Project Canterbury

The Anglican Church in South America

By the Right Rev. Edward Francis Every, D.D.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1915.

Chapter I. Anglican Diocese in Argentina and Eastern South America

BUENOS AIRES at once became the official centre of the new diocese as for many years past it had been the practical working centre of the old undivided diocese. The capital of the most progressive republic, the greatest city and trade centre of the whole continent, the objective of the steamship lines of the great European nations, and similarly the starting point of an ever increasing network of railways, penetrating the country in all directions, served also by a fine fleet of river-steamers responsible for some two thousand miles of waterway, it was g unrivalled as a centre, and St. John's Church as naturally became the Anglican pro-cathedral. The population of the republic is some seven millions, and of this number more than one million live in the capital, so similarly a large proportion of the English are in and about the capital also. Hence the number of churches and clergy there. A third of the clergy of the whole diocese are working in or near the capital, for what is called a suburban church may be half an hour or more distant by train or tram. These churches are some of our best architecturally. Built in early English style, they are attractive and home-like in the midst of their foreign surroundings. They are only small, for a congregation of a hundred is a large one in this diocese, for even when most numerous, the English, as has been said, are but a scattered few compared with the people of the country. This work in Buenos Aires has its own special problems and difficulties on account of the tendency to migrate to newer and more distant suburbs for cheapness' sake. There is no cohesion or sense of fellowship in such chance colonies, and it is not possible, even if it were desirable, to erect mission churches everywhere, especially when the population is such a shifting one. However, St. John's Pro-Cathedral is a very real centre and it is now being beautified with honorary canons' stalls as a thank-offering for the division of the diocese, the church having already been renovated inside and out. To turn back to its history, the first services were held in 1824, in a room in Calle Alsina (then Potosi), properly fitted up as a chapel. These were continued for some years. It was then resolved by the British residents to avail themselves of the full privileges of the Consular Chaplaincy Act (6 Geo. IV., cap. 87), and to build a church, the Foreign Office, in this case, undertaking to contribute half the cost, and the National Government to grant a site free of charge. In point of fact this site was part of the property of the then suppressed Merced Church and Convent, which was duly handed over to His Britannic Majesty's representative. On March 6, 1831, the "British Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist "(as it was called) was formally opened. It is said to have been the first example of Grecian architecture ever seen in the city, and thus attracted much attention. The interior was originally in the same style, but one who remembers it says, that the huge Doric columns made the building very gloomy and the chancel, if it could be called one, was small and mean. Troubled times followed, when the celebrated dictator Rosas rose to power, and though the British were not directly molested, little could be done outside the city. In 1875 the consular chaplaincy ceased, by the action of the British Government, and the community was then thrown on its own resources. The chaplain at that time held the licence of no Bishop, and the position of the Church was somewhat equivocal, especially as the newly formed Church Committee hesitated to recommend him to accept the licence of the Bishop of the Falkland Islands, who came out frcm home about this time, duly accredited, They had no intention, however, of making the Church other than Anglican, and the difficulty was ultimately adjusted. In other directions the separation from Government control produced the happiest results. Large sums of money were raised, and many generous donations made by means of which the interior of the church was altered to its present form. It was re-opened for worship at a special service held on December 7, 1879. The church was not actually dedicated until 1894 (by which time another restoration had become necessary), Bishop Stirling performing the ceremony. In 1905 the old schoolroom and caretaker's house at the back of the church were demolished, and a new church hall built, capable of seating four hundred people, with ample accommodation for the Rector above. This hall has proved the greatest possible boon, for until it was opened, Church-people had no meeting place of their own in the city. A final date of importance is 1910, when the registered Vestry formally recognized the Church as the Pro-cathedral of the newly formed diocese, and the fact was still further marked by a Thanksgiving Service held on St. John the Baptist's Day of the same year, at which the Bishop and neighbouring clergy, and a large representative congregation were present.

St. John's had always endeavoured to take a wide view of its responsibilities and to minister to others outside its own actual congregation, both in the suburbs and "camps." As congregations sprang up in other places, such as Belgrano, Flores, Quilmes, they became organized and "affiliated" to St. John's, ministrations being supplied from the mother church. But the system was not found to work well, largely owing to the difficulty experienced in. securing really good clergy. Probably the Vestry, which was the responsible authority, was not possessed of sufficiently expert knowledge. However, the honest intention bore its fruit, and in due time self-governing Church communities came into being, who supported their clergy, built churches and church halls, and in most cases vicarages and caretakers' houses also.

Since the division of the diocese in 1910, the Rector of St. John's has been Archdeacon also in the republics of the Plate, an office to which the importance of his charge naturally entitles him, though he is unable to do much travelling on account of his many local duties. The church is very centrally situated in the business part of the town, and within easy reach of the hotels and docks, but most of the congregation now live at a great distance from it. Many of these are Anglo-Argentine and have their homes in the country. There are few children, as those who have families mostly send them home for education, or reside in one of the suburbs. On the other hand, there is a large proportion of young men, besides a constantly moving population. In spite of these difficulties, great progress has been made of late years in making the Pro-cathedral a centre of vigorous life.

By means of its adjoining hall and other buildings it has for some years past provided a home and base for the Missions to Seamen Society, which works on a large scale in the port of Buenos Aires, and by the efficiency and devotion of its chaplains has won a high place in the regard of our people both ashore and afloat. This has no doubt helped the life of St. John's as it has been helped by it. However, the time seems close at hand when the Missions to Seamen will erect their own Institute, and so set free the church buildings for work more directly connected with St. John's, for which, no doubt, they are needed.

Organized self-supporting chaplaincies now are St. Saviour's, Belgrano, on the Central Argentine Railway, now a part of the capital; Churchts Holy Trinity. Lomas, on the Southern Railway, and largely ministering to employees of that company; and All Saints', Quilmes, also on the Southern Railway (the place where the English landed to attack the city in the early years of last century). St. Peter's, Flores, the oldest suburban church, can now no longer maintain itself independently on account of the reduced English population, the character of the neighbourhood having changed with the expansion of the city, while Christ Church, Barracas, the most recently founded chaplaincy, but never self-supporting, suffers from the same cause. A notable educational work is being done in Palermo and other districts among the poorer Spanish-speaking population by Rev. W. C. Morris, an agent of the South American Missionary Society. It deeply impresses all visitors, is highly approved by the Government, and is a leavening influence throughout the whole republic. Some five thousand children are taught in these schools. The burden of raising the necessary funds, as may readily be understood, is very great. Another striking achievement, on the English side, is the establishment of St. George's College, Quilmes, under Canon Stevenson. This corresponds to a first-class private school at home, except that many boys stay on and complete their education there. It has its own buildings, fields, and college chapel, and is a strong force for maintaining Christian ideals and the best traditions of home, among Anglo-Argentines, being a unique institution of its kind in the South American republics.

To give some further details of the chaplaincies mentioned above, St. Saviour's, Belgrano, has been the strongest and most influential, though many of its original supporters have returned to England, and there is a tendency for others to move to more distant and cheaper suburbs. Yet resident English are still numerous and the Church holds its own. It is a beautiful little church, standing in well-kept grounds, with church hall and caretaker's house adjoining. The parsonage house is only a few "squares" distant. From the first a reverent standard of worship has been maintained and the chaplaincy has been efficiently organized and thoroughly worked, so that a good tradition has been established. The work is maintained entirely by voluntary subscriptions. Neither here nor in other "suburban" chaplaincies do business houses subscribe. All is done by families and individuals.

Holy Trinity, Lomas, is considerably further from the city and not quite so well situated, for it was built close to the Southern Railway, when it was not foreseen how important that line would become. Now the great trains thundering by drown the preacher's voice, when the doors and windows are open, as they must be in summer. But Church, Hall, and Parsonage are delightfully grouped in their own grounds. Both church and hall are adaptations of the early English style and quite excellent. Here, too, many of the well-to-do residents have left, the land having risen in value and been broken up for building purposes. Perhaps this suburb suffers more than others through rains in winter making the roads impassable, for an unpaved road (and paving is expensive in a country where there is no stone for hundreds of miles) being only alluvial soil, soon becomes a bog under such circumstances. Indeed, rain often makes church-going impossible. The congregation is widely scattered and far from easy to work, yet the services are well maintained, and there is a large and flourishing Sunday School and also a Women's Guild. There is plenty of local patriotism, and so much is the Church valued as an institution, that the nucleus of an endowment fund has been raised. The first chaplain was appointed in 1889, and, being a man of exceptional power, accomplished a notable work. All Saints', Quilmes, is also the work of the present Honorary Diocesan Architect, Mr. W. Bassett Smith, and consists of a nave and fine chancel.

