foregoing history; we proceed to describe the

Boundaries of Diocese.--Originally the diocese contained the provinces of Wellington and Hawke's Bay. From 1867 to 1871 the Bishop of Waiapu acted as commissary and coadjutor for that portion of the diocese which was contained within the province of Hawke's Bay. In 1871 this part of the diocese was included by the General Synod in that of Waiapu. In 1874 the southern portion of the province of Taranaki, lying between the Patea and Tipoka Rivers, a distance of about 40 miles, over which the Bishop of Wellington had for three years previous acted as commissary for the Bishop of Auckland, was included in the diocese of Wellington.

Bishops.--The first Bishop was the Right Reverend J. C. Abraham, D.D., formerly Archdeacon of Waitemata, consecrated in Lambeth Church by Archbishop Sumner on the 29th September, 1858. He resigned the see on 1st June, 1870, and the Ven. Octavius Hadfield, Archdeacon of Kapiti, having [460/461] been elected by the Diocesan Synod, and the election having been confirmed by the Standing Committees of the other dioceses, was consecrated by the present Primate, assisted by the late Bishop of Waiapu and the present Bishops of Nelson and Auckland, in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, at Wellington, on 9th October, 1870. This consecration is specially interesting, as being the first in which a Bishop for a colonial see was consecrated without the Royal mandate or licence.

Endowments (Ecclesiastical).--The Bishopric Endowment, which consists partly of properties and partly of moneys invested, was formed by a grant of £2,000 from the N.Z. Co., originally given for the benefit of the Church in the settlement of Wellington, met by an equal grant from the S.P.G., and later on augmented to £5,000 by another grant of £1,000 from the S.P.G. for the purpose of the bishopric. In 1870 the sum was further increased by a grant of £1,000 from the S.P.C.K. It has also been increased by a private benefaction of landed property in Wellington. The total income for last year, 1885-86, was £580. The diocese possesses scarcely any endowments beyond that of the bishopric, if church and parsonage sites be excepted. There are a few acres of land in and around Wellington and elsewhere, given or purchased from time to time, but the income from them at present is very small.

Endowments (Educational).--There are several of these situated within the boundaries of the diocese. The most important of them is situated in Wanganui, and consists of a grant of land, now in great part let [461/462] in building or other leases, of 250 acres within the boundaries of the borough of Wanganui. According to the latest return, the income derived from it is £697 per annum. A block of handsome and commodious buildings, which has been added to in several ways, was erected on a part of the estate some six years ago. Previously to this a day-school had been carried on for many years, with a few boarders in the master's house. The school, which now bears the name of the Wanganui Collegiate School, and is under the management of the Rev. Dr. Harvey, numbered last term 155, of whom 84 were boarders and 71 day-boys. There were 19 scholarships and exhibitions, of the aggregate annual value of £543.

There are three other educational endowments. One for a college at Porirua, consisting of 600 acres of land; two in the Wairarapa, for the use and towards the maintenance and support of a college in the Wairarapa Valley; one at Papawai, near Greytown, consisting of 400 acres, the other at Kaiko-kiri-kiri, near Masterton, consisting of 190 acres. The funds hitherto available have not been sufficient to enable the trustees to carry out for the present the purposes of any of these trusts. All three estates are leased, and the funds are allowed to accumulate until such time as they shall be sufficient to justify the trustees in starting such educational institutions as are contemplated by the terms of the various trusts. The C. M. S. possesses a valuable estate at Otaki, upon which is erected a large church, one of the finest specimens of Maori structure to he found anywhere, large school buildings, residence for [462/463] clergyman and also for English schoolmaster. The rent of the estate is devoted to the support of the mission, which was founded some forty-eight years ago by the present Bishop of Wellington, and remained under his charge until the date of his consecration.

There is another endowment belonging to the diocese called, after the donor, the Harington trust, being a sum of money which has been allowed to accumulate until now it has reached nearly £1,400. This fund is at the disposal of the Bishop, in connexion with any educational institution of the Church within the original settlement of Wellington. An annual grant is at present being made out of the income derived from it to the head master of the Wanganui Collegiate School.

Statistics.--The number of licensed clergy in the diocese is, English, 21; Maori, 4; total, 25. Archdeacon--the Venerable Arthur Stock, B.A. (1870). Diocesan secretary--the Rev. Thomas Fancourt (1884). The number of Churches is, English, 33; Maori, 14; total, 47; besides many other buildings in which divine service is held. The total population of the diocese is 83,365; the number of those belonging to the Anglican Church is 36,937 (in both cases exclusive of Maories); communicants, 1700; Sunday schools, 42; Sunday scholars, 3,400; Church day schools, 2; Church day scholars, about 100; parsonages, 14; Sunday school buildings and church rooms, 18; parishes, 6; parochial districts, 16, 4 being missionary parochial districts.

Finance.--The fund from which all general diocesan expenditure is met, including the payment of [463/464] clergymen's stipends, is the General Church Fund. The chief sources from which this fund is made up are assessments levied by the Synod each year upon the various parishes and parochial districts, and voluntary subscriptions and donations. All seat-rents in churches are regarded as the property of the diocese, and where seat-rents and subscriptions do not suffice to make up the sum for which a parish or district is assessed, the deficiency is made a first charge upon the offertory. The total receipts of the General Church Fund last year (1885-86) were £5,079. 7s. 8d., of which £4,198. 12s. 6d. were expended on stipends of the parochial clergy. Contributions to the Maori Mission Fund amounted to £86. 19s. 10d.; Melanesian Mission Fund, £197. 11s. 6d.

Pension Fund.--There is a good substantial Pension Fund belonging to the diocese. The capital amounts to over £5,000. The annual income, which is derived from surplice fees (payable according to a diocesan scale to the fund), subscriptions, a special offertory annually in each church, and interest on capital fund, amounted last year to £578. Each clergyman having cure of souls within the diocese has to pay to the fund an annual subscription of £2, and in case of being incapacitated for work is entitled to an annual pension, varying, according to length of service, from £25 to £100. In case of his dying, his widow becomes entitled to a pension, varying, according to his length of service, from £20 to £60 per annum. Two clergymen now receive pensions of £100 and £60 per annum respectively. One clergyman's widow is in receipt of a pension of £60 per annum.

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