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ST. ASAPH DIOCESAN CONFERENCE.…

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ST. ASAPH DIOCESAN CONFERENCE. + THE BISHOP ON CHURCH AFFAIRS. INTERESTING PRESENTATION. The St. Asaph Diocesan Conference was opened at Denbigh on Thursday. This is the second time the conference has been in this ancient town. There was a very large attend- ance of clergy and laity. The proceedings opened in the morning with the celebration of Holy Communion at St. David's Church, which was followed two hours later by a short service. The conference met at 11 o'clock in the Drill Hail, under the presidency of the Bishop (Dr. Edwards). Among those present were Lord Mostyn, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, Sir Robert Egerton, Mr. A. S. Griffith-Boscawen, M.P., Mr. Stanley Leighton, M.P., Colonel W. Cornwallis West (Lord-Lieutenant of Denbighshire), Mr. St. John Raikes, the Hon. C. H. Wynn (Rug), Mr. E. O. V. Lloyd (High Sheriff of Merionethshire), Colonel Howard, Colonel Mesham, Mr. P. P. Pennant, Chancellor Trevor Parkins, the Dean of St. Asaph (the Very Rev. H. Watkin Williams), the Ven. Archdeacon Thomas, the Hon. L. Broderick, Mr. R. W. Williams- Wynne, Captain Griffith-Boscawen, Captain Cole, the Rev. J. Morgan (rector of Denbigh), and Mr. Ll. Hugh Jones (Official Receiver in Bankruptcy for North Wales). It was announced by the Bishop that Archdeacon Richardson was unable to be present owing to ill-health, but that his health was now very much improved. Apologies were also reported from Lord Harlech, Sir Robert Cunliffe, and the Hon. George Kenyon. The mention of the name of the Conservative candidate for East Denbighshire was received with a cheer. THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS. The BISHOP then delivered his opening address. He said: This year has witnessed many changes in the diocese, and dear and valued fellow-labourers have been called to their rest. By the death of the Bishop of St. David's in January the Church in Wales lost its senior bishop. For nearly a quarter of a century I was brought into close relationship t, p with him. He was indeed a good man. His gifts were many and great, and his loss to the Church is one not easily replaced. Those who had the great privilege of his friendship learned to realise its depth and sincerity, and to value the strength and dignity of his character. Within the last twelve months Archbishop Benson fell on sleep, and the pathos of that passing came very close to all of us in this diocese. He rendered the noblest service to the Church of Christ in this land, and in a signal degree and moment to this the most ancient part of that Church. It would be impertinent in me to say more, it would be ungrateful to say less.—(Applause.) Among the many notable events of this Jubilee year was the meeting of the Lambeth Conference. •the gathering of the bishops of the Anglican Church from all parts of the world is a striking ttstimony to the growth and vitality of that Church. The trials and difficulties of the home work sink to a new proportion as we listen to the recital of the perils and perplexities ot those who come from the distant outposts v*i. *gfeat, arm^ In another direction the tr rA f.onftjrtjac« .lies not in its being a Datri&r^nL w™0rtvisible organisation of a born of mnt' 1 m growing sense of unity wel?be iw Tansel and discussion. It may tion ofthS n"?- CCntUry ma* fiQd th* tlO of thl not lU a pa.triarchate, but in a where ail the members are equal and sovereign, and for the furtherance of the common work devolve certain dutip. and nnro" --n_- t" pon a central authority. Among the things of Datr n i.t, me work is the question of a nr ^10,3e who regard the ministry as ° ,S10[1 or as a vocation, or as both, J**«t three standpoints from which this ject m*y be approached. Many schemes are proposed, but no scheme which I have yet seen deals with the central difficulty, that when there are twenty applicants for one post nineteen are disappointed. This disappoint- ment is often and deeply shared by the patron, who would only too gladly, if he had the power, all the just claims put before him. omething can be done in this way by the Ostentation Fund. The labourer is worthy of his hire, but the hire is no longer worthy of the ourer. (Hear, hear.) Our endowments given centuries ago were adequate for the work then they are so no longer. The carving up of j our grand old parishes has often ended in awkward and inadequate slices, |°°d neither for the work nor the Workers. Falling tithes and increased, *aa for the clergy unalleviated taxation, has Drought down the old competency to a modern pittance. Again, in