IN a previous chapter I gave a short synopsis of the canons of the Jamaica Church, and I mentioned the constitution and the main administrative functions of the Diocesan Financial Board. I now draw attention to some details of its duties and responsibilities which affect the churches and congregations of the Diocese. The points I refer to are: (1) Endowments; (2) Assessments; (3) Income; (4) Appointment of Clergy; (5) Buildings and Repairs, Loans and Debts; (6) Insurance; (7) Education.
(1) Endowments.--For central Church purposes, such as the provision of the Bishop's stipend and the general sustentation of Church work, an appeal was made immediately after disestablishment, which has already been mentioned. A substantial foundation was laid both for an Episcopal Stipend Fund and for a General Sustentation Fund.
It may seem a contradiction in terms to talk about the endowments of a disendowed Church but, as a simple matter of fact, there is no Church of whatever denomination, and possibly no institution or society, which has not its endowment of some sort. The definition of Endowment as recognised by British law is to be found in Law 16 and 17 Viet., and is as follows: "The expression Endowment shall mean and include all lands and real estate whatsoever, of any tenure, and any charge thereon or interest thereof, and all stocks, funds, moneys, securities, investments and personal estate whatsoever, which shall for the time being belong to or be held in trust for any charity, or for all or any of the objects or purposes thereof." Whatever lands, with buildings thereon, whether churches, schools or parsonages, had been given or bequeathed for Church purposes before 1870 have been, on the resignation or death of the Rector or Island Curate, legally transferred by the Government to the Incorporated Lay Body of the Church; the Government also, in accordance with an equitable and a distinctly generous custom, putting the buildings into a condition of substantial repair before so transferring them.
While, strictly speaking, the word "Endowment" has the wide meaning above mentioned, yet it is ordinarily understood to refer to vested moneys and the interest derived from them. There were few endowments in money held in trust by the State for Church purposes. One there certainly was, and it may be mentioned here as being perhaps unique, and as undoubtably an interesting link with the past. At the time of emancipation the sum of £1,800 was paid to the Rectory of Black River Church by the Imperial Treasury as compensation for the liberation of slaves whose labours were part of the Rector's emoluments. At the death of the last State-paid Rector of Black River this money was paid by the Government to the voluntary Church, and now forms a very considerable part of the endowment of Black River Church. During the years when many of the churches had the services of a State-paid clergyman a portion of the voluntary contributions of congregations was devoted to the purpose of creating the nucleus of an endowment for the particular church from which such contributions were sent. As the number of State-paid clergy decreased, so did the means and opportunities for increasing these endowments diminish. At the present time, out of in churches, 69 have endowments, the capital sums varying from £4,591 to £6. There is not much likelihood of any large addition being made to any of these small endowments, only five of which produce an annual income exceeding £100.
Endowments for central funds and special institutions have already been mentioned; they amount to:
Episcopal Stipend Fund £ 14,595
General Sustentation Fund £5,570
Theological College Middlesex Scholarship £1,100
Lepers' Home Chaplaincy £100
Of the first named of these--the Episcopal Stipend Fund--an effort was made in 1911 (in connection with the consecration of churches, to replace those wrecked by earthquake in 1907) to increase the endowment. The appeal resulted in an increase of £126 to the Endowment Fund. For many reasons it seems undesirable that the income of the Bishop of a Diocese should depend, even in part, either on an annual vote of Synod, or on assessments based on the income of the clergy, or on collections made at Confirmation services.
