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ENGLISH CHURCH UNION. I Anniversary of the Herefordshire Branch. The anniversary of the Herefordshire Branch J of the English Church Union was held at Here- 1 ford on Tuesday. There was a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 8 o'clock in the Ladye Chapel of the Cathedral, and at 11-30 a Choral Celebration with sermon, which was preached by the Rev E Hermitage Day, D.D. The annual general meeting was held in the College Hall, when the election of officers took place for the Herefordshire District Union :—President —Mr Spencer H Bickham. Vice-Presidents— Rev Preb W H Lambert, Rev Dr Hermitage Day, Rev C L Mfcney-Kyrle, and Mr John Riley. Delegate to the Council-Rev S E B Seele. Treasurer—Rev S Scarlett Smith. The President, in his address, said :—I have first to thank you for the honour you do me by electing me President of this District Union, but while I fully appreciate your kindness and value the position, I feel that in the interest of the Union it would be better filled by one who has not qualified for an old-age pension—still no one has greater sympathy with the aims and objects of the Union than myself, and I will endeavour to promote these to the best of my power. The annual report of the Union has doubtless been read by all present, and in some respects it is not cheerful reading. What with attacks from the Church's foes without, in the form of the Bill for disestablishing the Church in Wales and our dissensions and difficulties within, arising from enemies to the faith within the Church's fold, evidenced by the continuous attacks on the Athanasiaa Creed the desire to eliminate from the questions to candidates for Holy Orders the acknowledgment that the Bible is the Word of God in the sense in which the Catholic Church has ever understood it the proposed revision of the Prayer Book on lines antagonistic to Catholic practice and doctrine; the matters arising out of the Kikuyu Conference, and perhaps above all the latitudinarian interpretation of the doctrinal obligations of the clergy as regards the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of the Body of our Lord in the face of all this Catholic Churchmen might be tempted to despond were it not for our faith in the Divine Ruler and Head of the Church and the remembrance of how similar and far greater difficulties and dangers have been surmounted in the past. Let me remind you (to quote from the Rev S Baring-Gould's Church Revival) that within the lifetime of some of us present, Dr Arnold, of Rugby, ventured to propose that all sects should be united by Act of Parliament with the Church of England that some of the Prelates were then favourable to alterations in in the Liturgy with distinctly Protestant ten- dencies that pamphlets were in wide circula- tion recommending the abolition of the creeds (at least in public worship) especially urging the expulsion of the Athanaaian Creed the removal of all mention of the Blessed Trinity, of the doctrine of Baptismal Regenera- tion and of the practice of Absolution, while the grossest Erastianism prevailed among all classes of politicians. I say let me remind you of this but let me go further and let me recall to your recollection, or at least to some of you, what was the state of things even 45 years ago, when I first was a member of the E.C.U.—the persecu- tions and imprisonment of even moderate High Churchmen, guiltless of any worse crime than wearing a surplice in the pulpit, repeating the Invocation before the sermon and the prayer for the Church militant afterwards, perhaps with the additional offence of placing the symbol of our truth on the altv. If it cost me my see I will have that cross removed" cried one of the Bishops only half a century ago. Even to be a member of the E.C.U. made many look askance at you and I well remember a priest lamenting in the bitterness of his soul from the pulpit that we were assailed and caluminated with an amount of virulence, vindictiveness and vituperation altogether incredible. We may smile at the phraseology but it correctly describes the ani- mosity then generally felt against us and our practices. T' %(eneral l y felt against us an d our practices. The remembrance of these things may well make us wonder at the impatienc of our younger members who talk or seceding to Rome from chagrin that our progress has not been quicker or at the toleration shown to men w hose grasp on the fundamentals of the Christian Truth is more than doubtful. Rather do I thank God that I have lived to see the realization of so much that at one time was thought almost impossible. At the present moment there is not a diocese, there is hardly a town of any importance where those who wish for Catholic ceremonial cannot find it and not infrequently not only with the sanction but with the assistance (pontifically) of the Bishop of the Diocese. But while I, personally, delight in Catholic