Distinguished Churchmen and Phases of Church Work/William Macdonald Sinclair
|←Richard Lewis||Distinguished Churchmen and Phases of Church Work by
William Macdonald Sinclair
THE ARCHDEACON OF LONDON
The Ven. William Macdonald Sinclair, D.D.
LONDON UNDER FOUR BISHOPS.
“Good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows.”
- Milton (Paradise Lost).
The Days of Youth—Early Bent for the Church—At Repton under Dr Pears—In Distinguished Company at Oxford: Liddon, Pusey and Jowett—Resident Chaplain to Dr Jackson—Parochial Work at Westminster—Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria—Archdeacon of London: Some of His Views—Prevailing Tone of Church Thought in the Seventies—Self-devotion and Earnestness of the Clergy—The Bishops: Dr Jackson, Dr Temple, Dr Creighton, Dr Ingram—Changes at St Paul's—The Church not keeping Pace with the Growth of Population—Remarkable Statistics—About Thanksgiving and Memorial Services—Social Institutes—Poverty of the Clergy and the Dearth of Curates.
According to the last census returns, the population of London totalled a little over 4,536,000, showing the enormous increase of 308,000 when compared with the figures for 1891. Here we have indisputable proof of the rapid growth of the metropolis, and, although the idea may not have occurred to everyone with the same force, the author has deemed it of importance to ascertain how far the spiritual provision has kept pace with the continually-increasing needs of the people. It will be conceded a difficult task to find anyone as competent to speak on the subject as that distinguished Churchman, the Venerable Archdeacon of London, who for over a quarter of a century has been actively and prominently engaged in helping to promote the welfare of the Church in the greatest city in the world. In order that a comprehensive story might be presented, Archdeacon Sinclair was requested to review the doings of the Church in London under the last four Bishops—Dr Jackson, Dr Temple, Dr Creighton and Dr Ingram—with all of whom he has served; and what he says, in compliance with that request, makes interesting reading.
But a few facts about the Archdeacon, in the first place. Where, it may be asked, shall we find a more familiar figure? Among preachers of the day, it is well within the mark to say that Dr Sinclair stands in the first rank, with the reputation of being among the few able to make themselves distinctly heard by the vast congregations at St Paul's; and one needs but to look down the lists of societies whose objects are philanthropy and social amelioration to be convinced that most movements for good in the age find in him an influential and vigorous supporter. To the writer's mind there is vividly recalled a great gathering held at the Alexandra Palace some eighteen months ago—a gathering which, perhaps, constituted the nearest approach to the joining of hands across the sea and to reunion among the Churches ever witnessed. It was called the World's Convention, and, arranged under the auspices of the Christian Endeavour Society, many hundreds of Americans had braved a voyage across the Atlantic on purpose to be present. Altogether, there were full 50,000 people about the Palace on that (the special) day. The mass meeting was for the reception of messages from the Churches, and side by side upon the platform there sat such well-known representatives of the great denominations of Protestant Christendom as the late Bishop of London and Dr Parker, Mr Hugh Price Hughes and the Rev. J. G. Greenhough (ex-President of the Baptist Union), the Rev. W. Watson (of the Presbyterian Church) and Dr Clark (the American Founder of the Christian Endeavour Movement), the Rev. F. B. Meyer and Mr Charles Sheldon, and others. All the representative men spoke well and with fraternal feeling, Dr Creighton being particularly happy in conveying the hearty sympathy of London Churchmen and in driving home the value of Christlike temper among men. But the keynote of the meeting was the most aptly struck by the Bishop's colleague (Dr Sinclair) in a telegraphic message breathing the essence of Bible teaching: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; may all be one flock, under one Shepherd. Welcome to the Motherland. May this visit remind us all of the essentials of religion—Faith, Hope and Charity.” It was a striking message, and, to judge by the reception accorded, it found a billet in every heart. But the message was only typical of the man. It is this same broadness of mind—or sympathy, if you will—added to his remarkable personality and a spirit of comradeship such as few distinguished men display, which makes the Archdeacon of London's presence welcome wherever he goes. His friends are legion, and his diary of engagements would appal any man devoid of real enthusiasm and great capacity for downright hard work.
