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BARRY FREE CHURCH COUNCIL AND THE EDUCATION ACT. LOCAL ADMINISTRATION TO BE j VIGOROUSLY RESISTED. CONSIDERATION OF A PLAN OF CAMPAIGN. WILL NOT PAY THE RATE FOR DENOMI- NATIONAL PURPOSES. DISTRAINT OR IMPRISONMENT IN PREFERENCE. STRONG VIEWS BY A CARDIFF MINISTER. Judging from the tone of feeling which pre- vailed at the quarterly meeting of the Barry Free Church Council, held at Bethel Presbyterian Chapel. Court-road, Cadoxton, on Friday evening last, a period of excitement will shortly be entered upon in connection with the local administration of the new Education Act, many of the leading Nonconformists of the town, pledged to a policy of passive resistance, being determined to refuse payment of any portion of the Poor Rate which may be utilised towards the maintenance of the local Roman Catholic School. There was a repre- sentative attendance at the meeting, and the Rev Aaron Davies, D,D., the president of the Council, occupied the chair, the principal item on the agenda being an address on Passive Resistance," delivered by the Rev G. Cooper Hawken, of Cardiff, EDITORSHIP OF THE MAGAZINE. The Rev D. Lee Cann having resigned the editorship of the Barry Free Church Magazine, in consequence of his forthcoming departure from the district, a hearty vote of thanks was acoorded to the rev. gentleman for the valuable services which he had rendered, and the Rev W. Williams was appointed to fill the vacancy. THE BIBLE CHRISTIAN DISTRICT MEETING. The President, Rev J. Mydyr Evans (secretary), Rev T. Pandy John, Rev J. Ibbotson, Rev J. Jeffrey, and the Rev Peter Kay were appointed as deputation to welcome the District Meeting of the Bible Christian Connexion to the town on the 25th of June. FINANCE. Mr J. Meikle, the treasurer, intimated that there were several accounts to meet, and he asked the churches to send in their subscriptions. Mr J. Hayes, the magazine treasurer, also appealed to the churches to take a deeper interest in the sale of the magazine, and endeavour to increase its circulation. THE PROPOSED GIRLS' GUILD. Rev J. Mydyr Evans reported that a strong committee of ladies had met and considered the question of starting a Girls' Guild in the town. To inaugurate the movement in a fitting manner they would require about £15 to procure furniture, and a shop or house in Holton-road, at a rental of not more than £20 per annum. The Executive and the Ladies' Committee were appointed to consider ways and means of raising funds for the successful carrying out of the proposed work. OPEN-AIR MEETINGS. It was announced that the Sunday Evening Open-Air Meetings under the auspices of the Council would commence on the 14th instant. PASSIVE RESISTANCE OF THE EDUCATION ACT. The Rev G. Cooper Hawken then proceeded to deliver a 'stirring and impassioned address on the subject of "Passive Resistance," in the hope, he said, of inspiring the members of the Free Churches of the town to act, and to act with determination, in the matter of the Education Act. The time for action had arrived. The key note had been struck at the Convention held last week at Cardiff. The conference was the finest that had ever been held in Wales, and for Wales to be at its best meant that the conference was deeply and intensely religious. Action was necessary and urgent; in fact, it had already begun. Mr Holt, one of Manchester's finest sons, had resigned his position on the Manchester City Council as a p-oce^t "gain t the administration of the Act, a course however which he considered was not a prudent one. The Isle of Wight Board of Guardians had also refused to levy that portion of the rate required for the administration of the Act. Becknor and Wordsworth too were towns that would go down in history for their action in the matter. Passive resistance was no longer merely in the air it had already gone into the law courts, but whether justice would be administered there or not would be quite another thing. He knew the grit and stuff of which Welshmen were character- istic, and he knew too that they, would not forsake their country or their God in the fight before them. Nonconformists on the Barry District Council would have an opportunity of resigning their positions rather than administer an Act which they did not conscientiously agree with. These were the first-fruits of an abundant harvest which was in store, and he hoped Mr Balfour and his friends would enjoy the reaping of that harvest. Mr Balfour did not seem to relish the sowing of the seed, and he believed he would have less cause for enjoying the reaping. Mr Balfour would, he thought, soon be wishing he went to the South African veldt instead of Joseph, and remained there. Theirs was a deliberate and conscientious rebellion against a pernicious Act of the Govern- ment. and it was now for every man and woman- for it was a question for both sexes-to determine what action they should take to resist its opera- tions. They must be on one side or the other in the fray. This fight, for this was what it had come to be, was not a fight of their own choosing or liking. They did not want to fight, but it had been forced upon them for the same reason that made Archbishop Laud cut off the ears and slit open the noses of their protesting forefathers. The very life and breath of Noncon- formity, it seemed, polluted the incensed atmos- phere of the Anglican Communion. For them to cross the threshold of an Evangelical Church, be it even the City Temple, was for them to pollute themselves, and