There are no other buildings on the church ground, but an excellent house in a neighbouring street has been bought as a vicarage. This is a smaller chaplaincy than the last two mentioned, and is only maintained with difficulty, for the resident English, though probably increasing on account of the facilities for sports which the place provides, are not numerous. However, the present chaplain, with the help of an assistant priest, keeps a small English Grammar School, so that he is not only fully employed but this difficulty does not press. There are also two English private schools for girls at Quilmes which add to the importance of the chaplaincy. The evening service is specially hearty and well attended. The town of Quilmes is on the river bank and the towers of its parish church (not, of course, All Saints') are what first meet the view of the traveller as the steamer approaches Buenos Aires. Church Halls, or Mission Churches, have also been built at Hurlingham and Villa Devoto on the Pacific Railway. At both places there are a considerable mamber of English residents, the first, as its name implies, having a specially English atmosphere, the settlement having been made originally for purposes of sport. Services are held twice a month at each place by the Missions to Seamen Clergy. At Villa Devoto there is also a flourishing Sunday School.

Other centres of Church work in the province of Buenos Aires are Bahia Blanca and Junin. The former, some four hundred miles distant from the capital, is expected to become the great port of the south, a centre for shipment by the Southern and Pacific Railways, but it has suffered from a succession of bad seasons and is as yet far from fulfilling its expectation. The church is also unfortunately oppressed by debt, and the Anglican community (for Presbyterians and Methodists are also fully organized) is reduced in numbers. All efforts are being made, nevertheless, to maintain a resident chaplain and keep up the work of the Missions to Seamen Society in the ports. There is a fine block of church buildings, including church hall, vestry, committee rooms, and caretaker's house. Indeed, a bachelor chaplain can be accommodated there, an important asset when the cost of house rent is considered. When the Buenos Aires camp chaplaincy was first formed under Rev. C. K. Blount, Bahia Blanca was included in his district, and with the help of the Missions to Seamen chaplains at Buenos Aires, services were provided once a month. From these modest beginnings the work grew until at length it was found practicable, with the help of a grant from the Missions to Seamen Society, to establish a resident chaplain.

Junin used to be a small frontier town garrisoned against the Indians. It is now the site of the chief works of the Pacific Railway, with a population of 31,000. The centre of the work here is an English school for the children of railway employees, and a church hall has been built which serves the double purpose of school and place of worship. A "camp chaplain "used to live here and hold services once a month, but it has been necessary to make other arrangements temporarily. Here, again, we have an instance of growth from small beginnings. A little English school in a rented building, under a self-sacrificing lay reader who lived as best he could, developed in due time into a school-church on its own site and the centre of a camp chaplaincy. It may be imagined what a work of years it was to acquire and pay for the site, and then to gather funds enough to venture on the building. The school is assisted by a grant from the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway, whose employees' children attend it, and under its loyal and hardworking mistress does excellent work. No grant is received from Government, yet Government regulations as to teaching Spanish, national history, Argentine patriotism, etc., are somewhat severe. There is a "Church Sunday "once a month, when the Hall is most reverently appointed for worship, and often enough there will be twenty communicants and perhaps nearly a hundred at Evensong. The people would gladly welcome more ministrations, and only lack of funds prevents it.

In the province of Santa Fe, originally supported by the South American Missionary Society, but now self-supporting, is the old-established chaplaincy of St. Bartholomew's, Rosario, where there is a British population of 1000 or more in a city of 230,000. Rosario is not unlike a Buenos Aires in miniature. It stands on an absolutely level plain, is laid out on the same chess-board plan of even squares, with here and there broad avenues, has a water-front often crowded with British shipping, and is cosmopolitan in composition and tone rather than distinctively Argentine. Its growth has been phenomenal. When Church, School, and Parsonage were built, they were surrounded by open "camp." Now they are in the heart of the city, and the majority of the English live at a considerable distance. There is good communication, however, by means of trains and electric trams. The English business houses are mostly branches of those in Buenos Aires, and there are a large number of employees of the Central Argentine Railway, which on account of this responsibility gives generous help in many ways. Every week-day a non-stop express runs to Buenos Aires and back, such is the need of communication between the two cities. There is a locally managed Sailors' Home and an Anglo-German Hospital; also a Recreation Ground at Plaza Jewell, called after its English donor. The church is an attractive red-brick building, both outside and inside suggestive of home, and it has been beautified by several memorial gifts, such as stained-glass windows and a light iron-work screen. It has been fortunate in having a succession of excellent chaplains. The last chaplain threw open his house as a young men's club, and upon his untimely death through typhoid, deeply regretted, half of the school was furnished as an attractive club in memory of him. The present chaplain is personally superintending the school, in addition to his other endless duties. This school, it may be explained, has done invaluable work in the past, but now, on account of the reduced number of English or Anglo-Argentine children and the increased cost of living, it is most difficult to maintain it. Nevertheless, in the unfavourable moral atmosphere of Spanish America, where the tendency is for English-born children to deteriorate, the effort is well worth making.

Of recent years a second chaplaincy has been established, supported almost entirely by the South American Missionary Society, in the suburbs of the Central Argentine Talleres (workshops) and Alberdi. In this latter place there is an important educational work, consisting of a well-equipped English high school for girls, and a Spanish free school for the poorer children of the neighbourhood. On this basis has been built up a definite mission work with Sunday School and organized congregation. There are no churches as yet, services being held in halls or schoolrooms specially fitted up for the purpose. Alberdi and Talleres are several miles apart, but there is good communication by means of train and tram. The former place, being situated on the river and on higher ground, is increasing in favour among the English as a place of residence, and the work among them is of growing importance. A whole "square" (much of it given by generous friends of the South American Missionary Society) is occupied by school buildings and workers' house, and it is a centre of earnest Christian effort and influence. The school at the Talleres, on the other hand, belongs to the Railway Company, and is used for many other purposes besides education and worship. Yet a full Church organization is maintained (the school, having a little sanctuary shut off from it, is thoroughly adapted for worship on Sundays), and the chaplain is specially successful in keeping together one of the largest Sunday Schools in the diocese, which, unlike the majority elsewhere, meets in the afternoon, as at home. On the whole, young people may be said to be numerous in this chaplaincy, and there is a flourishing branch of the Girls' Friendly Society. The Spanish-speaking branch of the Church seems to have sprung up as the natural outcome of the religious education of the school, and there is an earnest band of communicants.