Like the Archbishop of York (Dr Maclagan), Dr Sinclair is a Scotsman, his father having been the son of the Right Hon. Sir John Sinclair, M.P. for Caithness, by his marriage with the daughter of Lord Macdonald (of the Isles). It was while the father had charge of St George's, Leeds, that the future Archdeacon was born—in 1850—and he lived at Leeds for six years. Few changes could be more marked than that experienced on the removal to rural Sussex, to which county the father was called to fill the Rectory of Pulborough, long before Pulborough became anything like the up-to-date place it is to-day. Of those early days the Archdeacon treasures the pleasantest recollections. “There were seven of us children, and few could have had a happier home,” he once told the readers of the Sunday Companion. “We had the kindest, wisest and best of parents, whose influence was felt not only in the parish, but throughout that part of West Sussex. The highest ideal of duty was always held up to us, and the example of the father in dignity and wisdom, of the mother in ceaseless energy in doing good, were beyond the lot of most…. We were early taught to ride, and our parents supplied us with as many ponies as we wanted. To think of those long gallops over the springy turf of the South Downs brings back a keen relish after twenty-four years of life in the midst of London.”
Reared under such happy influences, there can be little wonder that the eldest of the family soon developed a bent for the Church. A desire to try for a scholarship at Eton was overcome by the wish of the parents, who, no doubt, acted wisely in placing their son under that famous headmaster, Dr Pears. Repton in those days was building up a reputation, now so long sustained, for producing men for the world of athletics. Young Sinclair must have been there when the Fords and Palairets, of cricket fame, were fast coming and going, and about the same time as the Archdeacons of Dorset and Macclesfield, who, like himself, were destined to be appointed to high positions in the Church at an early age. Another contemporary, most likely, was Canon Mason, the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.
From Repton, with religious impressions the more serious because of years of contact with Dr Pears, the youth proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford, with a scholarship, and, like a fellow-scholar, Mr Asquith, he rose to the noted office of President of the Oxford Union Society. Lord Milner, of Capetown, Lord Elgin, Sir Arthur Godley, Sir Henry Craik and Sir Robert Mowbray were all distinguished men of the same period. Liddon, Pusey and Jowett were the leading religious lights. Dr Liddon had lately completed his Bampton Lectures—at any rate, he was in full force; and Dr Pusey was still preaching occasionally from the University pulpit. Professor Jowett, who naturally took the place of leader of the Liberal party in religious thought, would be exercising a very large influence, while the Low Church section would be chiefly represented by men like Canon Christopher (who is still a power), Mr Chavasse (now Bishop of Liverpool), and Canon Linton. But Liddon and Jowett would probably be the two men most interested in the “rising hopes” of Oxford; and of young Sinclair it has been said that he was included among the privileged few to take walks abroad with them—proceedings singularly in accord with the fitness of things, as subsequent events in the life of their protégé were to prove. In passing, it may be said it was no slight testimony of the student's abiding love for exercise and open-air country life, that he used to cover the journeys from his father's home at Pulborough to Oxford, and vice-versâ, on horseback, a means of transit which, however slow and tedious to most folk, was wont to afford the Archdeacon of the future three days of intense delight.