(2) Assessments.--There is a connection, in the cases of the Episcopal Stipend Fund and the General Sustentation Fund, between endowments and assessments, the latter being necessary to supplement the former when the interest of endowment fails to meet the required expenditure. The money thus needed can, I will not say only but certainly most fairly and with least friction or ground of complaint, be made on some basis of assessment equitably affecting all who have to contribute. The actual basis may be a matter for difference of opinion. Any reader of the Report, already referred to, of the English Archbishops' Committee on Church Finance will see the difficulty which that Committee, consisting largely of prominent and practical Churchmen, had in making recommendations which were not complicated, and which would not involve much difficulty in being given effect to without producing something like general dissatisfaction. In Jamaica the Episcopal Stipend Fund and the General Sustentation Fund are partly maintained (in addition to the amount derived from endowment), by assessed contributions from every church and mission station in the Diocese, in accordance with rules of assessment from time to time made by Synod. The costs of the Diocesan Expenses Fund are met entirely by assessments, with the exception of the amount collected at the Annual Synod Service. The basis of all these assessments is the average income (whether derived from endowment or from voluntary contributions) for the three past years of each clergyman or catechist, and the amount of the assessment varies with the average income, and is distributed in accordance with the needs of each Fund. Thus, if a clergyman feels aggrieved at the high rate at which his church is assessed, he has the satisfaction of knowing that this is caused by the prosperity of his church; while, on the other hand, if his income is reduced, he may derive consolation from the fact that the assessments on his church are also reduced. The last Synod Journal shows that 65 churches were assessed at the rate of 20 per cent., 25 churches at the rate of 15 per cent., 19 churches and 22 mission stations at the rate of 10 per cent, and 72 mission stations at the rate of 5 per cent. The total thus raised by assessment was divided as follows: 3 3/4 per cent, of the whole to the Episcopal Stipend Fund, 3 1/4 to the General Sustentation Fund and 13 to the Diocesan Expenses Fund, the last named having no endowment, and being called upon to meet many expenses for the benefit of the Diocese generally, in addition to the maintenance of the Church office and its staff. (3) Income of Clergy and Classification of Churches.--The churches of the Diocese are divided into three classes, and the income of the clergy varies in accordance with this classification.
Class A consists of those churches, or combined cures, which ordinarily provide stipends of £180 and upwards. The Financial Board will pay stipends as fixed by Synod to clergy in charge of churches in this Class in equal monthly instalments provided the funds available for this purpose at the credit of the church be sufficient; otherwise two-thirds of such monthly instalment shall be paid. But the Financial Board shall have power to further reduce monthly payments when it is evident that a church is getting into debt. Class B consists of those churches, or combined cures, which provide stipends varying between £120 and £iSo a year. In the case of churches in this Class the Board will pay a monthly stipend at the rate of £120 a year, provided the funds available for this purpose at the credit of the church are sufficient; otherwise two-thirds of such monthly instalment will be paid. But the Financial Board shall have power to further reduce the monthly instalments when it is evident that a church is getting into debt.
Class C consists of those churches, or combined cures, which can seldom provide stipends of more than £120 a year, and often fall considerably below that amount. In the case of churches of this Class the Board is authorised to pay stipends at the rate of £50 a year in monthly instalments, provided that any balance available at the end of each quarter shall be paid, up to the amount of the stipend fixed by Synod, and provided also that if there be any failure to make remittances adequate to prevent ultimate debt the Board has authority to deal with each case on its merits.
In many cases the "church" assessed on and classified as above consists of a combination of two neighbouring churches, or of churches and mission stations where the employment and consequent remuneration of a catechist are necessary. Taking figures and summarising them from the Journal of Synod, I find that the amount required to meet that fixed for the Classification for 1912 exceeded £14,000, while another Return shows that the amount actually received in 1911 by clergy and catechists was more than £13,000. It must be remembered that the intention of the classification is for the purpose of information and administration, and that one of its objects has been to enable the Financial Board to bring about such a combination of cures as to secure that no clergyman shall receive less than £120 a year. So far has this latter object been attained, that in the latest official list of clerical incomes it is shown that only ten clergy have an income of less than £120 a year; and in many, if not most, of these ten various reasons have existed which have made impossible a formal combination or an absorption into any other cure. Another report from the latest Journal shows that upwards of £12,000 was locally raised by congregations (mainly through offertories) and expended on the relief of the poor, schools, the maintenance of Divine Service, the payment of church officers and other church purposes, missions, and special local needs.
(4) Appointment of Clergy.--There is, and can be, no such an institution as private patronage. All appointments are made by the Bishop, but the congregations concerned have large powers of nomination, specified by Canon. The right of nomination is given to such congregations as have, for three years preceding a vacancy, provided a stipend of £120 a year for a clergyman's income, besides meeting other obligations. The lay members of a Church Committee are constituted a Board of Nomination, the order of their procedure being carefully fixed by Canon. A similar Board is constituted for combined cures, consisting of the lay members of the church which has contributed most largely to the stipend of the clergyman, together with four deputies from each of the other churches forming the combination. A Board of Nomination is authorised to submit to the Bishop the names of three clergymen in Priest's orders, indicating the one it specially desires to be appointed. If the Bishop sees good reason for not appointing the specially-chosen clergyman or either of the other nominees, and if, after further negotiations, he fails to obtain the consent of the Board of Nomination to the appointment of any other clergyman, other steps, to be immediately noted, must be taken. This leads me to mention that a few years ago a Committee of Selection was created, consisting of the Bishop, three members of the Diocesan Council annually appointed by the Synod, and three members to be elected by and from the committee or committees of the church or churches concerned. The functions of the Committee of Selection are to deal with a vacancy:--
(1) In a case where the congregation has not provided the necessary stipend and met the required obligations of the cure;
(2) in a case where the Bishop and a Board of Nomination fail to come to an agreement; or
(3) in a case where no nomination is made by a Board of Nomination within six weeks from the date at which a vacancy is officially notified to a Church Committee.
