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Record Progress. LORD HUGH CECIL ONCE MORE. Peculiar Examination. LLANBISTER TABLET DISPUTE. Lord Justice's Peremptory Order. The Welsh Church Commijjsion resumed its inquiry at Westminster on Tuesday, Lord Justice Vaughan Williams presiding. Mr Charles Edward Churchill, solicitor, Llandrindod Wells, was called to give supple- mentary evidence with reference to the Free Churches in the county of Radnor. He explained that he acted as secretary to the County Committee of the Radnorshire Non- conformists, who supervised the collection of the statistics which were handed to the Com- mission by Mr A. H. Wainwright, of Knighton. With reference to a question put by Arch- deacon Evans to Mr ainwright-suggcsting that the minister of Salem Congregational Chapel, Llanbadarn-y-Graig, often went to the chapel, and finding no congregation, returned without holding a service—he (Mr Churchill had made inquiries, and now put in a letter from the pastor in question, stating that this was not so. The minister wrote— The statement is not a fact. During my ministry of eighteen months, the minister has not been without a congregation, and the services have not been dispensed with." A Storm in a Teacup." In his evidence Mr Wainwright had com- plained that a tablet erected in the parish church of Llanbister to the memory of the late vicar, who was on very friendly terms with the Nonconformists, had been removed. A letter of complaint with reference to this removal had appeared in the Press. Witness said Mr Wainwright had now requested him to hand in certain photographs, which Mr Wainwright submitted proved his contention as to the position of the tablet. Archdeacon Evans said he had received a letter from the vicar of the parish explaining that the church was undergoing restoration, that all the tablets had been put temporarily outside the church by the architect, but that they were to be replaced in the church as soon as the restoration was completed. The Chairman It is really not worth troubling 'about. It is a storm in a teacup. These photographs (produced) are marked- Taken from south-east of the church March 28th, 1908, showing the corner where the pieces of the Rev. Mr Lloyd's memorial ftre exposed to rain and wind during the winter." Sir Francis Edwards I suppose Mr Wain- wright's point was that this tablet was left out while others were put, inside.. Archdeacon Evans Exact information can be obtained if desired. The Chairman It really is not worth while going into it. Mr Churchill, referring to discrepancies between some of the Kadnorshire statistics and the corresponding figures in the denomi- national year books, to which the chairman had on a previous occasion called attention, said he had made inquiries and now put in letters explaining these discrepancies. Incidentally referring to the Calvinistic Methodist figures the Chairman remarked I have now seen a good many of the monthly meeting reports of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, and generally' speaking they are very accurate indeed. Mr J. H. Davies With reference to the tablet to the memory of the late vicar of Llanbister, do you understand that all the monuments in that church have been treated in the same way ?-I understand not. These photographs show that some of the monuments have been replaced in the church ? -Yes. I They also show that different parts of the monuments to the late vicar are lying about the churchyard ?—Yes. Mr J. H. Davies And these photographs were taken a fortnight after this matter had been given great publicity in the daily Press of South Wales ? The monument has been allowed to remain in that condition notwith- standing that publicity ? Archdeacon Evans May I explain-- Mr J. H. Davies I have not finished. The Chairman Really How can you justify wasting our time and burdening our notes with this matter ? The Chairman again declared that* this matter was not worth discussing, and if there was to be more discussion he would have the room cleared. Mr J. H. Davies Then I wish the arch- deacon would not raise these questions. The Chairman It was Mr Wainwright who praised this. Mr J. H. Davies I have read the evidence of Mr Wainwright, and find it was the arch- deacon who raised it. Archdeacon Evans I simply asked whether the late vicar had built a chapel for the Wes- leyans, and Mr Wainwright said that the- present vicar had shown great disrespect to the memory of the old vicar. c The Chairman (peremptorily) Call the next witness, please Temperance Werk. The Rev. O. I,. Roberts, of Liverpool (for- merly of Cardiff), who appeared as a witness on behalf of the Welsh Congregationalist de- nomination, offered a statement showing the work done by that body in connection with temperance. Defining temperance as total abstinence, he said that the movement in