With the exception of Mendoza, which is a provincial capital beautifully situated at the foothills of the Andes, the centre of the vine-growing district of Argentina, and starting-point of the Transandinc Railway, twenty-four hours' distant from Buenos Aires, where a lay reader is stationed to maintain a school and serve the small resident British community, the other chaplaincies in Argentina are to a greater or less extent what are called "camp chaplaincies," i.e. the chaplain travels, mostly by railway, over the "camps" or country districts, wide, open plains of vast extent very scantily populated, but including here and there great cities where there is a resident English community to be served. These chaplaincies constitute an extraordinarily difficult problem. Outside the towns those whom it is desired to reach are either railway employees, engineers and a limited number of mechanics and drivers, who naturally are never far from the railway line, or "estancieros" (farmers), "mayor-domos" (managers), and other young Englishmen under them, usually old public school boys, who are remote and scattered and difficult to get into touch with, for it is very seldom that there are any number of English-owned or English-managed "estancias" near each other. Moreover, from the circumstances of their lives, these people are mostly unaccustomed to any institutional religion, and have no great desire for it. Hence it is difficult to know where to begin. Little can be done before they are known personally. Letters may remain unanswered. Distances are great, travelling expensive, much time may be spent in achieving nothing. A whole week may be spent in arranging for a service and then the Sunday is wet, or at the last moment a chaplain may be asked to put off his service, when it is impossible to arrange another service elsewhere. Hence the chaplain is generally in the position of having to create that very sense of need which it is his calling to satisfy. And meanwhile there is distressing uncertainty as to his stipend. It is obviously unfair that friends at home should pay for people who can afford it themselves, if they had the will; but among these scattered people there is no sense of corporate responsibility. And at the back of all there is the fatal bequest of generations of establishment and endowment, i.e. people expect to have things done for them. At the present time there are four such camp chaplaincies, that of Concordia and Entre Rios, which is supported by the South American Missionary Society, Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe (which have been temporarily amalgamated owing to scarcity of funds), and the Northern Provinces, which is also backed by the South American Missionary Society. The first-named covers the provinces of Entre Rios ("Between River?," i.e. Rivers Parana and Uruguay) and Corrientes. In this chaplaincy there Concordia are three town centres, Parana, the chaplaincy. capital, situated on the river of that name, where are some fifty or sixty employees of the Entre Rios Railway, Concordia the commercial capital, where the resident English have shrunk to a mere handful since the amalgamation of the East Argentine Railway with the North Eastern (unfortunately the church is at Concordia), and Montecaseros in the province of Corrientes, the headquarters of the North-East Argentine Railway. In Parana services are held in the American Methodist Chapel, in Montecaseros in a club. There are smaller railway communities at various junctions and "estancieros" thinly scattered in different parts. The total population to be ministered to is about 600. These provinces are less flat and unattractive than on the other side of the river, but on the other hand they are poorer and less developed. There is now through communication with Buenos Aires, the train being carried on a "ferry boat" between Ibicuy and Buenos Aires Zarzte. The province of Buenos Aires Chaplaincy, is of a vast extent and includes much of the best land of the republic, while the English-owned and managed railways are excellently appointed. Travelling, however, over these flat "camps" is most monotonous, one journey being usually exactly like another. In the south there are a large number of Scotch "estancieros," but these are ministered to by their own Presbyterian ministers. The English are mostly to the west. In some few districts their "estancias" are grouped fairly near together, but the great majority are remote and scattered. Junin is the best centre from which to work this chaplaincy. It may be mentioned that the general tendency of the English is to be pioneers and move westwards to what are called "outside camps," where land is, or was, cheaper. "Estancias" on "inside" camps, which have risen enormously in value, are usually rented or sold. However, there are few owners now, as so large a capital is necessary. Most Englishmen are employees merely, and the younger men earn very little. There are also a fair number employed on native "estancias." Life on "estancias" is healthy, but hard and monotonous. There is no holiday but Sunday, and in the camps Sunday has lost all semblance, if ever it had it, of a sacred day. Moreover, on these vast rich plains, which man deals with as he wills--stock raising on a huge scale with strict method and on well-proved scientific lines--life tends to be sadly materialistic.

Cordoba Camp Chaplaincy has its centre in Cordoba, the capital of the province, situated at the foothills of a mountain district which is itself a far-flung offshoot of £°£Ioba the Cordillera of the Andes. It is a city chaplaincy, of 123,000, the third in the republic, and as it has several hundred English residents, should really have a chaplain to itself. This, however, is impossible at present, and the chaplain spends two Sundays a month there. A mission church or church hall has just been built which is in every way a credit to the community. This was the more necessary as it was found most difficult to secure temporary premises owing to the city being an ancient stronghold of the Roman Catholic Church, even though our work was obviously non-aggressive. It may, however, have been confused in people's minds with the Protestant Missions which are at work here as in many other cities. The provinces of Cordoba and Santa Fe are not unlike that of Buenos Aires in extent and fertility, and in the fact that they contain a considerable English element which has to be sought out and won. So far as the "camps" are concerned (as apart from such centres as Cordoba, which do their part loyally), the chaplain has no committees or organizations of any kind to help him. All depends upon himself personally, his plan of work, and even subscriptions to his stipend. Argentina reaches up to the tropics as well as extends to the snows, and the north is a populous sugar-growing district, mountainous and exquisitely wooded, a complete contrast to the rich pastoral plains of the central provinces. When the South American Missionary Society established a mission to the Indians from Leach & Co.'s property of "La Esperanza "as a base, these provinces, viz. Tucuman, Salta and Jujuy, were detached from the Cordoba "carnp chaplaincy," to which they formerly belonged, and formed into a separate chaplaincy under the South American Missionary Society, the foundation of the mission to the heathen throwing into obvious relief the duty of doing more for the spiritual needs of our own countrymen. A large part of the chaplain's work consists in ministering to the employees of the above-named firm, who have many large estates in the north, and are engaged in various forms of commercial enterprise. Tucuman, however, like Cordoba, is a large city, the capital of a province and a railway centre, and contains a resident English community. Here a monthly service is held in the local French School. The chaplain is under the disadvantage of having to do most of his travelling on the State railway, which in summer time is liable to be cut by sudden floods from the mountains, the summer being the wet season.

The Chubut chaplaincy is unique in being primarily a Welsh chaplaincy for Patagonia, a work which the South American Missionary Society has consistently supported since the foundation of the colony in 1866, when a shipload of 150 Welsh settled in the bleak uninhabited land (as it then was) of the Chubut Valley. The ambition of the founders was to establish a new Wales in Patagonia, and many hardships they endured in pursuit of their ideal. On one occasion their homesteads were completely destroyed by floods. It should be explained that whereas the present Chubut territory extends from the Andes to the Atlantic and the Rio Negro to Santa Cruz, the Chubut valley, cultivated by the Welsh, is an alluvial plain, some forty miles long by four or five wide, through which the Chubut river flows from the mountains to the sea, and it is by means of this river that the plain is irrigated, for the ordinary rainfall is altogether insufficient for purposes of cultivation. In spite of the floods, which were the occasion of a few hundreds leaving for Canada about 1902, the Welsh have multiplied and prospered so much that they have extended to form a fresh colony in the better land near the Andes, called "16th of October," from the date upon which they reached it first. But the country is no longer predominantly Welsh, With the establishment of the Argentine Government and direct commerce with Buenos Aires, Latin settlers flowed in, and now the Welsh are in a minority, a state of things which the future is not likely to alter materially for the better. Finding that they have not the opportunity for maintaining their nationality as they had hoped, the tendency of the Welshmen is to sell their farms and leave for lands under the British flag. Indeed, a considerable number are now leaving for Australia. From the beginning, Church-people have been a small minority among them, and there is no sign at present of their number being much increased, though there is not the tension between Churchmen and Nonconformists which exists in Wales, as indeed there is no reason for it. The chaplain serves two churches twenty miles apart, Trelew, the commercial capital, where there is also the parsonage house, and St. David's in the upper valley. He has also an English congregation, but no church as yet, at Madryn, the seaport, which is linked with Trelew and the valley by an English railway. St. David's Church is now being completely rebuilt, and there is an excellent site for a church at Madryn when enough funds have been collected.

Any account of diocesan institutions would be incomplete without mention of the "Allen Gardiner Memorial Homes," for orphans or poor Allen children of English-speaking parents. Sickness and death in a foreign country, or unhappier still, moral failure, makes these Homes an immense boon for quite a number who would otherwise be lost. They were founded in 1896, and maintained for years at Alberdi Rosario by Rev. W. H. T. Blair, an agent of the South American Missionary Society, but on account of high rents and lack of space moved by him later to an exquisitely healthy and beautiful situation in the Cordoba Hills, in a district which has since become popular as an English holiday resort. The buildings were erected by Mr. Blair at his own expense, otherwise the Homes are maintained by public subscription. The great majority of those who are brought up in the Homes do well in after life. At present the numbers are under forty, but they are usually larger. A witness to the efficiency of the Institution is the fact that the principal matron was herself a child in the "Homes," holds a trained nurse's certificate, and is entirely devoted to the work. It is difficult to see how such an institution could possibly be dispensed with.

Another institution, started for somewhat different objects, but which has come to work on nearly parallel lines, is the Children's Home at Belgrano, Buenos Aires. This was begun some ten years ago by the ladies of Belgrano and has been managed by them since. Indeed, it may be pointed to as a signal instance of successful women's work. A valuable property has been secured in a convenient position, and is being constantly improved. There is a boys' and girls' department with separate playgrounds, and the chaplain of St. Saviour's Church acts as chaplain to the Homes. Education is a difficulty, as the laws in the capital are strict, and hardly framed to meet such an exceptional situation as fifty half-alien backward and neglected children, such as the majority were before they found refuge in the Homes. However, the work is shared by the matron and a certificated Argentine teacher such as the law requires. These Homes also are supported entirely by voluntary contributions. They have the advantage of being central and easily accessible.