I have related the above arrangements for clerical appointments in some detail, though very summarily, in order to show that the democratic rights of congregations are recognised and protected, while at the same time there is no interference with the authority or jurisdiction of the Bishop.
(5) Buildings and Repairs; Loans and Debts.--The question of the repair and up-keep of Parsonage Houses is a serious one in a Colony the climate of which is not, to put it mildly, favourable to immunity from dilapidation or decay of buildings, especially those largely constructed of wood. In some places it has been necessary to repair an existing Parsonage, in others either a, new building has to be erected or a house purchased for Parsonage uses. There are few parishes, if any, so wealthy as to be able to afford either erection, purchase or repair in one year without neglecting other obligations. The one and only way to get the work done is to borrow money. A private loan is impossible. The money can only, by Canon, be borrowed from the Financial Board, and the Financial Board is not empowered to grant a loan until certain securities or guarantees have been given. Application, accompanied by plans and estimates, must be made in writing by the clergyman and Church Committee asking for a loan. They must show that one-third of the amount proposed to be spent has already been raised. This money need not be in hard cash; one member of a Church, for instance, cannot afford to give money, but he will give a certain number of days' gratuitous labour, which will be put down as a contribution equal to the amount a paid labourer would receive; another member will supply material, free of cost, in the shape of wood, lime, etc.; and a third member, who owns a mule and dray, will without charge bring material to the site of the building. Having then ascertained that one-third of the money, or its equivalent, has thus been raised or secured, the Financial Board has to consider the desirability of advancing, by way of loan, the remaining two-thirds, and in so doing has to satisfy itself on such points as these: Is the property secured by a legal title? Is the church in question in debt for any other loan? Is money being regularly sent in to enable the clergyman to receive his stipend and all other financial obligations to be met? Are the general prospects of the church and district such as to justify a reasonable expectation that the loan will be repaid without interfering with other demands and requirements? The loan being granted, the Clergyman and Church Committee must consent to the repayment of the principal and the payment of interest being made a first charge on the contributions of the congregation to the Diocesan Church Fund. Repayment is made by means of equal quarterly payments at the rate of not less than 12 per cent, per annum on the sum advanced, of which 6 per cent, is reckoned as interest and the remainder as instalments of the principal.
There are a few other provisions made, all in favour of a church reducing, when possible, the strain of a loan on its finances; but they need not be dealt with here, nor need those which have reference to other loans on General Security. The equitable arrangements for granting loans, as summarised above, must inevitably tend to the process of gradually reducing debts on a good many churches, and the fairness and common sense of the method of repaying sinking-fund and interest in equal annual instalments, spread over a number of years, will be plain to anyone.
What I have written about loans to Parsonages will partially explain the existence of Debts to the Financial Board by not a few churches; and as every year repairs are necessary to Parsonages here and there, there must always be a certain amount of this sort of debt. But there are debts of an entirely different kind to those connected with the repayment of loans: these are debts which have been incurred because insufficient contributions towards stipend have been lodged by some churches to the credit of the Board. Notwithstanding the economy, directed by Synod and practised by the Board on the lines laid down in the regulations for the Classification of Churches, debts have accrued and have been the cause of much anxiety. For some years past a great effort has been made, partly by the urgency of the Archbishop, partly by the energy of Clergy and Church Committees and partly by supplementary grants from the General Sustentation Fund, to bring about, as near as may be, a condition of all-round solvency. So far has this effort, which has involved much labour and self-denial, been successful that at the beginning of the year 1907 there were seventy-two churches in debt, a number reduced at the beginning of 1912 to forty-six, the debt on twenty-three of which did not exceed £12 which, given favourable conditions, will be paid off before the year's accounts are made up. During the five years referred to more than £1,000 has been paid towards remission of debt. The improvement thus begun will doubtless continue, though some years must elapse before the Board can hope to present a clean sheet to the Synod. To account for these debts it must be borne in mind that some represent the accumulations of past years; others arise from reduced contributions during a vacancy in a cure--and until a congregation has become acquainted with the incoming clergyman arrears of subscriptions are very hard to collect; others occur because on occasions of drought or storm contributions must fall off in the districts affected until a normal state of things is reverted to, but in the meanwhile some payment must be made to clergymen who, in a time of trouble and distress, have often to be the leaders and directors in the work of relief. Hence these debts must not of necessity be regarded as a sign of neglected duty. A careful study of recent debts on many churches, together with a knowledge of those districts which have suffered most from physical calamities of a local character, will explain the cause of some debts to anyone who has compared the last ten (or more) Journals of Synod with secular papers recording these calamities. It would of course be absurd to say that there have been no failures, no incompetence, no unacceptability, no deficiency of service, no youthful (or aged) mistakes among the clergy, but it would be both absurd and unjust to attribute these debts entirely to any or all of these reasons.
