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LEDBURY PARISH CHURCH. I Annual Easter Vestry Meeting. I On Friday night last the annual Easter Vestry meeting of the Ledbury Parish Church of St. Michael's and All Angels was held at the Church Room. The Rector (Rev F W Carnegy) presided, and also present were Messrs C H Bastow and W P Barry (churchwardens), Mrs Carnegy, Mrs Gardiner, Mr and Mrs W T Watkins, Mrs Barnham, Mrs Dale, Mr and Mrs B Chadd and Miss Chadd, Messrs C B Masefield, F W Wade, Henry Garrood, W II Horton, J J Tilley, J F Low, A J Cbadd, T Chadd, W N Powell, T W Hunt, A Howard Smith, H I J Pritchard, S Clarke, W Clarke, W Man- sell, S W Mills, G W Paul, G Henner, etc. THE CHARITY ACCOUNTS. I The Charity accounts for the year were first submitted by Mr Bastow (senior church- warden). On the Drummond Hay Fund account there was a balance in hand of 153 Id, after needlework prizes to the amount of £113 4d had been given. On the Grammar School Charity account there was a balance in hand of 112 4s 9d, due to the fact that they had not had any boy at the school during the last year. The reason for that was that they got behind in their payments to Mr Wade (the headmaster), and repairs were needed to one of the cottages, and for that reason they did not send a boy to the school last year. They would be having a boy commence next W term. The cottages from which their income principally came had been insured for .£400. They were formerly insured for £ 2'50, but they thought that hardly sufficient, Mr Garrood What proportion of the fees do we pay for a boy ? Mr Bastow: Half; it comes to between £ 5 and -66 a year. Mr Garrood Do you confine yourself to one boy ? Mr Bastow: Oh, no; we have had two there but we can't afford to keep two there regularly. Mr Bastow added that with regard to the Baylis and Parsons' Charity account, from which the expenses for the Sunday School were paid. they had five dividends this year, owing to Easter being late, and there had been no difficulty in meeting the expenses for the Sunday School. On the motion of Mr Sidney Clarke, seconded by Mr A J Chadd, the accounts were passed. CHURCH COLLECTIONS I Mr Bastow, in submitting the church collections account, said these were simply a case of cross entries. Societies had had L84 189 8d, sick and need v £ 52 8s 2.1, parochial fund Y,10 13a 9d, and there was a balance for the Diocesan Fund of < £ 5' 4k 5d. They would keep that in hand until they knew what they bad to find under the new scheme of finance. He was very pleased to say that the offertory on Good Friday of £2 118 7d, was £ 1 10s more than it wa& last year. The payments were:—Sick and needy, per the Rector, Z2 8i 2d Parochial fund, ClO 13s 9d Curate fund, £ 12 3's 4d Agricultural Benevolent fund, L5. 5s Cot- tage Hosital, £ 19 9s; Society Propagation Gospel, LS lis Clothing Club, Jb3 2d Coal Club, £ 3 9s 2d Church of England Waifs' and Strays' Society, £û: 7a 6-1; Nursing fund, LO 7s 7d Church Missionary Society, 17 2s fid Boot Club. £4 18i 5d St.. Martin's Home, L2 lls 7d balance (Diocesan f tind), L5 4a 5d total, JS148 Oa 7d. CHURCH EXPENSES ACCOUNT. I This account Mr Bastow described as the most important account. The receipts were :—Balance, church expenses, Eister, 1913, Y,2 9s 3d balance, repair fund, £:30 63 4d; balance, improved lighting, £ 10; balance, choir fund (with choir sec.) £ 2 14s 9d, offertories, choir fUI1(I,.£ 10!1 &I- L5 5s 3d; offertories, church expenses, Y,194 Is 10*1; subscriptions, church expenses, £41 18s; churchyard account, 13; donations, improved lighting, £ 25; visitors' box, for repair fund, £2l 14s 3.1 total, 1333 14s lid. The payments were: Salaries, £ 103 68 10.1 heating account, £ 27; lighting account, gas, £ 23 1 Is 5d, candles, 94 163 3d— £ 28 10s 8d fire insurance, £ 13 4s; stationery and printiug, 9s 9d belfry account, E4 17s Sd church- yard account, 126 4s 81; choir expenses, J:3 19s 9d, balance with choir secretary £ 1 5s 6d— £ 5 53 3d washing surplices, &c., £ 3 lis 101 general necessaries and sundries. £1-1 12s 2d pension account, £ 6 17s 6d; Curate fund (transfer from sub- scription account) £ 10; repairs from repair fund, JE36 14s Id balance, improved lighting, £ 35; balance, repair fund, JE15 6s 6d balance, ch urch expenses, F-2 14s total £ 333 14s lid. Commenting upon the accounts, Mr Bastow, said the offertories of £ 194 Is lOd included a donation of LIO, whiebl was put into the offertory on Easter Sunday morning. They had 37 offertories against 32 last year, by reason of Easter being later tnis year. The average offertory