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THE WESLEYAN CONFERENCE.
Seventh Day: Wednesday, January 31.
JJy Kev. T. C. Lauhance —
'That the name of the 'Church Loan Fund' shall be altered to that of the * Church Debt Liquidation and Loan Fund.'' Bv Mr. J. W. Paesoxs —
' That it is desirable to employ Evangelists in jonnection with our Church, whenever practi :able, throughout this colony.' The Prince Alfred College Committee was reappointed the Educational Committee. The report of Prince Alfred College was taken as read, and adopted. The following resolution was adopted: — ' That the Conference rejoices in the continued success and prosperity of the Prince Alfred College, gratefully acknowledges the services of the . Committee of Management, and resolves that the following gentlemen be appointed for the ; coming year, viz^ — The Rev. S. Knight (President of the Conference), Honorary Pre sident of the College ; all the ministers of the district in full connection; the Hon. J. Carr, Hon. J. Colton, Messrs. G. W. Chinner, E. Clement, R. N. Gault, J. B. Hack, J. D. Hill, T. Johnson, M J\, J. H. Kaines, W. King, juu.. W. Longbottom, T. Padman, W. Rhodes, J. Scott, H. Thompson, G. W. Cotton, T. Anthony, S. Bray; E.- H. Butler, A. Catt, E.-Dsvey,- J. Drew, C. Drew, J. Dunn, jun., H. R. Hancock, R. Kelly, T. Moyse, D. Nock, MJP., J. Pointon, J. Pearce, G. Sara, J. Thompson, J. P. Moyle,T. Ninnes, E. Spicer, J. P. Swann, D. Howard, Dr. J. R. Stephens, M. Kingsborough, W. G. Coombs, R. Anderson, T. W. Wilkinson, H. Codd, J. IV. Parsons, W. F. Wincey, and J. D. Bone. Thanks were presented to the Rev. W. P. Wells, the Hon. President : Hon. J. Colton, the Treasurer ; and Mr. G. W. Cotton, the Secretary of the College, for their services; also to Mr. T. G. Waterhouse for his munificent gifts. The balance-sheet of the Home Mission Fund was read by the Treasurer, Rev. W. P.Weils.' The income was — From' Southern District, £663 0s. 10d.; Northern District, £241 18s. Id. ; Yorke's Peninsula District, £114 16s. 7d. Mr. Casely moved— 'That the Home Mission Committee be dispensed with for the future, and the fund be distributed at the Conference. The motion having been seconded, Mr. Wells suggested that the matter had better be referred to the Financial District Meeting. The Con ference could not do without tueir concurrence, especially as the proposed change would so seriously affect the most important part of their business. Mr. Casely expressed his willingness to accept the ex-President's suggestion. Mr. Lloyd pointed out that to distribute funds between all the circuits of the colony would consume more time than the fund itself was worth. He would suggest that the whole management of the fund should be revised, that, some better means than the existing plan might be adopted. Mr. WiTHiNaTON said the former plan, when the whole colony was one district, was exces sively cumbrous. The present arrangement was better than that, but it was possible some better means might yet be adopted. Mr. Burgess objected to any alteration being made in Mr. Casely's proposal. He hoped to see! it definitely negatived by the Conference. It amounted to asking the Financial District Meetings to commit suicide. They would never think of doing so, and it was not worth while for the Conference to submit such a proposition. The motion was negatived. Mr. LtOYD moved — 'That the Conference remit to the Financial District Meetings the question of how the Home Mission Fund Com mittee can be enlarged or better adapted to the work assigned it.' The motion was seconded, and carried. Alengthy and discursive coversationtook place on the affairs of the Home Mission Fund and the present method of its distribution. A recommendation from the Yorke's Peninsula District for the appointment of a Home Mission Secretary to be set apart was brought up by the Chairman of that district. He believed that if such a minister could be found to do for this colony what the Rev. J. Watsford was doing in Victoria- it wonld prove of very great advantage in many ways, and the income be largely increased. Mr. Carter seconded, remarking that if such an agent could visit the sheep stations when travelling about he would be gladly received. Mr. CDonnell