(6) Insurance.--It has from the beginning been the rule of the Jamaica Church that all buildings, which are the property of the Incorporated Lay Body of the Church, must be insured against fire in some general Insurance Office. All parsonages and all buildings in towns were fully insured in some Insurance Society doing business in Jamaica, the premiums payable being those of the chosen society. Other smaller buildings, with no special risks, were insured partly in some society and partly in a Diocesan Mutual Insurance Fund, paying to the latter premiums at the rate of 2s. 6d. per £100 per annum. It is not necessary to enter in detail into these previous arrangements for insurance. It is sufficient to record here that proper provision had been made and that, thanks to diligent custodianship, there were very few claims on the Diocesan Insurance Fund. But the Cyclone in 1903 and the Earthquake in 1907, drew attention to other and more serious perils than slight and occasional fires. Till then, I think I am right in saying, no successful attempt had been made to secure outside insurance against such calamities. A ship and its cargo might be insured against risks from a storm at sea, but buildings and crops on shore could not be insured against the damage which might be wrought by the same storm. The idea of insuring against loss by earthquake was hardly contemplated.
I here anticipate, for the sake of grouping together a number of pieces of Diocesan machinery, what has to be said in a subsequent chapter by way of historical narrative. This method of arrangement may be wrong, but I think it is convenient. On his visits to England after the earthquake the Archbishop, as the result of long deliberations and consultations and of almost countless interviews and correspondence, succeeded in making arrangements whereby insurance could be effected on reasonable terms with a substantial Insurance Company, not merely, as before, against loss by fire, but also against injuries by hurricane or earthquake.
As a full explanation of this most important matter, instead of making a short summary of what has been done, I quote in full certain sections of the Archbishop's annual addresses to the Synod in the years 1911 and 1912, merely premising that legislative and canonical sanction was given by each Synod to the suggestions contained in the address and to the action taken by the Archbishop. In 1911 he said:--
"As regards the Insurance of our Churches and other Buildings I have to report that we have been able to effect Insurance on them to the extent of one-half of the risks required to be covered against earthquake, hurricane, and fire however caused. Perhaps the best form in which I can for popular information present this subject is to repeat in substance part of what I said in the Address I delivered at a meeting in the Church House, London, last July. I have, with the assistance of some of our clergy and principal laymen, taken a great deal of pains to bring about a judicious arrangement for such insurance, and it has taken a long time to work out. Of course it is not impossible in the City of London to make speculative and untrustworthy arrangements for almost anything; but we wished to arrange a well thought-out plan by which our Church Buildings could be insured against disasters of all kinds, on a secure and equitable basis, which, while advantageous to us, would provide proper recompense for those who risked their money. One of the representatives of a leading London firm, which has dealings with such matters in connection with Lloyd's, visited us in Jamaica last April, and I took to England with me at the end of June final proposals for all our buildings, big and little. Arrangements were completed immediately after my arrival whereby every one of our Churches, school-chapels and parsonage-houses is insured to the extent of one-half its insurable value. I will tell you presently why we have not gone further than that. But the important fact is that, to the extent I have specified, our buildings are insured in the City of London, at Lloyd's, against fire by whatever cause produced, against earthquakes and against hurricanes. I hope that that arrangement will be the beginning of many such arrangements affecting Churches in tropical and earthquake countries like ours. It seems to me, however, having regard to many recent disasters of the kind in various regions, a little difficult to say what are earthquake countries and what are not. As regards insuring half of the insurable value, that does not include foundations and sites. The real reason why we have not insured more than half our risks in this way is that we were doubtful about providing necessary premiums. But we determined that we must press upon the churches the duty of providing the resources for insurance against all risks to the extent just specified. In the meantime we made arrangements in Jamaica of a temporary character, at moderate rates, for covering another quarter of our risks from fire however caused.