London, even in those days, seemed to have a magnetic attraction for the young man. After taking his degree, its force impelled him to accept the curacy of Quebec Chapel under the Rev. Francis Holland, now Canon of Canterbury. He may be said, however, to have been early and fairly launched on the road to prominence in the Church when, in 1877, Dr Jackson selected him as Resident Chaplain at Fulham Palace. For ten years on, from 1880, he was Vicar of St Stephen's, Westminster, the beautiful church built by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, and his services had been requisitioned both as Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of London and as Chaplain-in-Ordinary to her late Majesty Queen Victoria, when, on the resignation of Archdeacon Gifford, Dr Temple again manifested his appreciation by calling him to the Archdeaconry of London, a post accompanied by a Canonry of St Paul's Cathedral. The new appointments brought Archdeacon Sinclair a tremendous amount of work, but, contrary to the general belief, only a comparatively nominal salary. As a matter of fact, the Archdeaconry carries with it no pay, and the Canonry which, like the others at St Paul's is set down in the reference books as being of £1000 in annual value, was for many years actually charged with the stipend of the Archdeacon of Middlesex. It was only through personal influence in Parliament that this anomaly was removed. Hence, it may be justly remarked that Archdeacon Sinclair's services were, to a large extent, given to the Church.
An Archdeacon's duties are numerous and responsible in any case, but in the metropolis they are particularly so. To say nothing of the minor duties, there are the four examinations for Orders during the year, and the admission of churchwardens to office annually, the latter involving the delivery of a charge. These annual charges have been made to cover a wide field, the Archdeacon having dealt with the following topics:—“Condition of the People”; “The Church, National and Catholic”; “The English Church and the Canon Law”; “The Ancient British Churches”; “Eastern Churches”; “Points at Issue between the Church of England and the Church of Rome”; “Church Courts”; and “The Duty of Archdeacons.”
It is pretty generally known that an Archdeacon has charge of the fabrics of the churches in the Archdeaconry, and that he has to send reports to the Bishop about their repair. Furthermore, he has, as far as possible, to visit all the parishes in the Archdeaconry, and to be sufficiently well acquainted with the clergy and churchwardens as to render reports to the Bishop about their work. In a sentence, an Archdeacon, by virtue of his position, becomes the Bishop's right hand.
Enough, perhaps, has been said to convince the reader that Archdeacon Sinclair is a man altogether above party spirit in matters affecting the Church. His preference is clearly to live in charity with all men. If one may go by his public utterances, he holds it to be a pity that the Church of England, with its strong historical position, should not be on terms of courtesy and kindness towards those who differ from her in Church government. He does not appear to think, however, that corporate re-union is at all likely, since each body of Nonconformity has a strong tradition and esprit de corps of its own. He thinks the encouragement of friendly relations and mutual co-operation in philanthropy generally would help to that end. To sum up the position of the Archdeacon, he does not go beyond the recommendations of the Bishops at the Lambeth Conferences in 1888 and 1897.
In social, as well as in religious circles, the Archdeacon is a prominent figure. Freemasons have valued him as one of the Grand Chaplains of England for the last eight years, and he has also been a Chaplain to the Order of St John of Jerusalem since 1900. He has made no secret of his belief that Freemasonry is closely associated with religion, and founded upon it; although, of course, he views its main object as not so much doctrinal, as social and philanthropic. So much is he impressed with the religious side, that he deems it to be a good thing for clergymen to become members of the craft, inasmuch as it might help them to know laymen more intimately. To put it concisely, the Archdeacon stands firm to the conviction that there is much by way of brotherliness and sociality in Masonry which Church congregations might emulate. He is also Chaplain to the 21st Middlesex Volunteers (the Finsbury Rifles), and joins their camp at the annual autumn training.
And then, again, in London, Archdeacon Sinclair does not forget his duties as a member of one of the leading Highland families. For instance, he is President of the London Caithness Association, as well as being Chaplain to the Royal Scottish Corporation, the Caledonian Asylum, and the Highland Society. In other respects, he keeps himself well in touch with Scotch sympathies, and never fails to spend the autumn holidays in Scotland and the Highlands.
