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THE CHURCHES.

MANCHESTER REJECTS FREE TRADE

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I THE WELSH CHURCH.I

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THE WELSH CHURCH. SCHEME Of DISENDOWMENT I COMMISSIONERS' FIRST ? REPORT. The first-report of the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Wales for 1914-1915 has just been issued. After dealing with the scheme of disen- dowment of the Welsh Church, the report pro- ceeds to the methods and machinery of the scheme. "The Welsh Commission is the instrument created for giving effect to the scheme, it says. "On tho day on which Disestablishment talves eff ect all Vlr elaii ecclesiastical property becomes automatically vested in the Commission, and afterwards the Commission will have to distribute the property in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Manifestly before such distribution takes place a vast amount of work must be done in ascertaining and classifying the property to be dealt with;manifestly also the whole of such work ought to be accomplished beiore the date of 1 Hsestabiishment, and so, in fact, the Act enjoi¡¡.. Accordingly it was the duty of the Com- mission to enter upon the work at the earliest possible moment, and to prosecute it. with aii due diligence, so as to have it completed uy the time when Disestablishment should take place. A failure in this respect would import into tljt3 execution of the scheme serious complications and difficulties, and would probably add materially to the duration of the work of the Commission. Time lost before the date of Disestablishment would entail far more than an equivalent expendi- ture of t' nt;-t after that date. Such loss of time would also be highly disadvantageous to the in- terests of the Church in Wales by delaying the date at which it could receive the capital sum I that would be payable to the Representative Body in the event of its adopting the scheme of confu- tation. THE DATE OF DISESTABLISHMENT. I The date of disestablishment iq tiiii ai, iriport- a.nt factor in connection with the scheme of dis- endowment; as it has given rise to much dis- uusjton during the past fifteen months, and is even now oi uncertain incidence. As the law now stands, the date of Disestablishment must fall "not later- than the end of the present war" â a phrase whioh it is understood will ill due course be given a statutory interpretation. We have dwelt on the uncertainties affecting the date of disestablishment at. greater length than we should otherwise have done, because the pro- jects of legislation and the discussion connected with tiipm-botti of which touched other points in the principal Act-have necessarily had some eflec.t upon our own attitude, and that- of others towards portions of the business to be transacted before- the date of disestaulishmeat, und have tended somewhat to delay its prosecution with as much energy and diligence as might otherwise have been brought to bear upon it. While the ascertainment of Welsh ecclesias- tical property constitutes the most important work required to be done between the passing of the Act and the date of disestablishment, there are also other matters that demanded attention, so soon as the Act had become law, slIch as deter- mination of the question whether parishes situ- ated partly in England and partly in Wale's of Monmouthshire (border parishes) should in each case lie treated as wholly within or wholly with- out Wales and Monmouthshire; the collection and examination of claims of lay patrons to com- pensation for loss of patronage; and the approval of proposals for sale or leasing of certain glebe lands by incumbents. "Thus it, will be seen how little foundation there was for the impressionâof the wide preva- lence of which there was such marked evidence during the past yearâthat it was open to the Welsh Commissioners to adopt an attitude of complete quiescence pending the arrival, or at least the near approach of the date of disestab- lishment. Reference is made to the appointment as secre- tary of the Commission of Mr T. Huws Da vies, and it is added:As regards the rest of the staff, we have confined ourselves so far to en- gaging no more than a nucleus pending develop- ment of the business. Accounts for the period from the opening of the Commission to Decem- ber 31st, 1915, are now with the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and show a total expenditure of J64435 7s 8d, including the cost of furnishing and equipping offices." BORDER PARISHES. THE QUESTION OF EXCLUSION. mere are on the borders ot Wales and Mon- mouthshire nineteen ecclesiastical parishes, of which parts are situated in England. In seven- teen parishes there was a marked preponderance of opinion in favour of exclusion from Wales and Monmouthshire for the purposes of the Welsh Church Act. In the two remaining parishes of Llansilin and Rhydycroesau the voting did not afford suffi- cient evidence to enable us to form a judgment as to the general wishes of the parishioners. The proportion of voting papers not used was large; on those returned to us there were very narrow majorities; and the results as shown by the valid papers might have been altered if ccrtain papers had been admitted whioh were excluded by reason of their being out of tin:6 or on account of other defects. In these circumstances we reserved our judgment until a more conclusive expression of the wishes of the parishioners could be obtained by some more precise and methodical pro- cedure. At the time of writing the Commissioners re- port they are engaged in arranging for taking a more complete census of opinion in the two parishes. I WELSH ECCLESIASTICAL PROPERTY. The property to be treated under the Act as Welsh ecclesiastical property, and failing there- fore to be distributed, consists (with the excep- tion of some minor items) of three classes, viz., property vested either before, or in pursuance of the Act in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, pro- perty similarly vested in Queen Anrio's Bounty, and property, otherwise