"We have in this Synod to consider how far we can go in providing permanently against the remaining half of the risks. As I have said, we have temporarily covered a portion of these risks as regards fire. No doubt it will be a great strain upon us to meet the costs of full insurance, but the two following points need specially to be borne in mind.
"(1) Those friends in England who help us in emergencies expect us, now that the facilities exist, to cover our risks fully.
"(2) The S.P.C.K. which helps us in emergencies, and in meeting the cost of our ordinary new buildings from time to time, requires the covering by insurance of two-thirds of the risk in regard to the buildings which it assists.
"To accomplish the further needed insurance now proposed, though it will involve a very considerable and steady effort on the part of our congregations to provide the necessary money, on the other hand, it will prevent their being financially crippled in the future to the point of distress when casualty arises. These natural calamities of fire, earthquake and hurricane come at uncertain intervals; but on the average they may be expected to occur within calculable periods, and it is a necessary policy to make provision against them in some form. The persons with whom we have been dealing in London, and groups of Underwriters at Lloyd's, and now at last the Insurance Companies doing business here having had time to look into the matters more fully, are all disposed to give facilities at rates more within our range. This Synod will not be asked to determine the particular methods in which the further and the future insurance will be affected, but to express its willingness to meet the obligations to insure, leaving it to the Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Financial Board with myself to discover and utilise the best ways of accomplishing these insurances safely and effectively whether through one source or several. I may here properly repeat, however, the expression of my hope and earnest advice that both ourselves as the responsible owners and users of Church buildings, and proprietors generally both large and small throughout the Island, will utilise as fully as they can opportunities for insurance now forthcoming, so as to prevent the collapse of business followed by general distress should any disaster arise." Again, in 1912, the Archbishop said:--
"It will be well for me to call attention to the position of our affairs as regards insurance.
"(1) One of the important items of business which I had to carry through while in England last year was that of arranging with the Underwriters at Lloyd's and with Insurance Companies the basis on which the Church Authorities could obtain in new policies the most favourable terms for insurance of Church buildings. It is not necessary for me here to narrate the substance of the many interviews which I had, at three of which Sir John Pringle (Chairman of the Financial Board) was present with me. All that I need now say is that, through the aid of Messrs. Henry Head & Co., we were able to obtain favourable terms for our insurance. What has been so far done is as follows:--Our Church buildings (including parsonages and schools) have been insured for half their insurable value against loss by earthquake, hurricane and fire however caused. In addition to the aforesaid, a further insurance has been arranged against loss by fire however caused in respect of two-thirds of the second half of the insurable value of our Church buildings, leaving the remaining one-third of this said half to be dealt with through our own Diocesan Insurance Fund in so far as this is prudent. Thus a great weight of responsibility has been lifted off the Church Authorities; and though the burden of insurance may not be relished by everyone, still when it is realised that in case of disaster of one kind or another it will not be possible for us to obtain any substantial aid from England again, unless we can show that we have done all in our power to insure fully, it will be admitted that all reasonable steps must at present be taken to safeguard us against unbearable loss in the event of unforeseen calamities.
"(2) I may also mention here that one of the reasons why we have been able to obtain such favourable terms is that the Insurance Companies realise that the aim of the Church is, while securing protection against unexpected loss, at the same time to safeguard the interests of the Companies as far as possible by watchfulness over Church properties, and the avoidance of exaggerated claims in case of loss. I must therefor* ask you and our Church Committees and others interested in our Church to continue the careful management of our Church property in order that our casualties may continue to be only such as are unavoidable, in which case, as experience has shown, our claims will always be honoured."
(I) Secondary Education.--The story of secondary education in Jamaica until quite recent years is neither entertaining nor creditable. It can only be referred to very briefly here. In former days many bequests--some of considerable amount--consisting of money, landed property and slaves were made. We read of more than 200 legacies left to promote or to foster educational efforts. These bequests were intended for the benefit of free people and of certain privileged persons. The history down to the middle of the nineteenth century of the endowments thus created is in great part a record of audacious and often successful misappropriation--not merely misapplication--of benevolent funds. Somebody got the money, the property, the slaves: education did not. The wonder is that so much was saved from what might have been a complete wreck. The turning-point in secondary education may be dated from 1879, when, during the Governorship of Sir Anthony Musgrave, the Jamaica Schools Commission was created with powers to deal with the endowed schools of the Island. This Commission (of which the Archbishop is Chairman) has done an enormous amount of good in encouraging and solidifying secondary education by rearranging the surviving endowments so as to apply the power of money to the points where it could do most work under modern conditions and could best supply modern requirements. There are now nine secondary schools enjoying the benefits of the salvage from old endowments and worked under schemes drawn up by the Schools Commission. Most of the larger centres of population are thus provided for; and for the rest the Government was empowered in 1892, to create a secondary school in any centre where in its opinion it is necessary to do so, the control of such school being now in the hands of the Schools Commission. One such school has been established, namely--that at Montego Bay. The education given in the more important of these schools is up to the standard of that of an average English Public School: in others it corresponds more nearly to the old-time Grammar School education.