THE Argentine Chaco adjoins that of Paraguay though it is a much better country on the whole. This Mission is designed to reach the Indians in the Argentine Chaco and hence its name, but it is not yet domiciled there. For many years large numbers of Indians, both from Bolivia and the Argentine Chaco, had been accustomed to come down and work for many months together on Messrs. Leach Brothers' sugar estates in Jujuy, one of the northern and tropical provinces of Argentina, and this being a friendly company of high reputation, their headquarters of San Pedro de Jujuy seemed to provide a unique opportunity as a base for learning the languages and getting into touch with the various tribes, as the necessary preliminary to evangelization. And this has been done. A party of four experienced missionaries from the Paraguayan Chaco arrived in 1911 and took up their quarters in a compound containing several dwelling-houses and outbuildings, together with abundant garden land, generously placed at their disposal by the company. The result of their three years' work may be said to be, that expeditions have been made to some of the countries where the tribes live, friendly relations have been established with them, and in the case of the Mataco and Toba (two powerful and numerous tribes) and Choroti and Chunupi a working knowledge has been acquired of the language. And now a fresh batch of young lay missionaries having arrived from home, a definite start is being made by the formation of a Mission station among the Bejoz, a branch of the Matacos, on a tract of land on the banks of the Bermejo River. This may be regarded as very satisfactory progress, and there can be no doubt that the experience gained in other somewhat similar mission-fields will tend to much more rapid advance in the future, given the needed support from home. It is hoped in time to link together the two Chaco Missions by a chain of settlements, and then extend northwards. At the time of writing an ordained missionary as leader is still lacking.


The site of Holy Trinity Church, Montevideo, is of great historic interest. It was near this spot in 1807, that the British troops under Sir Samuel Auchmuty, forced their way into the city through a breach made by their artillery (from which a street is called "Calle Brecha" to this day). The loss of life was considerable, for the "breach" was dominated by a round tower which occupied the actual position of the present church. It is to the credit of our troops that two hours after the surrender of the city life and property were as secure as if no disaster had taken place. Thirty-seven years afterwards, on January 1, 1844, when the city had long since been handed back to its rightful owners, the foundation stone of Holy Trinity Church was laid by Commodore Parvis, Commander of the South-East Atlantic Squadron, with the entire sanction of the Government of Uruguay, and in the presence of some of its distinguished citizens who were in keen sympathy with the work. Thus, as one of them put it, Don Joaquin Sagra y Piriz, near where the demon of war caused English and Spanish blood to flow and mingle together during thirteen days, a temple was erected to the God of Peace," and he prayed that the most perfect harmony might never cease to exist between his country and that of his English friends present. Both site and church were the free gift of Mr. Samuel Fisher Lafone, who also took a lifelong interest in its welfare. The fact was suitably recorded upon a silver plate on the case containing coins, etc., deposited beneath the stone: "The ground and building are presented as free act and fulfilment of a humble and fervent desire on the part of Samuel Fisher Lafone who dedicates it to the true worship of God according to the rites of the Church of England, and for the promulgation of the blessed Gospel of Peace, praying that the Mightiest may prosper it, and the ministry of this Church in and through Christ Jesus."

The church is plain but dignified. It has a classical front with portico supported by massive Doric pillars and stands well above the road at the top of a flight of white marble steps. There is a large cross on the apex of the roof and its two small square towers make it an object easily recognizable from the sea. The interior is most pleasing. Chancel and east end are reverently appointed and with excellent taste. There are good stained glass windows and other interesting memorials, the church having (for this diocese) so long a history. The chancel is separated from the nave by a handsome light ironwork screen, a memorial of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The choir stalls, and indeed all the seats, are of Paraguayan cedar. With the gallery at the west end the church is capable of seating nearly 500 people. For many years past there has been an excellent choir.

Behind the church are the remains of an old Spanish bastion washed by the waters of the Plate. In stormy weather the sea breaks over this wall, and the spray dashing against the church makes the preacher within difficult at times to hear. Alongside of the church stands the Lafone Memorial Hall, built in memory of the founder. This is a roomy and well-furnished building used for Sunday School and social gatherings. There are living-rooms also which serve for a caretaker. Hence, with the important exception of a vicarage, the equipment of the church is tolerably complete. The neighbourhood is now a bad one, through the migration of the better class of inhabitants to the suburbs, and the English almost all live at a considerable distance, yet the church is still fairly central and easily reached by electric tram.

Poceitos, formerly a small isolated watering place, has now become a favourite place of residence owing to improved communication. The Western Telegraph Company have put up large buildings there for the use of their English staff, and there are many families also. Hence a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity may be necessary before long. From its beginning the church has been a consular chaplaincy, though, as has been explained, only a Small Government grant is received at present, and that for a limited time. At first the chaplains were appointed by the Foreign Office, but the right to appoint was soon conceded to the subscribers. Among the special conditions prevailing at Montevideo must be mentioned the existence of a certain form of endowment. In 1887 the Government expropriated the then British Cemetery (which was the means of the chaplain, the Rev. J. H. Davis, losing his life, as he contracted small pox when superintending the removal of the bodies), compensation being given and received. The present beautiful and well-kept cemetery was then secured, and the balance of the funds so well invested under a responsible committee that a considerable sum of money is available for religious, philanthropic and charitable purposes. Indeed, it is largely, though by no means entirely, owing to this fund that the British community in Montevideo is one of the best equipped in South America, not only having a Victoria Memorial Hall but a new British Hospital, and excellent British schools, furnished and staffed from home. The population of Montevideo being 350,000 and the English and Anglo-Uruguayan community only numbering some 700, and being scattered throughout the vast city and suburbs, it will be readily understood that the chaplain has no easy task. Quite a number of our people are permanently settled in the country, and have been so for several generations. Some of the families most loyal to the church may be reckoned in this category, and an honoured member of the choir is the son of the original donor. Others on the contrary, both families and individuals, change very quickly. Montevideo is a port of call for all the great ocean liners, notably those of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, as well as a great number of cargo steamers. Hence there is plenty of work to be done among British sailors, and the chaplain acts as honorary chaplain to the Missions to Seamen. The Sailors' Home, a well-managed institution, is in charge of the Salvation Army.

Fray Bentos, situated on the River Uruguay, is a town which owes its existence to the famous Liebig factory. Formerly the personnel Chaplaincy was English, but it is now almost entirely German. However, the present chaplain is able to hold services in either language. There is a parsonage house and garden, and a little church, originally the property of the British Government, but now handed over to the South American Missionary Society, which supports the chaplaincy. Finding too little work here, the chaplain has extended his ministrations over the western part of the republic. The largest English congregation is at Conchillas, opposite Buenos Aires, where Messrs. Walker and Co., the well-known contractors, own large stone quarries. There is another at Paysandu, celebrated on account of its ox-tongues, consisting chiefly of employees of the Midland Railway. At Salto there is a small endowed church built at a time when the English were far more numerous than at present, but Salto being opposite Concordia in Entre Rios, this is more easily worked by the resident chaplain there. In addition there are English and Anglo-Uruguayan "estancieros "and their families to be ministered to, scattered up and down throughout the country. The character of the country and the people is different to Argentina. The "camps" are undulating and well watered by streams which flow over rocky courses between well-wooded banks, but though the country is better suited for homes on account of this variety and beauty, the frequency of revolutions has been such as to make many of the English leave for Argentina, where political conditions are more stable, and those who remain are mostly those who have been brought up in the country and are Uruguayans by law. It is more difficult to minister to these on account of the weakness of the home tradition and their tendency to assimilate themselves to the country. The children, e.g., are mostly Spanish-speaking. Yet the work is being done and is well worth doing. There are also the physical difficulties to contend with of locusts, drought, or rains, which latter make the "passes" over the streams impracticable at times. The present chaplain has a long and honourable term of service, having extended and consolidated the work beyond any of his predecessors.

Of old time the term "Republics of the Plate" has included Argentina, Uruguay (the "buffer state" between Argentina and Brazil), and Paraguay, though Paraguay is an island republic some 700 miles from the Plate estuary. There is a far greater admixture of Indian blood in this republic, and it is in a much more primitive and less developed condition. Until lately its only means of communication with the outer world was by means of shallow draught river steamers, but now the Paraguayan Railway has been linked up with the Argentine Railways, and through "international" trains run from Buenos Aires to Asuncion, the capital, by means of ferry boats over the Parana and Alto Parana rivers, accomplishing the journey in a little more than two days. The beginning of Anglican Church work in this country was at New Australia Colony, and it has had a singularly happy development.