And, for all his busy life, the subject of this sketch is what may be termed a prolific writer. His first book, The Psalms in the Original Rhythm, must have been published in those early days when he was Chaplain to Bishop Jackson, and this he followed up with a Commentary on the Epistles of St John, in Bishop Ellicot's series. Since then there has been a succession of works, all bearing, more or less, on religious life. His interest in the cause of education has been evinced by his pen as well as by his voice, and during the eighties he brought his knowledge directly into the public service as a member of the London School Board. For some time he was editor of The Churchman, and he wrote much for The Review of the Churches. He is still a large contributor to contemporary literature.
Thus the Archdeacon of London goes on the even tenor of his way—a leader of religious thought, and certainly one of the most busy, as he is one of the most useful, men of his time. He is a D.D. of Oxford University, and has been Special Preacher both at Oxford and Cambridge. The desire of most Churchmen is that the time may come when Dr Sinclair will be summoned to higher office in the Church, for which his career, his experience, and his high character so amply fit him.
“What did you find was the prevailing tone of thought among London Churchmen in the seventies, Mr Archdeacon?” appeared a suitable question with which to open the interview.
“It was in 1876 that I became Curate of Quebec Chapel, under the Rev. Francis Holland, now Canon of Canterbury,” the Archdeacon observed in reply. “The next year I went as Resident Chaplain to Bishop Jackson at Fulham, and remained with him for three years. The prevailing religious tone of thought in London then was more or less moderate and evangelical. I should think nearly half the clergy—at any rate, a very large proportion—used the black gown. My uncle, Archdeacon Sinclair (of Middlesex), who ended a long career of church-building by erecting St Mary Abbots, Kensington, and who died in 1878, used that vestment to the end of his life. The leading ritualistic churches then were St Alban's, Holborn, where Maconochie was working, and St Peter's, London Docks (Father Lowder's Church), while All Saints, Margaret Street; St Mary Magdalene's, Paddington; and St Barnabas, Pimlico; were considered rather advanced. But Bishop Jackson, with the exception of St Alban's and St Peter's, London Docks, was able to induce the clergy to follow his guidance and wishes. If anyone disobeyed him, the Bishop corresponded with the offender, and in extremely able letters, which were usually published and carried the opinion of the Diocese with them. Among the great preachers of that time were Canon Liddon and Canon Lightfoot, at St Paul's; Dean Stanley, and afterwards Archdeacon Farrar, at Westminster Abbey; Mr Wilkinson, at St Peter's, Eaton Square; Mr Boyd Carpenter, at St James', Holloway, and afterwards at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate; Mr Maclagan, at Kensington; Canon Page Roberts, at St Peter's, Vere Street; Canon Fleming, at St Michael's, Chester Square; and Mr Forrest, at St Jude's, South Kensington.”
“But a change has since come over the thought of Churchmen in London?”
“The English Church Union party has increased more rapidly in the Diocese of London than anywhere else. Of course, London is the headquarters of every movement. There are now forty-one churches in the Diocese which use incense and reservation, and a much larger number have vestments and other uses which were extremely rare in Bishop Jackson's time. One thing I should always insist upon very strongly, and that is that hard, zealous and successful work is not confined to any school. From the standpoint of the strictest impartiality I should say the statement so commonly made among members of the House of Commons about all the work being done by Ritualists was most absurdly, most ludicrously, untrue. There are zealous men in all parties, and that which attracts the poor is real, generous sympathy, which they are very glad to discover, and which they find quite as much among Evangelicals as among High Churchmen. Such work as that by the late Mr Robinson, at Whitechapel; Mr Boyd Carpenter, at St James', Holloway; Canon Fleming, at St Michael's, Chester Square; Mr Stone, at St Mary's, Kilburn; Canon Streatfield, at Christ Church, Hampstead; Mr Selwyn, at Trinity, Hampstead; Mr E. A. Stuart, at St James', Holloway, and St Matthew's, Bayswater; Prebendary Eardley Wilmot, at St Jude's, South Kensington; Mr Ditchfield, at St Peter's, Upper Holloway, and St James'-the-Less, Bethnal Green; Mr Hart, at St Peter's, Upper Holloway; Mr Saunders at Dalston and Edmonton; Mr Gough, at Brompton; Mr Murphy, at Whitehall Park; Mr Bryant Salmon, at St Leonard's, Shoreditch; Mr Mason, at St Stephen's, North Bow; and very many others, might be mentioned as not surpassed by any clergymen in London.”