Jamaica is provided with a considerable number of scholarships. First, in order of date, is the Jamaica Scholarship, founded by the Government in 1881, of £200 a year for three years, or of £150 a year for four years, tenable at any recognised university or college in the British Empire. This is awarded on the results of the senior Cambridge local examination: the second in order of the candidates for this examination is entitled to a scholarship of £60 a year, tenable for three years. Scholarships of smaller amounts are also given by the Government. All the above are open to girls as well as to boys. Jamaica was fortunate enough to have allotted to it one of the Rhodes Scholarships of £300 per annum, tenable at Oxford, and awarded in accordance with the well-known conditions laid down in Mr. Rhodes's will. In 1911 a special scholarship for girls, tenable at an English, Scottish or Canadian University, of the value of £150 a year for three years, was established.
In bygone days, to some considerable extent, clergymen of scholastic capacity took private pupils, and in a few instances were masters of private schools. Few do so now. The increase of parochical duties, the number of mission stations attached to central churches and other demands on time and energy combine to make it impossible in all but exceptional cases for a clergyman, without neglecting other duties, to avail himself of the Canonical provision to become, with the consent of the Bishop, "a teacher of youth for the better increase of his living."
(2) Elementary Education.--The question of elementary education in Jamaica has for long years been one of much difficulty and urgency. Though much has been done the difficulty and the urgency continue, though to a decreased extent. Before emancipation, elementary education, where it existed, was given by missionaries and, as far as it went, was well given by these self-denying men. But it is very unlikely that up to that date it went much beyond the amount of knowledge necessary to read the Scriptures. Perhaps the greatest credit is due to Baptist missionaries and, to a smaller extent, as far as numbers go, to the Moravians and Wesleyans. But the Church missionaries, when they got to work, did their full and honourable share. Immediately after emancipation, enthusiasm for educating the children of liberated slaves seems to have run riot. But it did not last long. An Imperial grant of £30,000 a year was given for five years, and a reduced grant for another five years. A great part of this money was appropriated to the building of schools, more than half of which belonged to the Church of England. When the Home grant ceased local enthusiasm followed suit. The amount of help from England in the years following emancipation acted as a deterrent on the Jamaica Assembly, the members of which were none too willing to encourage efforts to educate the children of freed slaves. Parochial Vestries, it is true, did something to maintain schools in their several parishes, but it was not until Sir John Peter Grant's Governorship that any solid attempt was made to establish a real system of island education for the benefit of the children of the labouring classes. From that time there has been progress, though for years it was very slow progress. Codes and Standards were formulated and agreed on, and things looked very nice on paper, but teaching and learning often enough lagged inefficiently behind. The fact, however, is admitted that since Sir John Peter Grant's time there has been gradual improvement. The great, perhaps the greatest, difficulty in the way of education has been money. There is not, and as far as I know there never has been, any unwillingness on the part of the Government to make provision for maintaining elementary schools, but a fluctuating and often a decreasing revenue has made it impossible for the Government to keep pace with the needs of a quickly increasing population. Passing over intermediate steps the present system of elementary education is largely the result of modification, and developments recommended in the Report in 1898 of a Commission appointed by the then Governor (Sir A. W. L. Hemming). Following on the recommendations of this Commission, certain unnecessary schools were closed, others were amalgamated with a view to increased efficiency and economy; no new denominational schools were to be recognised by the Government, and any new schools which it might be found necessary to establish must be under Government, and not denominational, control; special instruction must-be given in practical agriculture and in manual training. School fees had been abolished hi 1892. The latest Annual Report shows that there are 692 elementary schools in the island, of which 194 are Church of England schools: there are 89,902 scholars on the books with an average attendance of 57,849: the Church Returns show 28,255 scholars on the books with an average attendance of 17,250.