said, the Victorian appoint ment was necessitated by the inauguration of a new scheme required by the withdrawal of the Government grant. It was a question if it would have been made even then had they not possessed just such a man as Mr. Watsford in their midst. The President said that in Victoria they had to make as a first charge on their fund the sum of £500, and in this colony they could neither afford the money nor the man. Mr. Campbell said that he did not expect the proposal would be carried that year. It would nave to come some day, and some of them thought it desirable to take time by the forelock. It was possible that they might com bine the offices of Book Steward, Connectional Editor, and Home Mission Secretary, which would be a most advantageous arrangement. The motion was lost. Several other suggestions were made, and eventually, on the motion of the ex-President, it was agreed that there should be one Home Mission Secretary, whose duties should be to prepare the business for the Allocation Com mittee, and the constitution of that Committee be otherwise unchanged. t was also resolved that a new clause be added as follows: — 'That no clause on the Home Mission Fund from any- circuit shall be recognised by the Home Mission Committee or the Financial District Meetings unless the circuit balance-sheet duly filled up and signed by at least one Circuit Steward shall be sent by the Superintendent of the Circuit through the Chairman of the District to the Home Mission Secretary one week prior to the assembling of the Home Mission Committee, provided that when the application is not for a circuit deficiency the resolution of the quarterly meeting, signed by the Circuit Stewards or the Superintendent of the Circuit, may be for warded instead of the balance-sheet.' The Hon. J. Colton, pursuant to notice, moved — 'That the division of the Northern District be reconsidered.' The motion was lost. The thanks of the Conference were presented to the Treasurers and Secretaries of the Home Mission Fund. The Rev. S. Knight and Hon. J. Colton were appointed Treasurers and the Rev. H. T. Burgess Secretary for the coming year. m The following gentlemen were appointed members of the Home Mission Fund Com mittee :-Hon. J. Carr, Hon. J. Colton, Messrs. J. Pearce, W. F. Wincey, C. Drew, T. Davis, A. Catt, and J. R. Kelly. . The regulations of the Home Mission Fond were read, and reaffirmed with the alterations indicated above. LOAN FUND. The accounts were presented by the Hon. J. Colton, and adopted. Mr. Laueanck moved the motion of which he had given notice. He said that the debts on their churches were one of their greatest diffi culties. There were many who would gladly assist in the formation of such a fund. Its effects would be to relieve their circuits of serious embarrassment. Mr. Parsons seconded, and referred parti cularly to the case of Church debts in the Mount Barker Circuit.
In the conversation that followed it was pointed out that the arguments used pointed to the creation of a new fund and not the mere alteration of a name. The motion was lost. Mr. Casely moved, pursuant to notice, to do away with the regulation requiring two-thirds of the cost of a church to be raised before a loan can be obtained. He urged that in many in stances compliance with the regulation was impracticable, and that such cases were placed at a great disadvantage. * A lengthy conversation took place, in which several speakers urged that while the present regulation undoubtedly bore hard on particular cases, its effect on the general interest of the Church was extremely beneficial by preventing the accumulation of debt and inducing those who were concerned iu church-building enter prises to use every effort to meet the require ments of the connectional law. This law, it was argued, in the absence of the regulation pro posed to be repealed, would become a dead letter. Several members of the Conference expressed their willingness to have the amount of loan included in the two-thirds required to be raised, it appearing that rigid compliance with the present regulation would in many instances prove fatal to church extension ; but no resolu tion was adopted. Mr. Catt gave notice of a motion to