“And do you find the clergy in London as zealous now as they were a quarter of a century ago?”
“I think, on the whole, the clergy are even more zealous, though there was little to complain of in regard to those of twenty-five years ago. It would be very difficult to surpass the London clergy in their self-devotion and earnestness. The vast majority of them work from early morning till late at night without intermission, and with unflagging zeal and energy”
“What should you say were the distinguishing features of the work of the four Bishops in your time?”
“Bishop Jackson was an eminently successful ruler—quiet, humble-minded and methodical, winning the respect of all by his personal character. He was extremely cautious, and knew his clergy wonderfully well. Whenever he was at home in the afternoon he used to retire to his room for an hour and intercede for them, name by name. His success in governing was greatly due to the very able and courageous letters which he wrote when there was any difficulty. It was he who introduced the Suffragan Bishop for the East End of London. I remember discussing names with him. He thought Bishop Barry was too important a man, and Mr Boyd-Carpenter not strong enough in health. He finally chose Mr Walsham How, who was an admirable assistant, though not a very good judge of men. Since then there have been Bishop Billing, Bishop Browne (now of Bristol), Bishop Ingram (now of London), Bishop Lang (the present Suffragan for East London), and Bishop Turner, who works in the north, and is called Bishop of Islington.”
“After Dr Jackson, Dr Temple succeeded to the Bishopric of London?”
“Yes; it was Bishop Temple who obtained the Suffragan for West London, bringing up his old friend Archdeacon Earle from Devonshire, with the titular designation of Bishop of Marlborough. He has been succeeded by Dr Ridgeway, as titular Bishop of Kensington. Bishop Temple was very much beloved by everyone because of his extraordinary power of work, his great sympathy and his downright speech. He held councils of Archdeacons and Suffragans once a month in the Chapter House, where all matters of promotion and policy were discussed, and which he always said were a great help to him. His great liberality made him allow the clergy far more freedom than Bishop Jackson had granted them, and they found they could do very much as they liked as long as they worked hard. That was the one quality which Bishop Temple valued above all others. He was a most indulgent and kind-hearted Bishop, and was always willing to take the view of men who differed from him, and to make every allowance for their peculiarities. He was a most strenuous worker and frequently visited each Rural Deanery, bringing before the clergy and laity some interesting subject, on which he addressed them with extraordinary ability. He instituted lay preaching in churches under the Bishop's sanction, and also the endowment of curacies, which was a very important measure for poor parishes.”
“After Bishop Temple—Bishop Creighton?”
“Bishop Creighton was only with us four years; but he excited the greatest possible admiration and affection for his brilliant genius and kindness of heart. Although in doctrinal opinions a very Broad Churchman, he had great sympathy for mediæval ritual and all kinds of pomp and magnificence, and accordingly the lovers of ritual found in him a very sympathetic friend. He only lamented that they did not sufficiently consider the indelible Protestantism of England and the prejudice of popular tradition. Bishop Creighton at once took the lead in social and literary life in London, and made the Church better known among laymen than it had ever been before. Like Bishop Temple, he was a most strenuous worker, but undertook more than his strength would allow. It was a great temptation for him, for he did everything so brilliantly.”
“And that brings us to the present Bishop of London, Dr Ingram.”
“The present Bishop of London has come into office on an enormous wave of popularity, won by hard work in the East End, his charming personality, frankness of speech and attractive address both from platform and pulpit. He has the gift for entering into people's feelings and saying exactly what they wish him to say. Wherever he goes he is followed by enthusiastic crowds. The Ritualists look upon him as more sympathetic than even Bishop Creighton; but his policy with regard to internal differences in the Church has not yet been made public. There can be no doubt that if he has the strength he will be able, by his personal influence, greatly to strengthen the Church in London.”