was L5 43 lOd, but if they excluded the donation of LIO, it was only £4 199 8,1, against £ 5 4s 5d last year, and Y,5 9s 2d the year before, a still further fall in the average offertory for church expenses. If the offertories continued to keep falling like this, something would have to be done, as they could not go on like that. He really thought they ought to keep the offertories to over £5 5s, as they could not go on under. The vestry would notice there was a balance of £ 2 14s. but thu wis reilly due to the kindness of different ladies and gentlemen who had subscribed, and he would like to take that opportunity of saying how thankful the churchwardens were for the generous response to the appeal they made. The response was everything that could be desired, but in his opinion there ought not to be any need for it, they should be able to pay from the offertories for the expenses of the church. The heating account was more than last year, but that was accounted for by the fact that they had to continue heating the church after Easter last year owing to the very cold weather. With regard to the lighting account they used 116,000 feet of gas against 113,400, and this was accounted for by the late Easter this year. The fire insurance was L13 4s against £ 3 163 6d last year. The year before last finished up their seven years' premiums, and the new premium became due and had to be paid after Easter last year and owing to Easter being late this year they had had to pay another premium, so that they had really paid two premiums in their financial year. In the account for repair S.28 7a was for the church- yard paths, which were a great improvement, and would last for many years with simply a coat of tar occasionally put on. The nave and tower, everything except the chancel, was insured for £ 11,350. The amount from the visitors' box was about the same, and subscriptions for the churchyard account were £ 3 against .£4, as one regular sub- scriber had died and they lost 11 subscrip- tion. Mr Garrood What is the rate per cent of the insurance premium? Mr Bastow: Is 6d per cent. in the ecclesiastical office, and 5 per cent, of the premiums goes in grants. The Rector, commenting on the accounts. said the offertory on Good Friday was the best they had ever had in the Church. As regards the Diocesan Fund every parish would be asked to contribute something to a central diocesan fund, and that would be the case in every parish in every diocese. What that something was they did not know, and would be decided upon by the Board of Finance. As regards the donation foi improved lighting, Miss Bickham passer over a sum of money to his care as a result of The Pied Piper entertainment, and ht gave 125 of it to the improved lighting of the church fund, and as he already had Y,10 in hand that made X35 towards improved lighting. With regard to the fire insurance he hoped the churchwardens would be able to pay the seven years' premiums, and thus gain a year's premium. He would be very glad if it could be arranged, although it was a big thing to pay Z2S to £ 30 for fire insurance in one year. Mr Bastow had referred to the subscriptions received for church expenses, and it was gratifying to know that when the old church wanted a little, extra money there was really no oifficulty in getting it. A good deal depended upon the way the money was asked for, and Mr Bastow asked for it in such a way that it could not be refused. The average of the offertories had gone down and he was sorry to say so. There was no reason for it, as congregations were keeping up, and increasing he believed. The average of the offertories was the lowest since 1909, when it was E4; lis 6d. On the motion of Mr Mansell, seconded by Mr Howard Smith, the accounts were passed. THANKS. I The Chairman proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the two retiring churchwardens. He must say how much he appreciated all the help they had given to him during the last year, how much he had leaned upon them, how ready they had ever been to keep themselves in the background for the service of the church. They had been a great help and support to him on many occasions, and had given him good advice from a business point of view. They had managed the finances in an exceedingly capable manner, and had brought a balance on the right side. He did not think they could come across in the diocese a better kept church than Ledbury Church, both inside and outside. He was rural dean of this rural deanery, and he knew of no church better kept than Ledbury Church, which was something to