Unlike our churches in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rio Janeiro, the capitals of the other eastern republics, our church in Asuncion is of only very recent origin, having been dedicated in 1913. It building, in Early English style, adapted for the tropics, on an excellent site given by Dr. William Stewart, an old and honoured resident. Even when it was determined to build, and funds had been raised for the purpose, chiefly by English-speaking people throughout Paraguay, the number of Churchpeople and others in Asuncion itself would scarcely have justified the venture, had it not been felt that some visible centre of unity was needed for members of our race and faith scattered throughout the republic. Services had hitherto been held in the German Lutheran Church every month or six weeks, when the chaplain was able to visit the city. However, while the church was building, and afterwards, the number of resident English increased greatly, owing to railway extension and the inauguration of electric traction, and for other reasons, so that now there is no doubt that for local and practical purposes also the church is needed. From the first, the effort was marked by the utmost unanimity and goodwill, and now there is a keen desire to build a caretaker's house and chaplain's rooms on the ample space at the back of the church, in order that the benefit of a resident chaplain may be secured. It may be explained how church work in Paraguay did not originate in the capital, but in the remote colony of New Australia. The story of the great shearers' strike in Australia and the consequent attempt to establish a socialistic colony in Paraguay, cannot be told here. It must be enough to state briefly that the attempt failed, the great majority returned to their own country sadder and wiser, and only two small communities remained at Cosme and New Australia, the latter being a territory of some twenty square miles, consisting of plain and forest, where the people lived as ordinary settlers, i.e. not as socialists, each family a considerable distance from its neighbours. In 1902 the number, including women and children, was about 150. Friendly relations were established with this community. All valued education, if only a few religion, and a schoolmaster started work among them, holding services on Sunday. In due time the little school-church became a centre, and the deacon in charge extended his ministrations to other communities on the railway, Villa Rica (the nearest point, thirty miles away), Sapucay, where the railway works were situated, and Asuncion, the capital. From this strange centre the Paraguayan chaplaincy developed. (It is true that in 1904, with the help of the South American Missionary Society, an experienced chaplain was established at Villa Rica, the town already referred to on the railway, some ninety miles distant from Asuncion and, roughly speaking, midway between the two Australian colonies, and at the same time a school was started there under a master, but partly on account of the unsettlement caused by revolutions, and still more because the time was hardly ripe for a resident chaplain, the work was not adequately supported and was closed down in 1906.) However, New Australia was undoubtedly inconvenient as a centre. Communication by post was slow and irregular, heavy rains might flood the creeks, and the school could not be left too often. Hence upon the chaplain's promotion to work elsewhere, new arrangements were made, with the help of the Diocesan Fund and the people themselves, and in 1913 the new chaplain took charge of the Railway Company's School at Sapucay, from which Asuncion and other places could be visited more easily, while a married teacher and lay reader was placed at New Australia for that work only. It was thought that a married man (granted that his wife was a devoted worker like himself) would better be able to bear the monotony and isolation inseparable from this kind of post, and that the wife might be of real service as a friend of the women and girls. And this experiment has been more than justified. The colonists responded warmly to this appeal to their sympathies and have shown by their conduct that they appreciate such a married couple among them. Meanwhile, a further venture has been made at Cosme Colony. This is a little community of fifty people living near together, as in a village, in a clearing in the forest, the remnant of a second attempt at a socialistic colony which continued the experiment for some years after the other had failed. There are about twenty children of school age. The desire was expressed for a teacher, and the people, who have always been most friendly, were more than willing to contribute (the Australians in Paraguay thoroughly retain their sturdiness and independence), so a lady who has been accustomed to roughing it in the Church's service was sent in 1914. This venture, too, seems quite successful, the keenness of the children to learn being delightful. At present then (and it is a feature of the Paraguayan work) there are three small schools connected with the Church in Paraguay, and the need of a fourth at Asuncion is becoming apparent. The school at Sapucay, being for the benefit of English employees of the Paraguayan Central Railway, is provided by the Company and admirably equipped. It has met a very real want and should do much to make their people settled and happy. However, did funds permit of it, the Church's right policy is clearly to plant its chaplain in Asuncion, the capital, which is the chief centre of English population, where the church is, and place a fourth worker, a married man if possible, at Sapucay. It is a hardship that the chaplain should be so far from his church and people. On the whole, there is great cause for thankfulness for what has been accomplished in the last ten or eleven years. Instead of indifference or opposition, there is the friendliest feeling towards our work, and whereas formerly there were none, we have now four or five centres where services are held, and the Anglican Church is worthily represented in the capital. In Paraguay, it may be mentioned, we have been in friendly relations with the Germans. At Asuncion, as has already been stated, we used to worship in their church, and at Villa Rica in their schoolroom. In the latter place, the English have disappeared, all but a very few, but quite a good number of Germans used to attend the services. The devoted and successful work of the South American Missionary Society in the Chaco of Paraguay constitutes another reason for gratitude that work among our own fellow countrymen has so developed. It was a reproach that while an Indian Church was being built up among the heathen, our own people were living practically without religion. That reproach has now been done away.

The Paraguayan Chaco is that part of Paraguay which lies westward of the Paraguay river. It is the greatest possible contrast to Paraguay proper, for whereas Paraguay itself is a beautiful land of rolling plains and forests and rivers, celebrated for its exquisite oranges and other products, the Chaco is still a land in the making, consisting of vast dreary plains covered with ant hills, palm trees, and low scrubby forest, and broken up by numerous swamps. Hence, as no white man coveted it, it formed for centuries a natural Indian reserve. The conditions, however, are now rapidly changing, as the land has been found valuable for running cattle, and the Indian no longer has the country to himself. It seems that the old Jesuits who achieved such triumphs in Paraguay itself, never obtained a footing in the Chaco, where the Indians were of a much more savage type. This honour was reserved for Englishmen. It is told in the chapter which gives a historical sketch of the South American Missionary Society how Mr. Henriksen died as the result of exposure and hardship in 1889, but he was at once succeeded by Mr. W. B. Grubb, who made the bold venture of leaving the "coast "(as the river bank is called), and Jiving with the Indians in the interior like one of themselves. It was taking his life in his hand, but he succeeded. His opinion of the country itself is given in the following extract from his "Ten Years' Review of Progress." "The country is difficult in the extreme to live in, producing nothing sufficient in itself to sustain a white man; it is a country with extremes of flood or drought, with no practicable water-ways, of poor soil, excelling in almost nothing but the abundance of its insect life, which makes all other life a burden; an uninteresting country, a dead level for hundreds of miles, of alternate swamps, dreary palm plains or scrubby bush land." Yet the country has undoubtedly cast its spell over him and his fellow-missionaries, and they have learned to be happy in it, for the work's sake. The danger for Mr. Grubb in the early days was when the Indians began to find out that he was studying and understanding their customs and language. To a foreigner who was temporarily among them, but aloof from their life, they had no particular objection, but they disliked intensely the notion of a white man knowing their tribal secrets. However, he wore down their opposition by his sheer courage and audacity--"bluff" of a kind, it would seem to be. "This white man must be a very important and powerful person (so the Indians would argue) because, though he is all alone among us, he is never afraid; on the contrary, he orders us to do things for him and is vexed if we do not do them; he must be very strong as he behaves so; the spirits who protect him must be stronger than ours" (thereby touching a genuine truth, for simple faith in God was indeed what inspired him). Thus he gradually gained a personal ascendancy which he has never lost, and which has been an invaluable factor in giving a fair start to his colleagues, for the Indian is a child who, in however kindly a way, must be dominated. The history of the Mission (which is fully given in the Society's publications) is one of slow progress against constant and wearing difficulties, of learning painfully by experience, of perpetual changes of plans and places, of much time spent in the mere labour of living, of journeyingson horseback and on foot under conditions such as a mere pioneer would seldom face, of quietly deepening and extending influence, so that the fame of this new kind of white man who is the Indian's friend is known among remote tribes whom the missionaries themselves have never met. Station after station was opened and abandoned for various valid reasons, perhaps the principal one being the opening up of the country and changes of ownership. The experiment was tried of diffusing the Mission influence by means of sub-stations, but though this seemed the best course at the time, the method was not concentrated enough for effective conversions, and the missionaries suffered from isolation. Now at length the problems of evangelization have been so far solved that what appears to be a permanent centre has been established by means of a settled Christian village, or at all events, a village under mission rule where Christian standards of conduct are obligatory. The work is only on a small scale, but, nevertheless, it is a great achievement. To have settled part of a wandering tribe in such a difficult country under Christian influences is in itself a triumph, and, regarded as a method, the key to much greater triumphs in the future. For the impression is left by a study of the Society's missionary work in Patagonia, that the absence of lasting results was due to the impossibility of really impressing a wild, migratory people. Civilization of a kind would seem a necessary condition of evangelization. Hence, one feels that in the Paraguayan Chaco the right methods have been discovered and acted upon. In this settlement of Makthlawaia the Mission is on its own land. The soil is here good enough for gardens (a rare characteristic), and the surrounding swamp usually provides fish, so that by these means, together with hunting, the Indians can, to some extent, support themselves, There is also a herd of some 500 cattle belonging to the Indians, and a co-operative society managed by the missionaries. Where possible, the Mission provides work, and there are, e.g., Indians who are fairly capable carpenters and sawyers; others are employed as cattle-boys and for transport. Quite forty can handle and manage bullock waggons, and several can train bullocks and also break in horses.

