SOUTHPORT HIGH SCHOOL
ACQUIRED BY SYNOD.
RELIGIOUS HABITS OF
A DRASTIC REPORT.
WHITE BUSH HEATHEN.- DULL CHURCH SERVICES.
The sittings of the Anglican Synod were resumel at 6p.m. yesterday, in the Albert Hall, the Right Rev. Dr. Donaldson (Arch- bishop of Brisbane) in the chaiir. The Bishop of North Queensland (Dr. Frod- sham), who was present, was accorded a seat on the ¡platform.
Mr. P. A. Blundell, moved,-"That it is desirable, in the interests of the Church in this diocese, to acquire by purchase the property, goodwill, and undertaking of the Southport High School for Boys; and that it he an instruction to tihe Dio- cesan Council to enter into negotiation» with the Rev. H. H. Dixon with a view to concluding an agreement with him whereby Synod may gradually secure pio prietary rights in the said school." Ha outlined the negotiations -that had taken place, and referred to the prosperous oom ' dition of tlie school, and arts progressive growth. The sum to be paid for the Behool building, goodwill, &c, was £6000, of this amount £1000 was to he ¡paid in cash, and the balance iby aUocaioon of the annual profits of the school on «Hh« follow^ ing basis :-The first charge on tihe profits to be a salary to the head master of not less taiam £500 a year, £200 -per annum to be credited to a sinking fund, and tha profits over and above that to be equally divided -between «tilie Synod and Mr. Dixon, hi»- maximum salary not to exceed £800, and anyy surplus to he credited to the re- duction of the capital. Such a school, lie thought, would be most valuable m affording a desirable education for their youth. It would be conximued without any change in the present management.
Mr. E. W. Walker seconded the motion, seating that the offer was something in
the nature of a Raft.
Canon T. Jones suggested that ithc £1000 should be raised 'by debentures.
Mr. ¡Blundell sadd the idea of Ujabenturea had hcen considered and discarded.
The President explained, at this stage, that the report of the comimititee, who conferred with Mr. Dixon, Iliad been adopted iby the Diocesan Council. '
Mr. J. Shirley said that the thought every one was in favour of the Church having its own thigh sáiool. There were some points to be kept in mind.. The first was that all secondary education de- pended to a Very S"^1 extent on the »tate of the wctit'bcr-on the prosperity of the State. Tihe second was as to whether it, was pi-ssiblo for 'Mr. Dixon, under any circumstances, to resign, and the bargain
still hold sood.
The President stated in reply to the second ouc-ation that he had Mr. Dixons assurance that he would remain in thc< school as long aB he was permitted, aB he looked upon, it as his life work.
Mr. Blundell, in reference to the first point raised, pointed out tttiat the school had already passed successfully through
a severe drought.
The motion was then carried unani- mously. ,
The follow-in;! motions were agreed to: Bv the Archdeacon of Toowoomba "T/iat this Svnod records 'its apprecia- tion of the ability and courtesy shown by the Ven. the Archdeacon cf Brisbane during his administration of the diocese «hiring the absence of the Archbishop.
By tlie Archdeacon of Toowoomba "That this Svnoci notices with regret that I he Eisteddfod committee arranged for competitions to bo held on Good Fri- day, in Gympie, and is pleased tint every care will be taken at the Ipswich, com- petition to respect that day."
By the Archdeacon of Toowoomba-" "That the Yen. Archdeacon (Le Fanu, 'Rev. J. W. Ashton, Mr. A. L. Dawson, and Mr. R. M. Chapman be appointed members cf the Home Mission Fund Com. mitUe."
By [the Rev. T. L. II. .Tenkyn-''That the following be the representatives of th«
diocese cf Brisbane in tile Provincial - Synod of 1909 :-The Archdeacon of Bris-, bane, Wie Archdeacon <K Toowoomba, Rev. Canon Osborn, Rev. T. Ashburner, Mei-=n>. Arthur Foc7, R. ¡M. Chaipman, A, L. [Dawson, F. W. IS. Cumbrae Stewart."
By "the Rev. Canon .Tones-" That, in view of the sadly unsatisfactory report of tim Board of 'Missions, -this Synod putt* on record its estreme disappointment that the Church in the diocese had not risen more earnestly to missionary claims, and would press on the Diocesan Council to take care that niissionuiy claims be moro
?imperatively and (frequently impressed! '
It was lesolved on the motion of Mr. Shirley, seconded by Mr. Briggs, that Synod place on ia cord the loss it had sus- tained by the death of Mr. Thos. Kidd,
The Synod then adjourned until 3.30 p.m. on the following day.