it was time for Nonconformists to face these facts. Anglicans could not tolerate Nonconformists, and if they were true to their faith they dared not. They were acting according to their consciences, and may God help them both. They had tried to work side by side with the Church, but their views as to the relations of the State so widely and essentially differed. The battle before them, therefore, must be fought out vigorously, and the sooner it was done the better. vigorously, and the sooner it was done the better. They must look at themselves as others saw them. The true Anglican sought to get rid of Nonconfor- mity at whatever cost. Their duty, therefore, was plain. It was a great pity that they found themselves obliged to fight against the Church, with her scholars and saintly men, when they remembered that they had long stood side by side with one another in fighting such common foes as drink and gambling. It was a great pity that some concordat could not be arrived at whereby they could work harmoniously together again But now, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Nonconformists were called upon to fight for their liberties, the same as they had done during the reign of the Stewarts, and when Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury, for this Act was similar to the Schism Act which almost plunged England into a civil war, which was only averted by the death of Queen Anne. That was an Act intended to prevent Nonconformists from being tutors and teachers. He hoped all realised the deep gravity of the New Education Act. It was an alliance between the Tories and the Romanists similar to the alliance which took place between them when Philip of Spain sought the band of Mary of England. It was a monstrous and intolerable alliance. They had no desire to raise the cry of No Popery "without due cause, but it was his firm conviction that Protestantism was being- menaced, and its existence endangered. (Cheers.) The Pope, Mr Hawken said, would have a, new lease of life when he saw the homes of the Protestants of England being sold up by Protestants. The Romanists had strange friends when they had men like Dr Reid and Dr Wallace, of the Wesleyan Con- nexion, singing praises over the passing of the Education Act. Their position as Free Church- men, however, was not as grave as it was hoped by some it was. In London it was thought that the strength of Nonconformists was inconsiderable because they had been unable to prevent the passing of the Education Act. Now it was for the Free Churches to demonstrate their strength. He should like to remind the meeting of the principal objections to the Act. They objected to the Act because it gave the Anglican and Roman priests control over schools the money for the manage- ment of which was provided by the whole body of ratepayers. Why should the Roman Catholics have a voice in the control of the seven Board Schools in the district ? The Roman Catholic priest had been appointed on the Barry Education Authority, and why should he have been appointed? Why did he not go to the poll? Was not a stronger Roman Catholic than he beaten at the poll ? Why did they not elect a Methodist minister on the body ? Surely he had the same right to be elected as the Roman Catholic priest. When the clerical party contested a seat they always came out at the bottom of the poll, and he considered the Educa- tion Act of 1902 was a cleverly devised scheme to give the Romanists seats on the authority. At Widnes the authority, which was composed of twenty members, could only boast of two Non- conformists, for there the Church party, the Roman Catholics, and the brewers agreed together to defeat the Nonconformists. The peoples' schools were being made to pass more and more under priestly control. He (Mr Hawken) would suggest the appointment of a Vigilance Com- mittee to watch the work of the Education Com- mittee. By the passing of this Act 15,000 appoint- ments would be closed against Nonconformists. Out of 45 training colleges, 37 were sectarian. The Act compelled the people to pay for the teach- ing of doctrines to which they conscien- tiously objected. All the ratepayers of Barry were contributing something towards the promulgation of Roman Catholic teaching, and in matters of principle there was no difference between a pound and a penny. It was a system of teaching the young which had brought this country down to the lowest level of the countries of Europe. In Wales alone there were 700 schools belonging to Roman Catholics and the Church of England, to which Nonconformists would be com- pelled to send their children. The reason for this was that the people had accepted these schools instead of fighting for the continuance of Board Schools. Mr Balfour had said that there had been but little proslefcysing in these schools, and that they were wrong when they said they were making little Catholics of Nonconformists. But some of them had only to look to their own families for many such instances. The Education Act, he trusted, would as a force be brought to the front, and made a test question at every election. At Barry they had been too fast for the Lloyd George scheme, though perhaps they had not gone too fast for the Roman Catholics. As Nonconformists they would refuse to pay that portion of the Education Rate which was applied towards the support of voluntary schools. They did not intend to stand behind the door with a big stick to meet the bailiff. To him it was rather a question of what could be done