This shows the settled conditions which make sustained Christian teaching possible. The most important buildings in the village are the church and school. Both are evident and happy centres of life. Not on Sundays only but every day the church is largely attended. Each day's work begins and ends with prayer and praise there. There can be no doubt that there is a core of real faith in the people which shows itself in their transformed lives; in other words, Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit are a reality to them. Speaking of what they were, Mr. Grubb says, "In their natural state they are quite barbarous, and live in the rudest booths; they are sunk in the grossest superstition. Outside the Mission sphere of influence they are undoubtedly a dying people, without the slightest desire to increase, settle down, or follow an industrial and peaceful life; a thoroughly thriftless people, content to live on the chance of what a day may bring forth." The change then is evident. The first converts were baptized by Bishop Stirling at the then existing River Station in 1899, since which time they have grown to about 150, half the population of the village when fairly filled. Confirmations have been held from time to time, and the number of communicants is about 40. A living branch of the Church then exists in the Paraguayan Chaco, and Mr. Grubb sums up the report before referred to thus: "We see that a certain number of these Indians, albeit a small proportion, have taken to Christianity, civilization, a rudimentary education, trades and thriftiness; and moreover, a previous decline in the population (infanticide had been common) has not only ceased among these settled Indians, but instead they are rapidly increasing; in proof of which children under fourteen years of age represent a third of the whole population. No such condition exists in any other part of the country."

As illustrating the devoted labour which under God has produced these results, we may add that the Lengua language has been mastered and reduced to writing, and a dictionary and grammar compiled (largely through the expert knowledge of Mr. R. J. Hunt). Genesis and parts of Exodus, the Gospels, and Acts have been printed, also part of the Prayer-book, and a selection of hymns.

In conclusion, an interesting old tradition may be quoted, that for generations the Indians had been expecting the arrival of some strangers who should be as their own people, speaking their language and teaching them about the spirit world. These were called Imlah. When the Imlah arrive (so the tradition says), all the Indians must obey their teaching and take care that they do not leave their country, for in that case, through sickness or some other cause, the Indians would disappear from the land. In what unlocked for regions may not truth be found!


FOR many years Anglican Church work in this vast republic of the New World was limited to the three consular chaplaincies of Rio Janeiro, Bahia and Pernambuco, and the South American Missionary Society's chaplaincy of Sao Paulo, now self-supporting, i.e. four in all. However, after the division of the diocese in 1910, it was found possible to re-open the long-closed chaplaincy of Morro Velho, a gold-mining centre in the state of Minas, and to open new chaplaincies at Para at the mouth of the great Amazon river, and^ quite recently, with the help of the South American Missionary Society, at Santos, the well-known port of the state of Sao Paulo. Hence the number of the Brazilian chaplaincies has been increased from four to seven. This fact, which marks the increasing importance of our Church's work in "Brazil, together with the fact that there is a natural cleavage of race and language, and to some extent climate, between the United States of Brazil and the Spanish-speaking republics of the Plate, seemed to justify the formation of a separate archdeaconry and in September, 1914, the newly appointed chaplain of Rio de Janeiro was appointed also Archdeacon in Brazil. The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America began work in Brazil in 1889, and have now a strong, well-organized mission of which some account is given elsewhere, but except in special cases it has no English-speaking congregations, its object being to minister to Brazilians.

The origin of our Church in Brazil is of special interest. According to Article XII. of a Commercial Treaty made with England in 1810, permission was granted to us to build churches conditionally upon their having the appearance of dwelling-houses, and full liberty of worship was accorded so long as no attempt was made to attack the Roman Catholic religion or make proselytes. At the same time we were allowed to have our own cemeteries, which the authorities pledged themselves to respect. It appears that this concession was not obtained without some difficulty. It is stated on the authority of the Rev. R. Walsh, a clergyman of the Church of England who visited Brazil, and wrote a book about his travels in 1829, that the Papal Nuncio, Lorenzo Calepi, Archbishop of Nisibis, was in Rio at the time and strongly opposed this article. His opposition caused some surprise, for he is described as an ecclesiastic of polished and gracious manners who concerned himself very little with serious questions. But on this occasion he sought an audience of the king and protested vigorously against the encouragement which such a concession would give to schism in the Church; and when he failed to move the king upon this point, he urged the establishment of the Inquisition side by side with the concession, in order to check the progress of heresy among Brazilians, but in this too he failed to make any impression. The Bishop of Rio, on the other hand, steadily advocated the measure, the reasons he gave being distinctly curious. "The English," he said, "have really no religion at all. But they are a proud and obstinate race. If we oppose their wish in this matter, they will not only persist in it more, but make it a question of infinite importance. But if on the other hand we give way to them, they will build their chapel, and no one will ever go there." This was the story current at any rate when Mr. Walsh visited Rio some years afterwards, and he is considered by Senhor J. C. Rodrigues, a well-known living Brazilian, as "an intelligent English traveller."

In 1819 then, in the Rua dos Barbonos (now Evarista da Vega), the English laid the foundation stone of what has been called "the first Protestant temple in South America." When completed it was dedicated to St. George and St. John the Baptist, as a compliment to the British and Portuguese kings. Mr. Walsh reported the building to be in very poor order at the time of his visit in 1828-9, and the congregation to be only small, not more than thirty or forty. In 1898-9 it was completely rebuilt, this time with an ecclesiastical appearance, which at all events marks the movement of public opinion towards fuller toleration, otherwise it is hardly an improvement upon the old plain design. The new building was re-dedicated as Christ Church. It consists of a spacious nave with chancel, sanctuary, and two vestries. The front facing the street is pseudo-Gothic. Several of the large windows are filled with excellent stained glass.

The church is central, but for that reason a great distance from all the residential suburbs. The British and American population is something like one thousand, scattered through a city of nearly a million. Fortunately there is an excellent system of electric tramcars (called "bonds "in Brazil), but even so it is no uncommon thing to be nearly an hour distant from the church. For these same reasons of distance there is even less cohesion and unity than in most chaplaincies. Moreover, the climate for the greater part of the year is decidedly enervating. Another distinctive feature of English life in Rio Janeiro and other Brazilian cities is the "chacara," or single men's quarters maintained by large enterprises such as banks or railways, for the benefit of their English staff. By this means young men are enabled to live more cheaply and in reasonable comfort, but the life is not without its temptations. Hours of work are long, and, as in other parts, Sunday is usually the only day for recreation. Undoubtedly the chaplain has a difficult task, and the work of building up the chaplaincy to be the living centre of our Church's activities in Brazil has yet to be accomplished. However, a new era of hope has dawned with' the appointment of the Venerable Oswald Blogg as chaplain and archdeacon.

Perhaps the most pressing need is the establishment of a chapel-of-ease at Nictheroy across the bay. Nictheroy is the capital of the State of Rio Janeiro, just as the city of Rio Janeiro is the federal capital; and situated across the bay, half an hour distant by steam ferry, it acts as a convenient suburb where many English people prefer to live. There are also several large "chacaras" there, notably that of the Western Telegraph Company. This short voyage does not sound prohibitive for attendance at Christ Church, but when a tram journey at either end is added to it, it becomes so, especially in the heat of a tropical summer's day. Moreover, there is an increasing number of English children at Nictheroy needing instruction. An effort has already been made to meet this need, and a considerable sum of money for building purposes is now in hand. Another need which will soon be pressing is that of an assistant. In ordinary times there would probably be no great difficulty in raising the necessary funds once the confidence and interest of the community are gained, but in the present commercial crisis delay is inevitable.