very many parishes new churches and mission-rooms necessitate addi- tional clergy. This is all good, so long as the parish itself with such external aid as it can procure provides for the extra worker. The incumbent's salary ought not, in my opinion, to be permanently mortgaged for the payment of curates stipends. I say permanently, because there are some clergy with large private means who can afford to give large contribution, but it is their duty to the parish, to their successors, and to the Church, to remember that the work must go on after their time and that if their personal contributions become recognised as charges upon the incumbent's stipend the practical outcome is this—that in all these cases the work can only be undertaken by a man with private means. I decline to recognise the possession of private means as an essential qualification for the cure and government of SSl anj[ Par]sh- (Applause.) I wish to speak strongly and plainly to my brethren of the laity on this point, and to my brethren of the clergy, who ought very seriously to consider before they start new work the possibility of maintaining it in the future without permanently weakening the work of the heart-centre in the parish. We invite help for our clergy sustentation fund. To whom do we turn first and mainly ? Not, I venture to think, to the landowners. It has often been pointed out that when the endow- ments of the Church were given, real property med the bulk of the wealth of the country, thf y Personal property is three times in value Chn °l reai P^P61" 'rhe endowments of the *hi 1? are mainly drawn from the one-fourth, rePresents real property. I need not those Point any farther. It is time for this three-fourths of the wealth of to recognise their obligations a ilQore generously. (Applause.) Our first, Bcho ? many ways our greatest, care is for our formed ^'ocesan Association has been state f aD(i woric i8 in a very satisfactory nected ?ro&re8S- The secretarial work con- tionallv'h^11 Association has been excep- accuracv and ^as been carried out with &ev. oriousness, and courtesy by the whom tho ^ama' vicar St. Asaph, to for this L Cese is deeply indebted not only UUobtmn- ^or °ther great services, most largely 17 rendered. Our schools live ald laif self-sacrifice of our clergy all Relieve me, they are well worth darv J C0S • us' field of secon- f0r » education one first grade sehool Ruthl °yo is left us in North Wales. Bunrv^i. ammar School deserves the heartiest support of all Churehmen in North Wales. I with a, very intimate knowledge of the anvfi aDC* master, and I do not know enf ^"g.rade school to which parents can as frus^ fckeir children with greater confidence ed thoroughness and high quality of the ucation given there. For the border counties 6 have the ancient and excellent school of swestry, happily saved by its locality from all ighting interference. Here in the centre of N" orth Wales Ruthin School merits, and I earnestly trust will receive, the cordial support of my brethren of the clergy and laity. For the education of girls Howell's School, Denbigh, as been happily saved, and the interests not £ nly of religious education, but also of orphans, "ave been protected. The saving of the school Naturally caused some disappointment among those who had prematurely calculated upon its Possession. There have also been some critics Writing as Churchmen, who with an unfortunate modesty have each and all concealed their ^hurch mans hip under the guise of anonymity. t has been stated that originally this was not an ecclesiastical or Church endowment. It Was a pre-Reformation endowment. I have recently procured a certified copy from the Registry of the High Court of Justice of the original will of Thomas Howell, and the state- ment made in a respectable Church journal that this was originally an unsectarian e|eemosynary charity labours under the dis- advantage of being wholly and entirely at variane with the facts. The last epithet you would apply to Howell's will is unsectarian. One other point calls for notice. It was pro- Gj8? » ^ransfer a large sum to Dr. Williams s School at Dolgelley. The endowments trUof school are invested in Unitarian truafees *iv'ng io London, and thes9 Unitarian nominate half the Governors. These are two dominant and unquestioned facts. It is a matter of no consequence who the Governors may be who accept nomination at the hand of these Unitarian trustees. To those who have inquired into the character of this endowment it was a matter of difficulty to ascertain who these trustees were, and yet publicity on this point is a duty. (Hear, hear.) The subjects for our discussion to-day deal with some deeply