An important step, long thought of and talked about by many and strongly urged by the Archbishop, was taken in the year 1910, namely the partial introduction of compulsory education. The difficulties in the way of a compulsory system were as great as they were obvious and need not be enumerated here, but they were no more insurmountable than many other difficulties which earnestness and determination have overcome. The Archbishop never suggested, and the Government has not determined, that a school attendance should all at once be made compulsory throughout the Island, or that compulsion should extend over the whole of the years during which children may attend elementary schools. The Order in Privy Council authorising this change contains safeguards against any possible hardship being inflicted either on parents or on children. When compulsion was introduced into England forty years ago it will be remembered that there were many leading men, and some statesmen, who argued that it was what was called "Un-English," and that a true-born Briton had a right, if he so chose, to have his children brought up in complete ignorance.
If the proposal had been made forty years ago in Jamaica, many would doubtless have resented it on the ground that compulsory teaching was akin to compulsory, or slave, labour. No such thought exists today. A beginning, then, of compulsory school attendance has been made in Kingston and in the country towns of Falmouth and Lucea. The effects of this change will be eagerly awaited. It is more than an experiment which may result in success or may end in failure. It is an honest effort, not made without long and serious deliberation, to deal with one of the most urgent needs of the Island, whether regarded from the standpoint of the Churches or of the State. If, and when, the success of the initial attempt has been demonstrated it will certainly be applied, firstly to other towns and then gradually to country districts. Why the need is so urgent and why a successful issue is so anxiously looked for, may be gathered from the plain but painful fact that all the educational efforts of the Government and of the denominations have hitherto left untouched and untaught 50 per cent, of the children of schoolable age. This ought not to be, and is not going to be allowed to continue.
The up-keep of school buildings and teachers' houses Is a source of much anxiety, especially in country districts. The cost has largely to be met by congregations, either by contributions of money and materials, or by voluntary and unpaid labour. The Government appropriates a certain amount--as much probably as the Island Revenue will permit--towards repairs of school buildings, but it is only a small percentage of schools which in any one year, or in any one decade, can hope to receive any benefit from this source. With an increased Revenue the Government has lately been giving more money in aid of school buildings. S.P.C.K. gives frequent grants-in-aid on its usual terms for new buildings or the enlargement of old buildings, but does not undertake to help in the restoration of the many buildings which suffer materially from the wear and tear of use and of the climate. Not only are the schools and teacher's houses the property of the Church, but the actual fabrics represent in great part the self-denial and generosity of members of the Church. Anyone revisiting Jamaica after the lapse of many years cannot fail to be struck with the marked improvement both in the style and in the structure of school buildings. That there is room for further improvement may readily be admitted, but it must also be taken for granted that neither the civil nor the ecclesiastical authorities would sanction the erection of such buildings as were considered sufficient thirty or forty years ago--buildings which look quaint and picturesque enough on a lantern slide, or on a post-card, or as illustrations in a book; but there their virtue ends.
(3) Religious Education in Elementary Schools.--Happily the religious difficulty, as it exists in England, is unknown in Jamaica. Scripture and morals are included among the subjects taught in elementary schools, subject, of course, to the operation of a conscience clause. Where' all denominations stand in the same relation to the State, one great, perhaps the greatest, cause of denominational jealousy and rivalry is done away with. One outcome of this friendly feeling has found expression in the preparation and use of "The Jamaica Day School Catechism," prepared by a Committee, presided over by the Archbishop and consisting of leading representative ministers of all denominations, except the Roman Catholic Church. The purpose of this Catechism is to teach "the large mass of Christian doctrine and moral teaching commonly held by most, if not by all, Christians." I quote further from the Preface to the Catechism:--
"It is of set purpose that there is omitted from this Catechism all reference to the distinctive teaching of any one denomination, and particularly to the doctrines concerning the Constitution of the Christian Church and the Sacraments. These are matters in which difference of opinion arises; and it is felt that they are in any event best left to be taught in the Church, in the family and in the Sunday School."
This Catechism is gradually getting into use, and it may reasonably be hoped and expected that in a few years' time its use will be general, though of course not compulsory, throughout the schools in the island. Soon after the publication and circulation of the Catechism, the Board of Public Instruction for the Province of Quebec agreed to recommend its adoption and use as supplementary to the syllabus of Scripture lessons in that Province. In notifying the Archbishop of this decision, the Bishop of Quebec writes that the result will be that:--
"a vast number of young people will now learn thes* great truths, leaving it to their parents and guardians and to their Clergy and Sunday School teachers to give them further teaching as regards the Church and the Sacraments. Nay more! I hope, and believe, that this good work that you have been permitted to do will prove to be a great object lesson, showing how we all (and indeed our Roman Catholic neighbours as well) heartily agree in the whole of this nine-tenths of the sacred deposit, and that we only differ as regards the one-tenth--a fact which should surely press upon us that, in God's own good time, reunion is not, as so many say and think, an impossibility."