say, as it was a building of unusual) dimensions. Their churchwardens gave a kindly welcome to any strangers coming into the church and made them at home. Beyond it all they looked upon their work as churchwardens from the highest point of view, regarding the position as an honourable one, and no post could be looked upon by them as a higher one to fill. He proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Churchwardens for their exceedingly good work. (Applause) Mr T Chadd seconded, and the resolution was unanimously carried. Mr Battow thanked the Chairman for his remarks, and said be looked upon the office of churchwarden as the most honourable office a layman could hold ia< the church, and he also felt it to be a. very high honour. He had the greatest pleasure in doing what- ever he could for the good of the church. Whatever position he might be in, whether churchwarden or not, he should always- do his best for the church. He thanked them very much. (Applause). Mr Barry said he could only reiterate what Mr Bastow bad said. It was a real pleasure to him to work for the church, aad he thanked them very much. Mr Barry proposed a vote of thanks to the sidesmen. He did not know where the churchwardens would be if they had not such a good body of sidesmen at their back They gave Mr Bastow and himself every assistance. One or two of them bad assisted Captaih Nash in that room, and it was really such an excellent work that they could not begrudge them being there. He thanked all the sideamen for the excellent support they gave the chutch. Mr Bastow, in seconding, said, as church- wardens, they felt particularly the help of the sidesmen. They were always at hand, and when there was anything special oa they were there to help them. The Chairman associated himself with the vote of thanks. He thought the parish was happy in being represented by two such ch urch wardens and s idesmen. The vote was unanimously accorded. Mr Bastow proposed a vote of tbanks to the hou. auditor, Mr F N Wheaton, who had again audited the accounts. Mr Masefield seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously. ELECTION OF OFFICIALS. Mr Sidney Clarke said it was impossible i to find two gentlemen to carry out the duties of churchwarden better than Mr Bastow and Mr Barry, and he had great pleasure in proposing their re-election. Mr A J Chadd seconded. Mr Horton: And I am sure all church. people support it. The re-election was carried by acclama- tion, aud both gentlemen briefly replied. The Chairman said the Vestry had done exceedingly wisely to re-elect the gentlemen, and they would have done foolishly had they not done so. He looked forward to a happy, prosperous and hopeful year for the church, with two the churchwardens. The retiring sidesmen were Messrs W T Watkins, T Chadd, A G T Binks and H Vernon Smith, who were not eligible for re-election this year, and a fifth sidesman was required in place of Mr W J Dawe for one year. Messrs. P Perkins, A G Smith, H R Cotton and Henry Garrood were elected Ridesmen for three years, and Mr A J Chadd for one year. On the motion of Mr T Chadd, seconded by Mr A G Smith, Mr F N Wheaton was re-appointed auditor. VOTES OF THANKS. Mr W N Powell proposed a vote of thanks to Mr and Mrs T W Hunt for the very able manner in which they had kept the church during the past year. They were also very pleased to see Mrs Hunt with them again (Hear, hear). Mr G W Paul seconded, and the vote having been unanimously accorded, Mr Hunt briefly returned thanks. Mr Wade proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman, and said whenever the Rector took the chair his conduct was always characterised by great courtesy and his practical knowledge of business habits in the way of conducting a meeting. (Applause.) The vote having been carried by acclama- tion, the Chairman thanked Mr Wade for his kind expression. He had not been rector of a parish w here a rector was so backed up by the people of the church aa at Ledbury. the work became easy when, one bad at one's back such a body of laymen and one's work was made happier. It was vastly different from the old days when the clergyman did everything. What he had tried to teach them since he came there was that the Church was their Church and God's Church. The laity had been the strength of. Nonconformity, not the ministers, and the weakness of the Church had been that the clergy were not disposed to take the laity nto their confidence. (Hear, hear.) But hat was all being changed now, and it was a change for the better. (Applause.) This concluded the meeting.