important questions which I must not anticipate. (Applause.) PRESENTATION TO THE BISHOP. On reassembling after luncheon, Colonel Cornwallis West presented to the Bishop his portrait, painted by Mr. W. Q. Orchardson, R.A., together with a sum of about X,300, to be spent on such purposes as the Bishop might think conducive to the interests of the Church in the diocese. Colonel West expressed the hope of the subscribers, including Churchmen all over Wales and beyond Wales, that the portrait would be placed among the numerous portraits of Bishop Edward's distinguished pre- decessors which now adorned the walls of the episcopal palace of St. Asapb. He also presented to his Lordship an address, in which testimony was borne to the conspicuous ability- and courage with which he had sustained the cause of the Church in difficult and critical times, and a hope was expressed that he might be long spared to preside over the diocese.-fphe Bishop, in reply, said he accepted the portrait, not as a personal tribute at all, but as a tribute to the part he, with so many others, played in the cause of Church defence, in protecting the Church of Christ in this land from changes which would have curtailed and hindered the work of the Church for a long future. If the measure brought before Parliament under the rule of the late Goverment had been passed, the Church would have been in a very crippled position to-day. He was glad to say that, as a result of the defence of the Church which was then raised, the movement was sent farther back than it had been for a large number of years. (Applause.) THE TAXATION OF THE CLERGY. The St. Asaph Diocesan Conference was re- sumed on Friday, in the Volunteer Drill Hall at Denbigh. The Lord Bishop again presided over a large attendance of clerical and lay representatives. Chancellor TRKVOR PARKINS moved the following resolution, arising out of a report of the Standing Committee submitted to the Conference on the previous day "That the members of the St. Asaph Diocesan Conference learn with much satisfaction that an inquiry is now being made into the incidence of taxation of the clergy, and request the Standing Committee to take such steps as they are able to procure the redress of any unfair taxation." He was sure that every member of the conference, clergyman and lay- man, must be anxious that the clergy should uot be unfairly taxed, and he therefore hoped the conference would accept the resolution.- Archdeacon THOMAS seconded the resolution, which was carried, the word 'local' being inserted before taxation.—On the motion of COLONEL MESHAM, seconded by Mr. E. O. V. LLOYD, the conference further adopted the following resolution That every effort be made to induce the Government to amend the system of rating clerical incomes, and to allow deductions to be made for professional services and all necessary outgoings in arriving at the rateable value." SUPERANNUATION OF DISABLED CLERGY. Mr. R. W. WILLIAMS WYNN, in a paper dealing with the superannuation of disabled clergy, said the most feasible scheme lav in the policy of insurance, and advocated the forma- tion of a fund in the diocese to enable them to effer each ordinee a pension of X20 per annum after he passed the age of 60, free, on the con- dition that he should insure himself for an equal amount at least. That would form a neucleus of zC20, which, added to the zC50 mentioned in the Benefices Bill, would make up a sum of Ego a year. No medical examination would be necessary, and the policies could be taken out separately, one in the name of the ordinee and the other in the name of the Diocesan Fund. He suggested that the scheme should be given a practical test for three years. If they wanted good work done they must offer good terms, and the secret of success had always laid in the question of security. The Civil Service proved attractive because there was a pension at the end of well-earned retirement. (Applause.). The Rev. DAVID WILLIAMS, Llandyrnog, said the clergy wanted encouragement and support, and unless there were indications that suitable remuneration was forthcoming they could not expect that class of men to enter the ministry which laymen might expect. They did not get the aristocracy of blood or wealth to enter the Church, and therefore he saw no reason why they should not get the aristocracy of intellect. Chancellor TREVOR PARKINS said it was a very great thing indeed to alter the status of the clergy. It was a great thing to give power to turn clergymen out of their livings, and he thought that such power ought not to be given unless a suitable pension was provided. He considered that the scheme sketched out by Mr. R. Williams Wynn was a