when he knew that his money would go towards the teaching of that which was absolutely false. Luther did not say I will," or I won't." He said I can no other and it was the same with them. Knowing as they did they could not conscientiously pay this rate. He would not coerce anyone. If they could conscientiously pay the rate let them do so. By refusing to pay the Education Rate they would be perhaps breaking the law. So had Mr Balfour for furiously riding his motor car, and he was encouraging others to do likewise. John Bunyan did not think he was breaking the law by resisting the law. If they were breaking the law they were in good company. They should consider whether they were breaking the law of God by breaking a law which compeiled the enforcement of an obnoxious Education Act. There were many in the churches who would rather die than deny their God, and this being so they should seriously consider whether the law of the land violated the law of God. He prayed that God would rightly guide the Council in their deliberations. (Cheers). Mr S. R. Jones proposed, and the Rev T. Pandy John seconded, a vote of thanks to the Rev Cooper Hawken for his address, The Chairman suggested that the Council should pass a resolution similar to the following That inasmuch as the Education Act of 1902 violates the principles of public control and public expenditure, subjects teachers in elementary schools, supported out of the public funds, to I sectarian tests before appointment, and imposes upon Councils and Education Authorities the duties of maintaining and keeping efficient the voluntary schools, whilst denying to such authorities the means whereby such efficiency in each school can be maintained, this Council of the Free Churches of Barry rejoices in the policy adopted by the Welsh National Convention held at Cardiff on June 5th, 1903, and urges the Barry Urban District Council and Education Committee, in the administration of the Act and in fulfilment of their duties to the ratepayers, not to levy or apply in future any rate over which they do not exercise full control." Rev T. Pandy John agreed they should pass a strong resolution. In that suggested by the Chairman they had gone as far they could possibly go. If the rate had not been levied they could have worded a still stronger resolution. They did not wish to create disturb- ance, and assume a pugilistic attitude, but they were prepared, rather than pay the rate to go to Cardiff at the King's expense. There were, how- ever, many Nonconformists in this district who were wishy-washy." He was delighted with the letter written by Alderman J. C. Meggitt, which had appeared in the Barry Dock News, but he was sorry for the part played by the Chairman of the Barry Education Authority in denouncing his fellow Liberals in the way he did. He was also convinced that the Rev Father Byrne had not only captured a seat on the authority, but also the chairman of the committee. He was sorry the chairman did not use his casting-vote at the last meeting, but he trusted Miss Meredith would vote at the next meeting as a true Nonconformist. (Cheers.) Rev D. H, Williams, M.A., enquired whether it was absolutely necessary to spend the rate after it was levied ? The Chairman They are not bound to spend any money. On being put to the meeting, the resolution was unanimously agreed to. Mr S. R. Jones next moved that an open-air meeting be held, so that they could educate the people, many of whom did not know what was the meaning of the education rate. He had not paid his rate, neither did he intend to do so. This suggestion was also agreed to. and it was suggested to ask Mr W. Llewelyn Williams, B.A.L., and Mr Robert Bird to address the meeting. Rev Ben Evans suggested that a deputation wait upon the overseers of Barry and endeavour to induce them to accept the poor rate minus the amount levied for the up-keep of the Roman Catholic School. This recommendation the Council accepted, and the President, Rev D. H. Williams, Mr E. J. Thomas, and Mr James Cruise were appointed a deputation to wait upon the overseers (Mr J. A. Manaton, J.P., and Mr W, P. Phillips) on the following day. Rev William Williams asked if the action of the Education Committee at their last meeting, in refusing to fix the scale of salary for a teacher at the Roman Catholic School, was to pass unnoticed ? He had great pleasure in proposing the following resolution That we, the members of the Free Church Council of the Barry district, deeply regret the course followed by the Chairman of the Education Committee for this district in connection with putting in force the Education Act of 1902 and we emphatically condemn his action at the last meeting of the said committee, and the unjust and unwarrantable reflection he cast on Free Churchmen in suggesting persecution. We also thank the Free Churchmen on the Education Committee who defended our rights. Mr J. H. Edwards, secretary of the Barry Pro- testant 500, seconded, and the resolution, on being put to the meeting, was carried. Rev D. H. Williams considered that the Council should promote a Passive Resistance League." Rev Cooper Hawken and the Rev T. Pandy John pointed o^t that by doing this they would be placing themselves within the reach of the law of conspiracy. Rev D. H. Williams We should not be afraid of doing what is done in London and elsewhere. It was, however, decided to refer the matter to the executive for consideration. This concluded the meeting.


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