CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Letter from the Lord Bishop of Australia to
the Secretaries of the Diocesan Committee. GENTLEMEN, In continuation of those Letters which, at the request of the Com- mittee, I have been accustomed annually lt address to you, containing accounts of the principal transactions connected with the in- terests of the Church which had occurred duringthe year, I beg to forward the fol- lowing communication. The events which I have to notice have been fewer than ordi- nary, in consequence of the interruption of my procedings arising from the decision of Government that no additional clergymen
should be provided with passages to the colony at the public charge. But for the arrival of the Rev. Francis Vidal, who came out at his own expense, and of Messrs. George Vidal and C. C. Kemp who did the like, and whom I have since admitted so Holy Orders, the Churches which those gentlemen are res- pectfully serving must have been closed, and the Districts attached to them have been left destitute of the ordinances ol' religion. If indeed, it had been proposed by us to intr0- duce a disproportionate number of clergymen, or to encroach unfairly upon the conditions under which the Act of Council, commonly called the Church Act, provides for their establishment, it could not have been felt as injurious or unjust that the Goverment
should hesitate or refuse to grant any further aid. But under the circumstances which do exist, I cannot bring myself to think or to say that the Church of England has been equitably dealt with, or the religjous instruc- tion of its Members duly provided for. At this time there are no more than thirty-eight clergyman (including the three already named) to fulfil the duties to so many thou- sand souls scattered over the vast tract of country of Port Phillip to Port Macquarie ;
and I cannot refrain from observing that, while so serious an obstacle is thus opposed urgently required, I am aware of in- stances in which the public funds have been granted under the Church Act where there existed not the slightest grounds to justify such an application. To shew more plainly the hardship of our position, it may suffice to mention that during the past year I have consecrated four Churches, St.
James's at Morpeth, St. Bartholomew's at Prospect, St. John the Baptist's at Mudgee, and St. Peter's at Richmond ; but have been unable to provide a clergyman for any of them except the second, it is impossible to close my eyes to the evils attendant on this state of things, both as regards those parti- cular places, which are thus left destitute ; and more extensively, as the knowledge of these circumstances tends to discourage the inhabitants in other situations from making exertions or endeavours on their own behalf. They perceive that others who have done so derive no benefit. Such a feeling is easily pro- pagated ; and thus the determination of Go- vernment not only blights the promise of a harvest in the spot which it first affects, but ex- erts a withering influence by rellection through a much more extended circle.
During the interval to which I am now re-
ferring, the Churches of St. Mark at Appin, of St. Saviour at Goulburn, and of St. P'eter at East Maitland, have been opened under License for the solemnization of Divine Ser- vice, until they can be duly consecrated. The temporary Churches at Yass, Raymond Terrace, and Bungonia have also been opened under License ; and likewise I the new School- rooms at East Gosford and at the River Culo. In addition to the Churches already enumerated, those at West Maitland and Scone have made some progress towards completion ; and at Camden and Cobbity very
rapid advances have taken place in the build- ings. The latter Church indeed I have rea- son to hope will be ready for consecration before the close of the present year. The Church at Duntroon, near Queanbeyan, is also in a forward state. The Churches at Wollongong and Ashfield, appear to be en- tirely at a stand ; and at Paterson nothing has yet been done. St. Thomas's at Port Macquarie has been thoroughly repaired, partly at the expense of the inhabitants, and partly from the funds advanced by me from the Grants of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The same funds have been appropriated in each separate instance of Church-building above enumerated, with the exception only of Duntroon and Morpeth, which have hitherto proceeded through the unassisted efforts of Robert Campbell, Esq., M.C., and of E. C. Close, Esq. The Par- sonage House at Nelson's Reach on the Hawkesbury, is completed and occupied hy the resident clergyman ; having been erected at the joint expense of the Society and the Government, leaving the inhabitants to de vote their contributions altogether to the fabric of the Church which is in progress. The parsonage houses at Mudgee, Morpeth, and Raymond Terrace are near completion ;
at Campelltown the building is roofed in ; and that at Penrith will shortly be so. The parsonage at Bungonia, though not quite finished, is inhabited by the incumbent ;
those at Scone and Hexham have been com-
pleted and occupied during the past year. To all of these, excepting Morpeth, grants have been made from the Incorporated So- ciety's Funds.
The principal excursion which I have un-
dertaken since I addressed the Committee last year, has been to the Western or Bathurst District. As there is a numerous gang of convicts situated at Twenty-mile- hollow for the improvement of the road, I made an arrangement in passing by the place that they should be visited monthly by the clergyman from Castlereagh, which has since been carried into effect. At Hartley and its neighbourhood in the Vale of Clwydd there is a considerable population, principally be- longing to the Church of England. Great anxiety was expressed to obtain the advan- tage of having a resident clergyman; and with a view of giving encouragement to this disposition I made an arrangement to officiate there on my return route from Bathurst, which I did accordingly on the 23rd May, and all preliminary proceedings were then taken towards erecting a Church and clergy- man's residence. It is, however, a very sin- gular as well as discouraging circumstance that in this, as in other instances, all this apparent anxiety terminates with my visit. The promised contributions I have reason to fear have not been raised, and from the date above mentioned to the present no commu- nication whatever has been received by me
from any quarter connected with the subject
of this Church. The same observation must
be extended to the township of Bathurst, where a Meeting was held ; at which (it being the conclusion of the Assizes) I had the benefit of the able support and assistance of Mr. Justice Burtonjand of the Sheriff, our Secretary Mr. Macquoid. But the Resolu- tions agreed to on that occasion have never been acted upon ; and I greatly fear that a large town and an Assize town (as Bathurst is) must still remain without the appendage of a Church, and unimproved by the resi- dence of a clergyman. At Kelso, the town- ship adjoining Batlnrst, the tower of the Church had been most seriously damaged by lightning, und was indeed almost in a falling state. The parsonage house also is in a most shattered and delapidated condition. But I am gratified in saying that through the exer- tion and influence of the resident clergyman (the Rev. C. Woodward) the Church has been thoroughly repaired and restored ; and the parsonage very much improved. The inha- bitants have contributed to some extent, and, the case being urgent, I felt myself autho- rized to bestow the sum of £200 from the funds of the Society.