(4) Training Colleges.--There are two principal institutions for training elementary school teachers, namely the Mico College for male students and that at Shortwood for female, of the Board of Directors of both of which the Archbishop is Chairman. Both are undenominational, or perhaps "inter-denominational" is a better word wherewith to express both their purpose and their method of working. Shortwood College, established in 1885, is almost entirely maintained by the Government and provides training for thirty students. The Mico College had an interesting origin. Lady Mico, widow of Sir Samuel Mico, a member of the Mercers' Company, who died in 1666, had a young relative also named Samuel Mico, who she hoped would marry one of her nieces (six in number), and in the event of that marriage she proposed to give him £2,000. For reasons best known to himself and unrecorded none of the six found favour with young Samuel. And Lady Mico had to make a different disposition of the proposed gift. She did so in her will, dated 1st July, 1670, in the following words:
". . . Wharas I gave Samuel Mico aforesaid two thousand pounds when he married one of my neices hee not performeing it I give one of the said thousand pounds to redeeme poore slaves, which I would put out as my executors thinke the best for a yearly revenue to redeem some yearly. ..."
The Court of Chancery in 1680, authorised the purchase with this legacy of a freehold wharf and premises in London, which were conveyed to Lady Mice's executors. At that time Algerian piracy was rampant and many Christians were seized by the Moors and sent into captivity. They could be released by a payment of money and, amongst other moneys given or bequeathed for the redemption of these unfortunate people, the proceeds of the Lady Mico bequest found a place. In 1816, Algerian piracy was effectually suppressed and about 3,000 slaves, mostly Italian and Spanish Christians, were liberated. The Mico money thus set free, meeting with a better fate than befell many such bequests, was well invested and the estate was carefully administered. The capital, already of a considerably increased value, was allowed to accumulate until 1834, when it amounted to £120,000. In that year Sir Thomas Powell Buxton, one of the most ardent supporters of emancipation and keenest friends of the West Indies, suggested that the interest of the Trust, instead of being allowed to further accumulate or to be otherwise appropriated, should be devoted to the education of the children of liberated slaves in the West Indies and in other parts of the British dominions, and also to the training of some of them to become teachers in elementary schools. The necessary legal steps were taken and the Court of Chancery authorised this use of the money. Probably few Trusts have been more strangely created: certainly few have been put to a more useful purpose. The inability or unwillingness two centuries ago of Samuel Mico, notwithstanding the promised £2,000, to make choice of one of six nieces, or perhaps the failure of the fascinations of all the nieceis, has been largely and permanently beneficial to education in the West Indies. The cynic or the satirist might have something to say here: but this is history.
Schools were established in Demerara, in some of the West Indian Islands, in Mauritius, in the Seychelle Islands. Training institutions in the West Indies were established in Jamaica, in Antigua, in St. Lucia, with practising schools attached to them. As the Government support of Denominational Schools in Jamaica increased, so did the necessity of the Mico Elementary Schools decrease: at the same time the unsatisfactory character of the education given in elementary schools and the poor results obtained pointed to the need of a better equipped class of teachers. Accordingly the attention of the Mico authorities was devoted more and more exclusively to Training College work. In course of time this has gradually become centred in Jamaica. First the St. Lucia Institution was dropped, then that in Antigua, students from the Leeward Islands being now sent to the Jamaica Mico College.
There can be no sort of doubt that whatever improvement has been noted in late years in the elementary education of the Island largely owes its origin to the careful work of the Mico College, and of the Shortwood College. The Mico Trust Funds are administered by Trustees in England, and the local management is in the hands of a Board of Directors in Jamaica. This development of the Mico has rendered unnecessary the continuation both of several denominational training colleges and of a Government training college. At the present time the Government makes an annual grant sufficient to cover the cost of training forty students; there are twenty students on the original foundation supported by the Trustees in England; there are six from the Leeward Islands and Demerara and a fluctuating number of missionary students referred to elsewhere in these pages. The subjects taught include manual training and practical agriculture in addition to those ordinarily contained in the curriculum of such an institution.
The college buildings, which were erected in 1894 at a cost of £12,000, have an eventful and exciting record. Severely damaged by the hurricane of 1903, they were restored in time to be wrecked by the earthquake of 1907, and after being rebuilt were destroyed by fire in January, 1910. The college has again been rebuilt, and is now in complete working order.