The report of the commission appointed by Synod in 1907 to inquire into the re- ligious knowledge and habits of the people of the diocese was circulated. It stated that information had been sought and ob- tained in every part of the diocese, both from clergy and laity, and was of the utmost value. The population of the diocese was estimated at 350,000, of which 37 per cent, were members of the Church of England, and church accommoda- tion was provided for only 23,000, or 18 per cent. The attendance, reckoned liberally, averaged two-thirds of the ac- commodation, or 15,000. The statistics showed that the numbers on the Sunday school rolls were diminishing, and the number of teachers was also smaller, but too much reliance must not be placed on the figures on account of the incomplete- ness of the returns. The average attend- ance of scholars had slightly increased. The replies sent in by the clergy indicated that the church attendance in the city and suburbs was fair, and generally better in the evening than in the morning, the proportion of women being 75 per cent. In country towns the attendance was fair, about the same proportion of men and women. In the bush and outlying dis- tricts the attendance seemed to be most erratic and fluctuating, ,the proportion of men to women being much closer than in the city and towns. Many reasons were given for the fluctuating attendance. In some districts, especiallv dairying, the ordinary work of the week was carried on. In others, especially amongst the men, the usual church hours were devoted to games, shooting and fishing expeditions, and many forms of gambling. The answers of the clergy regarding Sunday school at- tendance indicated that the Sunday school was not doing in a satisfactory man- ner the training of the children of the Church. It was a matter of grave con- cern that there was such a difficulty in obtaining capable teachers, and that the number of teachers was diminishing. As for religious knowledge among young people in city and suburbs, it was vague and most unsatisfactory, and there seemed to be a complete lack of any home teaching. With the majority the Bible was almost an unknown book, and with the mass the use of prayer was practi- cally non-existent. The religious knowledge cf children in the bush and outlying districts was lamentably poor, and the great majority of the children were growing up in complete ignorance of the truths of religion There was a grave danger lest the children of the bush should become white heathen. The clergy's statements as to the habits of the people showed that in all parts of the State Sun- day was not observed either as a day of worship or as a holy day. Private and family prayer were almost non-existent, and the Bible, as a rule, was almost an unused book. Tne Church was fairly sup- ported, but there was an absence of sys- tematic giving. Three special causes that interfered with the religious habits of the people were made painfully prominent in
replies. They were indifference, ignorance, and immorality, and there was an exis- tence of such a state of things as would, if allowed to continue, bring disaster, not only on the Church, but on the State generally. The replies ifrom the laity showed that Sunday was losing its hold upon the people. The special reasons stated for non-attendance at church were various, such as " the Church is out of touch with
the people," "services too dull and monot- onous," " too much exhortation from the ignorant to the ignorant." " great lack of .sympathy on the part of the clergy. The habit of reverence in church waa said to be fairly satisfactory. Special causes which interfered with the religious habit were cited as utter indifference, ignorance of the Bible, non-use of prayer, the need of goodexample. There was a very ???
eral use of Jitoratupe, mrhioh was having a very harmful effect on both young and adults. The desire for pleasure was most rominent, and was undoubtedly a great .indrance to the religious habit, and the Church, by giving countenance to so many forms of amusement, was an offender. AA'-hile sho was continually runnine; sliovvs, entertainments, dances, card parties, &c, for the purpose of raising funds, would it (be surprising that people were led into extravagances in that direction 1 The Commission, in summarising the replies, noted with surprise that certain features had been insulficáenitly emphasised, such as the decay of family life, the sense of parental rcspinsi' .bility. and _ the loss df reverence
for the marriage tie. It was evident lhere was a need for a great spiritual revival. The recommendations of the Commission were as follows :-1. That Bteps be at once taken to have the statistics of the Church
placed upon a proper basis, and to have
them made accurate and reliable. 2. That, i with a view of maintaining the family life as the best school of moral and spiri- tual character, branches of the Mothers' Union be started throughout the diocese. 3. That with a view of increasing tha efficiency of Sunday schools it ia desirable that conferences of Sunday school teachers be held in al] Hie large centres of popula ' tion. 4. That far greater and more wide-
spread efforts be made by clergy and laity alike to use the opportunities offered for teaching the children in day' teliools outside school hours. 5. Tint more use be made by the Church of the ministry of women as sisters, whose chief work would be lo minister specially to the Bick, the degraded, and the fallen. 0. That, with a viejv to further mission work, it is desirable to form centres for social intercourse nnd religious instruction in the more populated districts. 7. »The Commission desires heartily to recommend the Church of England Men's .Society as a bond to bind men together in the re- ligious life, and as a missionary force to witness among .the indifferent. 8. AVitli a view to the encouragement of purity amongst men the Commission begs ear- nestly to recommend the formation of branches of the AVbite Cross League.