The past year, therefore, has not been altogether deficient in symptoms of advance- ment, although the general diminution of incomes and resources during that interval has arrested many undertakings which previously had appeared to be in a pro- mising and forward condition. The re- sources of the Diocesan Committee have
also partaken so much of the general depression, as necessarily to occasion its assistance to be granted upon a much more limited scale than heretofore to the many oommendable objects, for the pro- motion of which its funds are collected. I
must, however, express my confidence that when the pressure of pecuniary distress com- pels so many to a reduction of expenditure, they will, not fix upon the portion of the
Church at the first item upon which a saving shall be eflected, but will rather have recourse to retrenchment in every other possible way before they determine on contributing less than heretofore to the all-important objects of promoting religion and encouraging religious education. Upon the latter point I wish to apprise the Committee, that through the "mmiiicent aid of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, I have been enabled to conplcte the St. James's Grammar School, the foundation of which I reported on the last anniversary, had been recently laid. This event I consider as the most important, looking to its probable consequences, which I have ever yet had occasion to report to the Committee. Having made application to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to appoint a duly qualified master, I trust it may be in my power shortly to commence here a course of sound elementary education, which,
as the wants of the Colony increase, may be continually extended and improved, until it shall form a due preliminary qualification for proceeding to the Studies ol' an University. My intention is that the St. James's Grammar School, though not Collegiate, should always be regarded as introductory to an institution of higher pretensions ; and it will accordingly
be a fundamental rule of the establishment now to be formed, that a small annual pay- ment shall be made by each pupil towards an accumulating fund, which will gradually repay the sum expended in the erection of the pre- sent bunding ; and the same will then be ap- propriated towards the foundation of a Col- lege. Several years in my opinion must pass before any institution of that kind can be needed here or would meet with effectual
support. lndeed, it must strike every ob- servant individual that the distinction be-
tween a School and a College is not sufficiently understood. The one is designed to impart a knowledge of the grammatical and elementary parts of learningand science, and to encour- age in the higher classes some essays in the art of original coniiosition ; in the other, that is in the College or University, full scope is given to critical and philosophical inquiry, and for the exorcist and application of that acquaintance with elementary rules to which it is the proper business of a school to train the mind. We cannot but augur very un- favourably for the interests of sound learning in this community, if ths distinction be not attended to ; that is, ¡f an attempt be made to pass on to the higher departments of learn- ing, without going through a due previous training in the proper business of the lower classes ; or if students are encouraged to plume themselves upon a supposed proficiency in academical studies, while they have in fact scarcely made any advance worthy to be mentioned beyond the ordinary elements of school-house learning.
Having thus stated the principles upon which alone, I am satisfied after the most careful reflection, a useful system of public education can be conducted here, or indeed in any other place, I am gratified in being able to communicate the prospect, so far as at present visible, which we have of carrying
the design into complete execution. The late Mr. Thomas Moore of Liverpool, by his last will and testament, dated 10th March,
1840, has bequeathed his house and premises in that town with the allotment of ground annexed thereto, containing from four to five acres, to be held in trust for ever as the site
of a College, to be termed Moore's College,
and to be instituted and conducted in accord- ance with the principles of the Reformed Protestant Church of England, as it is now by law established. Towards the endowment and support of the same, 730 acres of land are
further appropriated by the testator. The
rents arising from those lands will be laid out to accumulate, until the period shall arrive at which it shall be thought desirable to pro- ceed with the erection of the College build-
ings. In furtherance of the same design it
is intended, as has been already noticed, that the sum expended in the erection of the Grammar School shall be gradually replaced by means of a very small annual charge upon each boy educated therein ; the entire amount being ultimately applicable to the erection of the College, in fulfilment of the intention of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, by which the money was provided. The Rev. Dr. Warneford has also munificently appropriated the sum of .C1,000 towards the erection of a College in New South Wales, and has annexed to his donation such con- ditions only as will admit of its application, in due season, to the establishment of Moore's College. This latter gift has been placed at interest under the charge ol' the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to accumulate until it can be beneficially employed upon the intended purpose. In connection^ with this subject, this may be a proper occasion to communicate to the Members of the Diocesan Committee, that in addition to the bequest herein already referred to, mid to many other nets of liberality during his life time, for the promotion of works of piety and charity, Mr. Moore has disposed of his whole property (calculated at between £'10,000 and .£18,000) for purposes of like nature :-viz., in four equal proportions; 1st, to augment the sti- pends of clergymen whose income shall be less than £400 per annum; 2nd, to aid in forming a fund to afford relief to the widows and orphans of the clergy ; 3rd, to grant small annual pensions to aged persons of good character in necessitous circumstances, being members of the Church of England ; and 4th, to benefit the funds of the Diocesan Committee. The property is directed by the will to he wholly invested in land ; the Exe- cutors and Trustees being the Bishop of Aus- tralia, Alex. Macleay, and Robert Campbell, Jun., Esqrs. Previously to the next annual meeting there is every reason to hope that they will he prepared to submit a more com- plete statement of the manner in which they have proceeded to execute this trust in ac-
cordance with the intentions of the bene- volent testator.
I remain, Gentlemen,
Your very faithful Servant,
W. G. AUSTRALIA.
Sydney, Oct. 1, 1841.