Wales in its original form started in the early thirties of the last century, the founder of the movement being the Rev. Evan Davies (Eta Delta), Congregational minister of Llan- erchymedd, Anglesey. All the denominations, including the Church of England, took up the work, but prominent among the pioneers were the Revs. William Williams (Wern), John Roberts (Lianbrynmair), P. Griffiths (Pwll- heli), \V. Griffiths (Holyhead), David Rees (Lianelly), and others, all being ministers be- longing to the Congregational body. These were succeeded by men like the Rev. John Thomas, D.D. (the historian of the temperance movement in Wales), and a host of others, and to-day Congregational ministers and laymen were among the most prominent leaders in temperance work. Nine out of every ten of the WeLsh ministers of the denomination in England as well as in Wales were total ab- stainers, and so were all the Welsh stiidenteat the denominational colleges at Brecon and Bala, and at the Presbyterian College, Car. marthen. The Chairman May I say to you I am very glad you did no indulge in total abstinence and stay away, but have given us a paper full of moderation. Monmouthshire Nonconformity. Mr C. Roofer Evg.ns, solicitor, Newport, secretary of the Monmouthshire County Evi- dence Committee, submitted the following statistics dealing with the Free Churches in that county outside the county borough of Newport:— Chapels. Com- Ad- municants. herents. Baptists 123 19,369 36,916 Calvin'ticMethodists 49 4,?55 11,223 Congregationalists 81 10,677 1 ,877 Wesleyans 74 4,704 11,505 Other Free Churches 83 4,221 10, 44 Tlia i-i i, 110. j_i xucvyuaiiuiitu ou liiclu in wiuamouinsflire the Baptists are to a very considerable extent the prevalent denomination ?—Witness That the prevalent denomination ?—Witness That is so. I The Chairman I notice you say these figures do not include Roman Catholics or Jews. That combination of exclusion rather puzzles me. Is it because they are likely to be treated in the same way in respect of education ? Witness said he had not the statistics of these bodies, but he made this reference to them because he regarded them as Noncon- formists. Sir John Williams complained that Com- missioners had not been supplied with copies or proof of witness's evidence. The Chairman said that only two copies were available, both in manuscript, one for the wit- ness and one for the chairman. It had not been printed. Sir John But the arrangement was that we should all be supplied. The Chairman But we cannot wait an in- definite time for witness's proofs. In the course of his proof, the witness re- ferred to a census of attendances at. places of worship throughout the county taken on October 7th. In the carrying out of that undertaking the county committee received very cordial co-operation of a considerable number of Established Churches in some dis- tricts. who exchanged enumerators with Non- conformists. In other cases objection was taken to what was ternsed an amateur census. Census returns duly certified were received in respect of 134 Established Churches and 331 chapels, and he appended a summary. The Chairman said that they had decided not to admit any census figures. Thy did not regard them as sufficiently reliable to be of assistance. Witness Before you come to that decision I should be glad ifyou would see the certified returns I am prepared to hand in. The Chairman said that they had declined to take census figures from other witnesses, and he did not see how they could make an exception in the present case. Witness thought that the certified returns from Monmouthshire were in such form that the figures were trustworthy. The Chairman You must see for yourself that we cannot review our decision in this respect. We have acted upon it in other cases. Iri your proof you draw inferences based upon that census, but we cannot accept these infer- ences unless we admit the census as evidence. Witness I only want to place the result of the census before you so that you may draw your own inference. The Chairman: We do not purpose to admit I the census in any case.. <, r Witness next referred to the preponderance of Free Churchmen on the Monmouthshire County Council and other public bodies, with a view to showing that the Free Churches were living active churches, but the Chairman thought that this class of evidence was also inadmissible. i Lord Hugh Cecil What bearing would that have on the inquiry which we have to make ? I It U impossible to conduct this inquiry unless we have proofs. The Chairman said that, in view of the objections made by bis colleagues of the ab- sence ot copies of witness s proofs, he would ask the witness to postpone the remainder of his evidence until the next day, andmeanwhile his proof could be typewritten. English Congregationalism. The Rev. J. T. Rhys, Godreaman, Aberdare Valley, chairman