Church and parsonage--our only parsonage in Brazil--stand on a triangular piece of ground near the station of the Sao Paulo Railway Company. When the church was built, it was in the midst of open country. Now it is surrounded by crowded streets and the roar of traffic. The well-kept ground and palms and other trees give the whole a most attractive appearance. The chaplaincy was liberally helped by the South American Missionary Society until 1908, when it became self-supporting. The property is held by trustees, of whom the Bishop is one. Sao Paulo is the progressive capital of perhaps the most progressive state in Brazil. It contains a very large foreign element, notably Italian, and within recent years has increased its population enormously. It is now more than 400,000. The British and American population scattered over this great city is perhaps 2000, and the proportion of Americans, though it has diminished again now, is much larger than in other cities. Both the number of the people and the area over which they are scattered give the chaplain ample work, and he finds it necessary to have various outlying services and Sunday schools in halls attached to factories or private houses. On the whole the spiritual needs of the community are well met, and the congregations are encouraging. Whereas in almost all other town chaplaincies the hour of Evensong on Sunday is 8 or 8.30 p.m., i.e. after dinner (all dine late in South America), here it is 7 p.m., and the congregation, of which more than half are often men, large and hearty. Though few live near the church, yet it is central by electric tram and easily accessible. The parsonage house hard by gives the chaplain an opportunity for offering much kindly hospitality, which he is not slow to avail himself of. Until recently Santos was also served by the chaplain of Sao Paulo, and there still remain in his charge the English throughout the whole state, some in towns, others employed on the railways (which in this state are numerous and well managed), and some on coffee "fazendas" (coffee, of course, being the chief product of this region). The Sao Paulo railway, of insignificant mileage as compared with the others, is still the neck of the bottle, as it were, through which all the coffee must pass to be shipped at Santos. The descent from the high uplands to the coast level at the "Serra," is said to be a triumph of engineering skill, as certainly it is a scene of marvellous beauty.

This chaplaincy, taken from Sao Paulo, was formed only in 1914, the number of British and American residents having grown to about 200 and the British shipping in port offering a great and constant opportunity. Moreover it was impossible for the devoted chaplain of Sao Paulo to provide more than a monthly service and the absolutely necessary pastoral visitation. Under these circumstances a local Church Committee, convened by the Bishop, undertook, with the help of a grant from the South American Missionary Society, to support their own chaplain, who should also take general charge of the local Seamen's Mission. An excellent beginning has been made. The first chaplain has won the confidence of all classes, and is honestly laying the foundations of a permanent work. Needless to say, there is no church as yet. The living agent must always precede the building. But given average commercial prosperity, there is not likely to be much difficulty about this, when the time comes. For in Brazil British firms which employ young Englishmen have a wholesome sense of responsibility towards them, and willingly support our churches. At present the chaplain holds services in the morning in a small hall lent by some Brazilian Protestants, and in the evening at the Seamen's Mission, with encouraging results. As in other Brazilian cities, distances are great and our people much scattered, so that, though there is now a good system of electric trams, visiting is a long business. The climate, though hot, is now perfectly healthy, and yellow fever, which used to be the scourge of the port, is unknown.

For many years there has been a local Seamen's Mission supported in part by the South American Missionary Society. This is a rented building well situated near the docks, which run for several miles and are thronged with shipping, much of it British. These premises have been enlarged from time to time by the addition of fresh rooms, and constantly improved, and they are now used by a considerable number of seamen. The lay worker's faithful services in this connection are much appreciated. He has not, however, confined his attention to the needs of the shipping, but being a keen evangelist with a good knowledge of the language, he has thrown himself into building up a Brazilian congregation from among the crowds of godless and indifferent around him. In many ways this work prospered, and unquestionably he won many to an earnest faith and clean life. But our Church's hold upon them turned out to be only slight, and the majority have seceded to another organization.

The "St. John del Rey Mining Company" has had a long and honourable history in the State of Minas. While other companies have flourished and disappeared, this has steadily held on its way as a sound commercial undertaking. For many years, with the help of the South American Missionary Society, a chaplain was maintained to minister to the Englishmen and their families who were brought out from home for the sake of the work. This arrangement lapsed, and then occasional visits, chiefly for the sake of baptism and marriage, were made by the chaplains of Rio. Then even these ceased and visits were paid instead by the American Methodist Missionaries. In 1910, however, after an interval of sixteen years, arrangements were happily made for re-opening the chaplaincy without any outside help. A small school had always been maintained for the sake of the English children, and the chaplain took general charge of this, a trained assistant being provided. The school was then held in the church, but in a short time this was found not to be in a safe condition, and services were conducted and school held in temporary offices elsewhere. The company then decided to rebuild the church, but during the course of years the quartz crushing mills below had been increased to such an extent, that their noise made the site unsuitable. It was difficult to be heard there without some effort. The mine is in a valley surrounded by a number of hills, and there is no level ground for building. All sites for houses have to be cut out of the side of a hill. So an excellent site was made for a church in this way in a quiet yet central spot, and a greatly improved church erected there. This was finished and dedicated in 1914. The company provide club, hotel, recreation ground and hospital for their employees. The official name of the town is no longer Morro Velho, which means "Old Hill," but Villa Nova de Lima. The company's private electric railway now connects the place with the State railway, by which the traveller is saved a journey of several hours on mule back over bad hilly roads. Most of the young men come out from home direct on a three years' contract. The church has been decidedly appreciated, but the congregations are regular and faithful rather than large. It boasts now of a surpliced choir. The chaplain visits the Passagem mine also, near Ouro Preto ("Black Gold"), where there are about thirty English employees, and holds services for them. The British population of Morro Velho is about 300. Five of the seven Brazilian chaplaincies, including Bahia, are on the sea coast. This corresponds to the general distribution of population, which is densest in the coast regions, and the commercial settlements of the English, which are mostly on the seaboard also. Speaking generally, our settlements in Brazil are much older than in Argentina, just as in former days Brazil was of incomparably greater commercial importance, in proof of which the Royal Mail Steamers did not run further than Rio Janeiro. From there the journey had to be made by sailing ship. The British cemetery at Bahia consists of two terraces overlooking the beautiful bay, and dates back 100 years. St. George's Church is not so old, but it is a dignified building with classical front, in the style of a temple, situated in a central and convenient position in the residential part of the upper city (Bahia being divided into two parts, an upper and a lower city). The British residents are now very few in number, certainly not more than 150, but it is impossible to link the work with any other, on account of distance and expense of travel, and it is most creditable that the chaplaincy is maintained without help from outside sources. The withdrawal of the Government grant, when the consular chaplaincy ceased, was severely felt here. Indeed, it seems one of those exceptional cases where it might fairly have been maintained. Bahia, the capital of an extensive state of the same name, is distinguished for its enormous negro and mulatto population, and the number of its churches. The former fact is accounted for by its having been the ancient centre of the slave trade. Harbour works have been undertaken lately, and also the modernising of the city by widening the streets and driving through great avenues by the sea beach, but unfortunately money has run short, and the city is in a state of suspended transformation. Still more unfortunately, this is one of the places in which yellow fever is intermittent. It seldom amounts to an epidemic, and often several years pass without any cases, but then the disease reappears. The total number of English victims is only few, yet there have been several chaplains among them, as the tablets on the walls of the church testify.

Partly on account of the smallness of the work (for there are few English to be ministered to outside the city), and partly on account of the difficulty of health, this is a particularly hard post to fill satisfactorily, and it suffers from frequent vacancies. Yet it is not without its interest. The people are responsive and friendly, and some are truly devoted to their Church.