substi tute 'one-half for 'two-thirds' in the Con ference law on the subject. Mr. Sttbbs moved— 'That every case of erection or enlargement of the church or par souage, where one-half has been raised, shall be entitled to assistance from the Loan Fund,' but the motion was negatived. Mr. Wells gave notice of a motion—' That the attention of the Home Mission Committee and the Financial District Meetings be called to the fact that the Treasurer of the Loan Fund will pay no loan unless he receive a written certificate from the Snperintendent of the Circuit in which the trust applying for the said loan is situated that the regulations of the Loan Fund have been faithfully observed.' The President presented an elaborate report prepared by himself at the request of the last Conference on the state of the Church property. It urged the necessity of connectional treatment of existing debts. A distinction was drawn between the trusts on which the residue of debt was oppressive and others which were liable to constitute connectional difficulty and required special consideration. It also recommended that the most urgent of the latter class should be dealt with for the next two or three years in an exceptional way, and without reference to any new applications. The number of churches in the colony was 193, with five in course of erection, and 22 parson ages. The total cost of churches had been £168,436, being an increase of £24,101; the cost of parsonages, £16,324; the total cost of property being £184,760. The total debt was £43,728, being 23 per cent, on the cost. In 1872 the per centage was 29 per cent. The Prince Alfred College had cost £14,063, and the debt was £2,772. The total amount raised for all purr poses during 1876 was £30,434. A cordial vote of thanks was presented to the Rev. S. Knight for his valuable report, and also for his services as custodian of deeds. Evening. ? The appointments of ministers were read a third time. The list as finally confirmed is as follows:—; , I. SOUTHERN DISTRICT. Adelaide (Pirie-street). — Samuel Knight Henry T. Burgess (Gilbert-street), Joseph Nicholson (Glenelg); James Bickford, Super numerary. . ? Adelaide (Archer-street). — James B. Stephen son, Charles Lane (Brompton). Adelaide (Kent Town and Norwood).— Wil- liam P. Wells, Charles T. Newman; T. Itaston, Hans Mack, Supernumeraries. Port Adelaide.— James Haslam. Gumeracha.— William T. Carter. Willunga.— George W. Patchell, M.A. Clarendon. — James Allen. Mount Barker — Thomas C. Laurance. Strathalbyn. — Benjamin G. Edwards. Yankalilla.-r-James Read. Mount Gambier. — Albert Stubbs. Narracoorte. — One requested. Goolwa. — George Lee. Port Lincoln.— John H. Trevorrow. Palmerston. — John D. Langsford. Samuel Knight, President of the Conference, Chairman of the District. II. MIDDLE DISTRICT. Gawler. — James Y. Simpson. Templers and Freeling. — Samuel F. Prior. Kapunda.— R. S. Casely. Angaston. — John Gillingham. Kooringa.— Robert W. Campbell. Clare. -David O'Donnell. Auburn. — Charles H. Goldsmith. Robert S. Casely, Chairman of the District. 111. NORTHERN DISTRICT. Melrose.— Thomas Edmeades. Blinman.— William H. Pollard. Broughton. — Joseph W. Clucas. Port Pirie.— Thomas E. Thotaas, B.A. Jamestown — Paul C. Thomas. Laura. — William A. Langsford. Yarcowie. — Walter H. Hanton. Port Augusta. — One requested. Thomas Edmeades, Chairman of the District. IV. — YORKE'S PENINSULA DISTRICT. Moonta. — Thomas Lloyd, William H. Rofe. Kadina and Wallaroo.— Samuel T. Withing ton. Port Wakefield.— Archibald J. Bogle. Yorketown. — Johnson James. Minlacowie. — Thomas M. Rowe. Maitland —Robert Kelly. Thomas Lloyd, Chairman of the District. V.— -WESTERN AUSTRALIA DISTRICT. Perth— William Lowe. York.— William Traylen. Geraldton.— William S. Worth. Albany. — One requested from England. William Lowe, Chairman of the District. The Jtlev. S. T. Withington, pursuant to notice, moved that the rule requiring five years to intervene between the election of a President and his re-election be rescinded. He thought, considering the comparatively few senior men there were in that Conference, such an alteration would prove necessary, and the present was a good time to make it. After a brief conversation, the motion was put and lost. ?