and secretary of the East Glamorgan English Congregational Associa- tion, gave evidence concerning the English Congregational Churches in South Wales affiJiatedto the South WTales English Congre- gational Union. There were, he said, 151 of such churches, distributed as follows — Breconshire, 7 Rad- norshire, 11 Carmarthenshire, 6 Pembroke- shire, 37 Cardiganshire, 2 Glamorganshire, 83. All these churches, with four exceptions (Abertridwr, Port Talbot. Goodwick, and Manselton) had their own separate buildings. The English Congregational churches at- tached to the South Wales Union provided sitting accommodation as follows Churches, 51,907 schools, 14,549 vestries, 4,301 mis- sions, 1,575 total, 72,332. There were in these churches a total of 17,247 members and 21,249 scholars in Sunday schools. Though Congre- gationalists made the conversion of unbe- lievers their supreme aim, and the preaching of the Word their chief method, still church activity among the Congregationalists was not confined directly to that one purpose or to that one method. Replying to the Chairman, witness defined unbelievers as persons who did not profess membership in any Christian church, hut Lord Hugh Cecil remarked that there would be very few people indeed who did not make some sort of profession of Christianity. The Chairman said that the Commission had not been in the habit of taking literary societies as part of the provision made for the spiritual needs of the people, and thev had not yet admitted statistics relating to Bands of Hope. He proposed ruling out on these grounds a large portion of witness's proof. Mr J. H. Davies expressed surprise at this. Witness said it would be impossible to pre. sent an accurate picture of the work the churches were doing unless these details appear. The Chairman We must go on one consis- tent line. We cannot occasionally take one course and occasionally another. Up to the present we have never had statistics of Bands of Hope. Witness Well, you cannot do justice to the churches —— The Chairman We have not got to do justice to the churches we have to answer the questionswhich have been put to us by the terms of the Roya] Commission. There are all sorts of social work done bylhe churches, but we cannot give details of'them. Mr J. H. Davies thought that details as to Bible classes should be admitted. The Chairman Here is set out a list of books studied at these Bible classes. Look at the first three, for in&tance. I doubt very much whethtr the witness himself has read them. Wituess: I have read them and taught them in classes. The Chairman Do you mean, sir, to tell me that these books are suitable for children ? —W itness But these are not classes for children. These 0 are Bible classes for young men. The Chairman I don't think we shall be doing our duty if we let in a list of books. Mr J. H. Davies It is not for the purpose of advertising the books, but of showing the standard of work done. The Chairman We shall never finish if we give a]] these things. You (witness) are by no means the first person who has attempted this. Later the witness put in a table showing the growth of Congregationalism in Soutn Wales. The Chairman This table suggests that there has been no change. I agree that the names are the same, but you must not suppose that the Independents of thd 7th and 18th century held the doctrines that you Congresa tionalists hold. The Witness I am not prepared to enter into any discussion as to doctrines held. The Chairman Yea, but you are speaking of steady progress made bv these churches. You might as well speak of thesteady progress of the Church of England, and make the Church of England date from the era of Thomas a Beckett. You have changed. You Were Calvinistic in doctrine and in discipline. Mr J. H. Davies thought it would be true also to say that the Church of England had changed. Archdeacon Evans As to doctrines taught, but doctrines held are the same. Witness, in order to show the wcrk. done, asked permission to put in the annual reports of three English Congregational churches in South Wales, and the Chairman consented. ) Lord Hugh. Cecil questioned witness as to distinctionsbt tween Wales and Monmouthshire, remarking, "We are instructed to inquire with reference to Wales and Monmouthshire, and I have never been able to understand why Mon- mouth is included in the terms of reference." Archdeacon Evans put it to witness, who agreed that there were but few cases in Wales in which congregations would not be able to understand English services. At the close the Lord Justice read a letter received from the Rev, Thomas Jones, vicar of Llanbister, stating that tablets removed from that church had only been so removed because of the restoration of the church, and that they would be replaced in due course.

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