ritual as emphasised in the tnixed chalice, wafer bread, lights, vestments and incense the belief in Catholic doctrine is of far more concern than any amount of display of Catholic ritual, and I thank God still more that I have lived to see the Real Presence and the Eucharistic Sacrifice proclaimed to be the tenets of the Universal Church in all ages in thousands of Churches that hitherto have not adopted Catholic ritual, for Ritual is merely the outward expression of Catholic Faith. There is one paragraph in the report which I wish had been expressed somewhat differently. Some of you are probably aware that I take great interest in the scheme of Diocesan Finance upon which the report says that better than all assessments is direct personal inculcation on the faithful of the necessity of proportioning the amount given to religious and charitable objects with the amount of income. We cordially agree but we say that it is the work of the Clergy to inculcate this duty of giving proportionately to the power that each one possesses, while the Laity should undertake the main work of collection with more control on the administration of the funds. Exception is also taken to the method adopted in the apportionment of the parochial contributions, but it must be remembered that these are only suggestions for consideration between the elected members of each Deanery and the Rector and Churchwardens of each parish and must be modified if and as occasion requires. I cannot help feeling that we have not in the past sufficiently realized our responsibilities to the Church as a whole and have, as a rule, been content to let our energies for the Church at home chiefly be eoD- fined to the parish in which we live. I believe that if we carry out in each diocese the recom- mendations of the Archbishops' Diocesan Finance scheme, greater interest will be aroused in the welfare of the Church and a wamaer response given to her needs, while the organisa- tion will be a potent factor to prevent Disestab- lishment, or prove of incalculable advantage should this evil unhappily be forced upon as. When I wrote these few remarks it was my intention briefly to refer to (1). The Disestab- lishment of the Church in Wales. (2). The teaching of the Church respecting Episcopacy and Catholic order. (3). The obligation to maintain the statements of the Christian Creeds. (4). The refusal on the part of certain bishops to license assistant curates but since then the anniversary of the English Church Union has been held and these subjects so ably considered, that I think the best course will be at the close of our meeting to read the resolutions then unanimously agreed to and to pass a resolution cordially endorsing them all. Mr Wilfred de Winton then gave an address on the "Present Position and Outlook," and moved the following resolution, whi.h was carried unanimously :— That this meeting, holding there is in principle no inconsistency between a national recognition of religion and the spiritual in- dependence of the Church, welcomes the appointmentby the Archhishops of Canterbury and York of a Committee to enquire what changes are advisable to secure in the rela- tions of Church and State a fuller expression of the spiritual autonomy of the Church) as well as the national recognition of religion." After a cordial vote of thanks having been aocorded to bhe speaker, the resolutions referred to by the President were read and unanimously agreed to. They were as follows "That this District Union re-affirms its posi- tion of uncompromising opposition to the Welsh Disestablishment Bill, especially as regards the pretensed dismemberment of the Synod of the Province of Canterbury, and the provisions for what amounts to re-estabiialnneiit on a parlia- mentary basis as well as in regard to the unjust confiscation of the endowments of the Welsh Dioceses and the appropriation of a large pro- portion of the same to secular uses." That this District Union, understanding that certain Bishops have recently adopted the practice of refusing to license assistant curates in parishes where the incumbent adheres to certain Catholic usages, respectfully protests that such policy is ultra vires, and is inequitable as tend- ing to penalize the parishioners and not the incumbent for his alleged offence, and to cripple the spiritual work of the parish." That this District Union begs leave respect- fully to thank the Bishop of London for the action taken by him in the Sacred Synod of the Province regarding the obligation of the clergy to maintain and set forth the fundamental statements of the Christian Creeds." "That this Meeting declares its adherence to the traditional teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, which shows that Apostolic succession and episcopal ordination are necessary for the existence and continuance of a valid ministry of the Word and Sacraments."

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