very flimsy one, and that dno1l work\ (Hear, hear, and laughter.) W hat was the position of a clergyman who had laboured for a great number of years, and who bad done his duty well P He was to be retired with an income of £ 90 a year. The Benefices Bill put the retiring allowance at X50 a year. The BISHOP: As a minimum. Chancellor PARKINS: Yes, as a minimum, and and he did not suppose that more than the minimum would be given. He considered that a great part of the Benefices Bill was extremely good, but he confessed that he did not feel disposed to support either the second or the third portion of it. One feature of the Bill which brought considerable odium upon it was that it was confined to the parochial clergy. If the tenure of office by the clergy was to be altered, the alteration must extend beyond the parochial clergy. (Hear, hear.) He hoped the time was distant when the very sweeping change advocated by Mr. Robert Williams Wynn would be introduced into the Church. The DEAN of ST. ASAPH, referring to the Benefices Bill, said the clause relative to the removal of Incumbents only alluded to cases where a clergyman did no work himself or provided for its accomplishment, for two whole years, and he was certain that that scheme would not apply to a single parish in that diocese. (Applause.)-Mr. Stanley Leighton, M.P., suggested the establishment of a fund to be applied to the buying of pensions in the Clergy Pensions' Institution, which had been in existence for 10 years. The money received by the society in donations was divided among the pensioners in order to increase their pension.— The Bishop, in closing the discussion, said the talk of some clergy about compulsory retire- ment made him feel somewhat impatient. The minimum sum of £ 50 in the Bill he considered too small, and he was quite ready if opportunity occurred to propose an additional clause to in- clude everybody within the operation of the Act. (Applause.) CONVOCATION AND HOURS OF LAY- MEN. The reconstitution of Convocations and the Houses of Laymen was. the subject of a subse- quent discussion. The Hon. LAURENCE BRODRICK complained that the Church had no general assembly or synod or conference which could claim incon- testably to Rpeak the mind of the body it repre- sented. The Houses of Convocation were not representative, nor were the Houses of Lay- men. The Canterbury House of Laymen seemed too email for effectual representation. The most pressing need of the Church was a thoroughly representative body to legislate in faith, doctrine, worship, and discipline, with due power to enforce its decisions. To consti- tute such a body the sanction of an Act of Parliament would be required. He advocated Parliamentary control over the enactments of the representative body, for a desire to make it independent of Parliament would rouse to active hostility an enormous amount of latent opinion. Mr. H. ST. JOHN RAIKES submitted that the title under which the paper ought to have been considered was 'The Fusion of the Houses of Convocation and the Extension of the House of Laymen.' (Laughter.) The House of Laymen was constituted avowedly as an experiment; it had had a fair trial, and been entirely successful. That success was in the main due to the fact that both the clerical and lay representatives met on the same footing and bad an equal voice. CHURCH DEFENCE. The afternoon was mainly devoted to a dis- cussion on Church Defence and Church Distinction,' introduced by Mr. GRIFFITH- BoscAWEN, M.P., who remarked that he looked forward to many fights on the Disestablishment question, as it was essential the Church people should ever be on the alert to control the enemy. Inactivity was dangerous. If people knew the truth about the Church in Wales, disestablishment and disendowment would be absolutely impossible, and the ignorance dis- played on this point by well-educated men, including Lord Rosebery—(laughter)—was appalling. It was important that they should have a large organisation of Church people with local centres, so that when the Church was attacked the necessary steps could be taken in every parish, as it were, to prevent inaccu- racies and misrepresentation. The formation of a permanent method of defending the Church by herself was the only way to get rid of disestablishment for ever, and that view was strongly upheld by the late Archbishop Benson. He hoped they would form a diocesan branch of the society and two representatives on the Central London Council. Mr. R. Williams Wynn was afterwards appointed hon. secretary for the diocese. The meetings of the Conference terminated with the usual votes of thanks.

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