“Will you be good enough now to say some thing about the Archdeaconries and the duties attaching thereto?”
“The Diocese has two Archdeaconries which meet at Temple Bar. That of London is the older and contains the City, the East and the North. The other Archdeaconry is that of Middlesex. When I was appointed it was held by Dr Hessey. The present Archdeacon of Middlesex is, of course, Dr Thornton. The duties performed by Archdeacons are now largely shared by Suffragan Bishops, but the main characteristics of the Suffragan's work is that he confirms and consecrates, but has no jurisdiction. Also his appointment ceases on a vacancy in the See.”
“During your connection with London, the population has enormously increased. Do you think the Church is keeping pace with that growth of population?”
“No. The populations of the majority of London parishes are so enormous that it is absolutely impossible for the clergy to do their work properly. There are parishes in my Archdeaconry containing 20,000 people. I can give you exact figures. There is one parish with over 21,000 people; one with over 20,000; one with over 19,000; three with over 18,000; one with over 17,000; two with over 15,000; six with over 14,000; three with over 13,000; five with over 12,000; eight with over 11,000; ten with over 10,000; sixteen with over 9,000; and thirteen with over 8,000; and it is the same in the Western Archdeaconry. It is impossible, with the small staff of clergy, to visit all these people, and most of them have lost the habit of attending church. So that the Church only affects religiously a very small part of the population. In social work its influence is very great, as Mr Charles Booth has said. We are certainly not keeping pace with the population, nor are we overtaking the neglect of past generations. There was a great deal more church-building in Bishop Blomfield's time than now. He consecrated 200 new churches during his episcopate, and it was quite a common thing for rich people to build a new church single-handed. The Bishop of London's Fund is working for this purpose; but it remains at the inconceivably small sum of £20,000 a year and has made no progress for many years past.”
“You could say much of interest about St Paul's Cathedral, no doubt?”
“When I joined the Cathedral body, thirteen years ago, Dr Church was our Dean and the other three Canons were Gregory, Liddon and Scott-Holland. Church and Liddon are dead; Gregory has become Dean; Newbolt has taken the place of Liddon; Canon Browne has come and gone, and so has Bishop Ingram; and now we have Bishop Lang as Canon. I have noticed great growth in the attendance during the thirteen years. The afternoon congregation, before which the Canon in residence always preaches, is now about even throughout the year. The dome and half the transepts are filled, and there is some part of the congregation in the nave. The largest congregation of the day is always in the evening, when the service is short and simple, and the lower middle-class come. Of course, in so small a body, each Canon has a good deal of personal influence and has his own idiosyncrasies. My principal object has been two-fold: to preach the Gospel of Christ as applied to human life very directly and simply in the afternoon, and to work steadily for the national character of the Cathedral. Whenever any great man in Church or State has died, I have always had a special paragraph in my afternoon sermon. My desire has been that St Paul's should be known to sympathise with the joys and sorrows of the nation; and the Dean and Canons agree. We have always been, I think, a very united Chapter.”
“Then, I understand, you have been interested in suggesting and arranging special memorial or thanksgiving services, as occasion demanded?”