Pernambuco, or Recife, as it is often called, is the first port of South America at which the European steamers for Brazil and the Plate call, and therefore to the majority of travellers their first glimpse of South America. It is the only remaining consular chaplaincy, but ceases with the tenure of office of the present chaplain. The difficulties the Church has to contend with here are undoubtedly very great. Pernambuco, like Bahia, is being modernised, and besides harbour works, new and wide avenues, and drainage, a complete system of electric traction has also been included. But unfortunately here, too, funds have given out, only a limited number of tram-lines have been installed as yet, and people are still dependent for means of locomotion upon the primitive and noisy street trains. The residential suburbs of Pernambuco are distant and scattered, and their only connection with the city is by these street railways, with their only occasional train service. When it is added that services in the church have to be fitted in between the arrival and departure of trains on two of these lines of railway, and that the terminus of both is now in the street just outside the church, it will be recognised that these accompaniments of noise and hurry make worship extremely difficult. Further, the employees of the Great Western of Brazil Railway mostly live in "quarters "some distance up the railway, and for them attendance is impossible except on special occasions. "We go to church twice a year," said one of them frankly, "at Christmas and Easter," a special train being provided then. The British population is about 300, a large proportion of them being men, connected with railway, banks, and Western Telegraph Company. Railway employees live at Jabertao and Sao Lourenzo, and there is a cotton mill, whose management is English, at Paulista. As at Bahia, yellow fever is a danger, but with improved sanitation and the prospect of a British or Strangers' Hospital being soon established, this scourge is likely to grow much less. The consular chapel in Pernambuco has a long and curious history. The first steps towards inaugurating a fund for charitable and religious purposes were taken in 1811. The first chaplain was appointed in 1822. At this time services were conducted in a rented building, but properly furnished for purposes of worship. It was supposed in those days that a Protestant chapel would excite the hostility of the natives; hence, as there was a parallel scheme for the erection of a hospital, the original plan was to combine the chapel with it, less public attention being attracted in this way. However, by 1829 all such fear had disappeared. In a memorial addressed by the resident merchants to the Foreign Office, it was stated that the Brazilians "would witness such an undertaking with approval and respect," i.e. the erection of a proper place of worship according to the rites of the Church of England. In 1835 permission to build was obtained from the Governor, subject to the condition that the exterior did not resemble a church. After long delays, due in part to the unsettled state of the country, but still more to the dilatoriness of the Foreign Office (who now held the property of the local British residents), the foundation stone of the present church was laid in Rua da Aurora, on March 6, 1838. The building seems to have been completed in the same year and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Forty-five firms and individuals subscribed, few of whose names now survive in the community. The present bas relief of the Royal Arms in front of the west gallery was obtained in this same year, and cost no less than £239 135. 8d.

Strangely enough an attempt was made to levy a tax on the building because it was not like a church, but this was successfully resisted. In 1869 the Bishop of Honolulu, who was visiting the country, dedicated the church and cemetery by request. The present consular chaplain, who has made himself intimately acquainted with the past history of the church, is working to establish an endowment fund for it. He has won golden opinions by nursing the sick with rare skill and tenderness in times of epidemic, and has been the means of saving many lives.

The Amazon region is somewhat cut off from the rest of Brazil from the fact that it is served by a separate mail service direct from Peira, Europe (principally Booth and Co., of Liverpool), and no European mail steamers run along the coast between Pernambuco and Para, this vast district being served exclusively by the "National" Lloyd Brazileiro. Hence before 1910, in the days of the unwieldy undivided diocese of the Falkland Islands, nothing was done to minister to our people in these parts. And this was the more unfortunate because the extraordinary development of the rubber industry had been the means of largely increasing our colonies both at Para and Manaos (1000 miles further up the river), and when the attempt was made, their prosperity was already on the wane. However, the church was not too late. A chaplain with special qualifications for making his way under difficulties was sent out in 1912, being guaranteed at first by British firms at home, among whom Messrs. Booth and Co. took a leading and kindly part, and an old scheme for building a church upon a disused portion of the old British cemetery was revived and triumphantly carried through. It should be explained that this cemetery was the property of H.M. Foreign Office; in the course of time flourishing suburbs had sprung up round it, which was the reason for its being closed for purposes of interment; partly on account of the natural tropic growth, which soon springs up everywhere in these regions, and partly because, as so often happens, it was neglected and uncared for, it soon became a veritable wilderness and eyesore, all the more prominent and disgraceful because it abutted on a new and important thoroughfare, along which the electric tram ran, preventing it from being widened and rendering it somewhat dangerous. This was the state of things when the church building scheme was taken up. What was accomplished briefly was this. The Foreign Office handed over the property to a legally constituted local British committee on which the Bishop was included; this committee gave to the municipality a broad strip of frontage, such as was required for the purposes of the road; the municipality in return built a wall and railings along the new front and paved the footpath, also giving permission to erect the church on an unoccupied part of the graveyard (i.e. unoccupied by graves), and also approving the plans submitted. The church was then built with very little delay. The cemetery, in which there are some interesting monuments, is now cared for, and the church is a credit to the community and an ornament to the neighbourhood. It is a lightly constructed building with pitched roof and ample pointed windows, which can be flung wide open to the breeze; it has chancel and sanctuary, organ chamber, vestry and porch all complete, and is reverently appointed and furnished. The cost of the building was borne by Amazon firms in England, but the organ and church furniture were subscribed for locally or through private friends at home.

There can be no doubt that the church with its witness and influence is needed here. The climate is one of perpetual damp heat, the work monotonous and hours long. The men are in a vast majority, the climate being specially trying for English women. Owing to reductions of staff and the general depression, the total number is now barely a hundred. There are several hundred West Indians, however, mostly from Barbadoes, who claim the chaplain's ministrations as British subjects, and indeed the congregation always consist of both white and black. The white attend better in the morning, the black in the evening, but both are represented. The church cannot be said to be well attended--old bad traditions take a great deal of conquering--but the chaplain's presence in the community is undoubtedly valued and is a power for good.

Communication with Para is almost entirely by water. It is surrounded by flat country covered with dense forest. There is only one short railway and no roads to speak of. On the other hand, there are many thousands of miles of waterway. Ocean steamers of shallow draught can go 2500 miles to Iquitos in Peru, and the Liverpool mail steamers actually go to Manaos, 1000 miles from the sea. Both main river and tributaries (themselves, of course, vast rivers also) are served by the Amazon Steam Navigation Company and other flotilla. There is a small community of perhaps fifty British at Manaos, who should be visited occasionally, and also a number of West Indians. Also at Porto Bello, about ten days' journey from Manaos up the Madeira river and the terminus of the Madeira Marmore Railway, a remote and unhealthy region, there are said to be a number of West Indians. The railway referred to was built at great cost of human life for the export of rubber from Bolivia to avoid a series of rapids in the river. It is managed by American engineers.


For many years there had been Bishop's Councils organized by Bishop Stirling in such centres as Buenos Aires, Valparaiso, and Lima, and that in Buenos Aires, known as the Bishop's Council of the River Plate, attained to a position of some importance, as all the suburban churches, and also Rosario and Montevideo, were represented upon it.

It was never more than a Council of advice and help, but being representative of both clergy and laity, its decisions carried considerable weight. As early, then, as 1904 when the scheme of diocesan division actually carried out was resolved upon, it was resolved also that after division so soon as possible a representative Diocesan Synod should be formed. This was done in 1912 after careful study and much dissemination of information upon the subject. The clergy from the four republics, and as representative a body of laity as possible, met on September 10 for the Holy Communion at St. John's Pro-Cathedral and to receive a charge from the Bishop, and the Synod was formed. Short but comprehensive statutes were then adopted and a resolution passed inviting the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to work in the diocese. A Standing Committee, Finance Committee, Board of Missions, and Religious Education Committee were also elected. Under normal conditions the Synod will meet every three years. It is not expected that it will work any extraordinary transformations, but it will be more broadly representative than the old Council and speak with greater authority, carrying increasing weight in proportion as it proves its worth. Further, it will enable the Bishop to follow the ancient principle of taking action in important matters after consultation with his clergy and laity. The Standing Committee meets at least twice a year, and to secure unity of action receives an annual report from the other committees. The appointment of the Bishop rests with the Archbishop of Canterbury as before, and in the event of a vacancy it is the duty of the Standing Committee to communicate with his Grace. The "Anglican Church Association," a legally constituted authority in Argentina, is recognized as the central body for holding church property. This will render it unnecessary in the future for newly formed churches to go to the trouble and expense of applying to Government for legal recognition, but the older churches, which already enjoy personeria juridica or legal status, it is not desired to disturb. Six honorary canonries are attached to the Pro-Cathedral, in the gift of the Bishop, and when desired these canons act as a council of advice. The Church of England Men's Society and the Girls' Friendly Society are both represented in the diocese, and the latter especially is doing good work. There is also a Women's Diocesan Association, whose object is to link together the Churchwomen of the diocese for prayer and work.

Project Canterbury