vested, of which the in- cumbents for the time being of ecclesiastical bene- fices in Wales are the beneficiaries. In respect of the first two classes, the Act provides that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty respectively shall, all soon as may be, and before the date of disestablishment, ascer- tain and by order declare what property vested in them consists of property within the defini- tion of Welsh ecclesiastical property; and further shall also ascertain and by order declare what part of such property constitutes private benefactions within the meaning of the Act. It seemed to Uit," say the Commissioners, that considerable economy of time might be effected, if we could to some extent work con- currently with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty, instead of deferring our intervention until the drafts of their orders were completed. In the result, an arrangement of the kind contemplated was agreed to, and we are already in receipt of substantial instalments of the schedules which will be attached to the orders. For ascertaining and classifying property of the third-clas3, we ourselves are alone respon- sibie." FORM OF RETURN TO INCUMBENTS. Accordingly, we proceeded to prepare a form of return for issue to incumbents, on which they might enter property of the various classes held by them, The forms were to be filled in and returned to us by the 20th Novcuiiber. But by that date we had received only nineteen out of a total of 1034, and even by 31st December no more than 223 had come in. We regret the delay, and are unable to see that there was sufficient reason to justify it. We are aware that it has been in part due to the fact that incumbents were in. structed by their bishops to return the forms through them and not direct to us. an order that we understand was issued in pursuance of a sug- gestion from the joint committee of the Church in Walea with a view to obtaining greater accuracy and uniformity in the returns through a revision of them by the diocesan authorities. ¡ The subject was, indeed, approached in some in- formal communications which passed between the Chairman and one of the Secretaries of the Welsh Church Joint Committee and ourselves, but which led to no definite result. "Whik we were, and stHI ?re, ready to wel- come an assistance the committee or the diocesan authentic m-.y be wiUing to afford ?, we ctrtt but wish thiit it had been given in auch way and at such time;, as would have Allowed more of tho returns to be oompleted in closer compli- ance with the prescribed date. At the time of writing (12th January, 1916), the results were aa follows:â Number of fornis Diocese. issued to incumbents. Bangor 148 99 Uanda? 277. 84 St.A?aph 191 2 St. David's 418 133 Total. 1034 316 COMPENSATION TO LAY PATRONS. A limited amount of compensation for Joss of patronage may be accorded to lay patrons, on condition of Application being made to us within six months of the pacing of the Aot. By the 16th marok. 1815, when the aix motatiii eçilod. we had received applications in respect of 342 benefices. With the exception of a very small number of cueea these hive been oarekdly ex- amined, arid legal advice taken with regard, to evidence of tiw and the- validity of the claims in other rc-«spect*(, to 113 to enable lid t-o adjudicate upon them. No payment of amounts allowed by lis aa compensation are to be made until the ex- piration of two years from the date of disestab- lishment except, 111 cases where a vacancy occurs in a benefice during such period of two years, in these cases the compensation becomes payable on the occurrence of the vacancy. I SALJIS AND .LEASER OF GLiuBE LANDS. By Section 26 of the Act the powers of incum- bent* to "t" i, mortgage or excitative pro- perty appertaining to bcneUeea are preserved during uie continuance of existing interest of Hoid-eii; but cnanges ur-e made a« regards the au- liioriiieij vUiose approval is require-u, and a re- garus tne uetftinacton ot proceeds, in the c.tse of property to be transferred to the representative oouv, tne consent of tritt body is now required, and in the case ot property to tie transferred to a County tJouncil, trw consent of the Wekh Com- missioners; svhue 111 the one case the proceeds of isuie are to be paid to the representative body, III the ocnet to Uio Coutily Council or Councils concerned. "i'etnung the constitution ot a repr<«en-t»tive bony, compliance with the section is impractica- bio in respect, ot property in which that body l'iiii have an interest; ana even as regards other pro- perty the difficulty presents itselt that the giving of our consent must carry with it the implication that we have adjudged [he property afiected to be not. a "private benefaction." .But that is a matter on which any decision of ours should be direct and explicit, because under Section 12 an appeal lies to h-i-s Majesty in Council -against our decision on any question as to what constictrt-es a. private to what tio(v, not constitute a private benefaction. "Thus we iind ourselve-s somewhat seriously e!nba.rra?sed in d-ealing with -applications that have been made to us for authority to sell or lease gleoo property. We have addressed the Joint Committee of the Welsh Church) wit-h a view to de\ising, if possible, soine method of overcoming these diffioultice, but we are not sanguine a-s to the possibility of so doing. Meall- while, action 13 in suspense, in relation to such negotiations as have bf-en in progrf* for the s"iiing or of property attached to bene- fices.

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SAND BLOCKS RAILWAY AT BARMOUTH.

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MR ABRAHAM FOULKES, ABERGELE.

REV. D. J. JAMES. I

AIR I. F. WALUS HA WS. J

i MRS LUXMOORE, ST. ASzlpll.I

FUNERAL OF "ALAFOX."1

PAPER, AND PAPER-MAKING MATERIALS.

RHEUMATISM-KIDNEY . TROUBLE

IMEDITERRANEAN FORCE.

ICapt KENNETH REES HABERSHON

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I »DEATH OF) IMR. K. J. EDWARDS,…

I THE VERNEY REPORT.

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I »DEATH OF) IMR. K. J. EDWARDS,…