Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page

Advertising

[No title]

Advertising

PLACES OF INTEREST IN AND…

Advertising

CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLEI…

Advertising

PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE.…

LOSS IN WEIGHT OF EGGS DURING…

-WYE TRAGEDY.I

[No title]

THE MEAIf LITTLE BILL.

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides
Cite
Share

THE MEAIf LITTLE BILL. The Rector of Ledbury on the Welsh Church Bill. If tlte provisions of the Welsh- Church Bill were applied to the living of Ledbury, every single penny: of the present em*w ment would be- taken away,. Nothing would be left. The "mean little Bill" for robbing the Church in Wales of £ .157,000 a year of her endowments --so opposed to every idea of justice and fair play-so contrary to the spirit of the Lord's teaching, that Christians should do to others as they would men should do to them-bas- been passed for the third time in the House of Commons by a Government, entirely dependent on a coalition majority at a time when the con- stitution of the kingdom is suspended. Seeing that the country is being governed at the present time by a single chamber, it is difficult to see what can prevent this cruelly-unjust and immoral measure from disgracing the pages of the Statute Book, but we must pray and work that when another Government, which is not dependent upon Irish Roman Catholics for passing its measure for the spoliation of the Church in Wales, or upon the Welsh Nonconformists for passing its Home Rule Bill, comes into power, this Bill will be repealed. The Bill notoriously lacks anything in the way of public opinion. In spite of more than 200 great demon- strations and thousands of meetings through- out the land in spite of petitions from more than half-a-million people "in Wales, and two millions of people in England in spite of petitions which have been signed by 103 224 Nonconformists over 21 years of age in Wales, the Government have absolutely refused even to discuss the possibility of lessening any of the drastic and unfair provisions contained in the Bill. In the face of all the petitions that have, been signed, and the demonstrations that have been held, it is treating a question of. the mot profound National importance with mere flippancy and frivolity to place this Bill on the Statute Book, and to sever four Dioceses of the Church of England from that Church, against her will, without first taking the sense of the electors at a general election. The longer the Bill is studied, the more clearly does it show itself to be utterly mean and unfair, and no answer has been made to the simple question, What good ia it going to do to any living soul ? Some of the results of the Bill will be as follows :— (1) 4:157,000 a year will be taken away from the Church, and will be applied to secular uses. To take away money which, for centuries, has been devoted to the service of God, and to use it for purely secular objects is a cruel thing. (2) Tithe will still be paid. The old illusion, that, after the passing of the Bill, the Weisti farmer would no longer pay tithe, is dead. In future instead of tithe being paid to the Church for religious purposes, it will be paid to some secular authority for the support of museums, baths, and other like objects which have still to be manufactured. (3) Will the authors of this shameful Bill be the happier for knowing that they have cut off the four Welsh Dioceses from the Province of Canterbury, and that these Dioceses will be no longer represented in the convocation of Canterbury ? Recently Nonconformists in Wales refused to organise themselves separately from the Nonconformists in England because, they said, it would be against their best interests. And yet, by means of this Bill they are forcibly separating the Church in Wales from the Church in England (4) While Nonconformists are doing their best to raise sustentation funds for their ministers-, they are doing their best to deprive the Church of England of the funds she possesses for the maintenance of her clergy. They are robbing the Church for the benefit of museuins, of just the sort of endowments which they declare to be necessary for their own ministers. When Welsh Churchmen are making strenuous efforts to provide more maintenance for their clergy, to meet modern requirements, it is a most cruel thing to single out the poorest Dioceses of the Church of England for spoliation and impoverish- ment. The State does not need this money. The Church does. The only object, there- fore, which the Bill can have is not to obtain money for secular purposes, but to take it away from the Church. What commends this Bill to its promoters—as one of them stated—is that there is money in it." (5) There are 561 Church of England Curates in Wales, and for these men no provision of any sort is made. Not one penny of compensation is to be allowed to them. The hardship of their case is so evident that one would suppose that a remedy might easily be found to prevent this inj ustice, but nothing can or will be done because of the inflexible provisions of the Parliament Act, and because of the bitterness of those who have engineered the Bill. (6) The Churchyards in use are to be taken away from the Church, while the Nonconformists are to be allowed to retain their own Burial-grounds. And yet they have a legal right to bury their dead in the Church of England Churchyards at the present time 1.. 1 tI' .L!- it is cumcuit to speaK or write on mis subject with patience. It is a monstrous inj ustice that all this should be done at a time when the Church in Wales is proving itself thoroughly worthy of its inheritance. We are thankful that there has been neither compromise or bargaining on the Dart of the v Church on this matter. Compromise would have been not only futile but humiliating. It would have deprived the Church in Wales of that which it will most need in the trying times in store for it, namely, a sense of self- respect and of pride at having stood to its principles to the last. The principles of Churchmen, in England or in Wales, have not been on sale. Those principles may, indeed, be defeated, but they will never be surrendered or betrayed by anything like a base compromise or an unholy bargain. 'As the Archbishop of Canterbury recently said, We at least will say to the last and show to the last that we have no complicity in what we believe to be a really wrong thing." And what will be the effect of this Bill ? Bitterness and strife for generations to come. This pitiful and spiteful attack upon our Church will leave behind it such a burning sense of inj ustice, such a harvest of embittered feelings that anything like Christian unity or co-oporation between the various Christian bodies in England and Wales will be quite impossible in future. It will cause a gulf to be made between them that will never be bridged, and which there will be no wish to bridge. We know that nothing is impossible with God and that He can still prevent this great inj ustice from being perpetrated if tt be His will, so let us pray, in the future, still more earnestly than we have iu the past that He may see fit to order that this Bill, even at the eleventh hour, may be withdrawn, or if it ever becomes law that it may be repealed.

Advertising