“Yes; we have in my time revived the ancient custom of having memorial services for members of the Royal Family and others of national importance, as was the use at St Paul's in pre-Reformation times and under different circumstances. With the help of Sir John Puleston, I introduced the annual Welsh service on St David's Eve, when the Cathedral is filled with Welsh people and the whole service is in their own language. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Service at St Paul's was, I believe, the result of an article which Lord Frederick Hamilton, the editor, asked me to write for the Pall Mall Magazine on the best way to commemorate that event ecclesiastically. In that I referred to the national services held at St Paul's in previous centuries. St Paul's has been felt to be a fitting place for the funeral service held at the end of each year for those who have fallen in the present war. The farewell services for the City Imperial Volunteers, at a time when the country was in a great state of depression, you will remember had also a strong effect upon the people generally. At the time of Queen Victoria's death the police told us that 30,000 people were unable to obtain admission on the first Sunday morning, and every day until her funeral the daily afternoon service was attended by about 4,000 people, all in deep mourning and without any invitation. We have increased the historical interest of the Cathedral by putting up lists of all the Bishops since the first days; also of the Deans, and we are now doing the same for the organists. It is further intended to put up lists of the illustrious people buried in the old Cathedral before the fire, but that scheme is not yet complete. Another idea is to devote a part of the Cathedral to the Order of St Michael and St George, which may be regarded as the Order of the Empire. They have already a Prelate, who is the Archbishop of Rupert's Land, so there will be no difficulty on the score of religion. The consent of the late Queen was obtained, also that of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, and the idea was warmly taken up by the Knights Grand Cross, especially by the Chancellor, Sir Robert Herbert. It was postponed, however, in consequence of the war; but it is now being carried into effect.”
“Will you say something, please, about your duties as Archdeacon—about those the public see or hear little of?”
“Well, besides the Cathedral work, I have to attend a large number of meetings and give addresses almost every day, many week-day sermons, and three sermons every Sunday when I am not on duty at St Paul's. All this involves very considerable correspondence, often as many as thirty or forty letters per day. The work in such an office as mine is, of course, extremely interesting. For instance, I was asked by Bishop Temple to start a Church Reading Union for the Diocese, in which my chief colleague is Prebendary Blomfield Jackson, of which I am still the Chairman; and by Bishop Creighton to begin a society for promoting study among the younger clergy, where the chief work is undertaken by Prebendary Murdoch Johnston. Besides attending meetings of the Bishop of London's Fund and the East London Church Fund, I am one of the Treasurers of the Diocesan Home Mission. The Queen Victoria Clergy Fund meets at the Chapter House, as do also the Richard's Trustees, the Porteus' Trustees and the Poor Pious Clergy Society. In regard to social work, I very warmly support all movements for social purity, for which there is so much need in London. The plays of the present day seem to me more lax than they were in former years, and so also, undoubtedly, is the literature. Some of the lower-class journals are suggestive of evil to the young, and the state of the streets is very serious. I have during the last few years been promoting Social Institutes which are a kind of educational working-men's club, held in the halls of Board Schools and other suitable places, and these Institutes the working-men seem greatly to value. I have also promoted an Industrial Farm at Lingfield and the new one in Cumberland, where we hope to place some of the disabled soldiers now returning home. I am Chairman of the Boys' Imperial League, which aims at bringing a true instead of a boastful Imperialism into the minds of the boys of London and England generally. In connection with the Young Men's Christian Association and other societies for men, I have frequent opportunities for addressing that class of the population. One measure which I suggested to Bishop Creighton has, I think, been useful. It was that the Rural Deaneries should be made conterminous with the new Municipal Boroughs, and that a Municipal Church should be appointed for each Rural Deanery. Every Mayor and Corporation have taken advantage willingly of these arrangements.”
“What are your views as to the poverty of the clergy?”
“It will always be a satisfaction to me to remember that I had the honour of proposing the Queen Victoria Clergy Fund both to the London Diocesan Conference and Convocation as the best memorial of the Diamond Jubilee of the late Queen's reign, and it has succeeded fairly well. We raise the stipends of incumbents in London to over £200 a year, and we hand in upwards of £3,000 to the Central Fund annually. Many of the London clergy are very improperly paid, find difficulties about food and clothing, and bring up their families under circumstances of considerable hardship. The poverty of the clergy in the country is often greater. In some cases the endowments in London are barely sufficient for the spiritual wants of far smaller populations. The Church really needs endowing over again. More than half the benefices of the Church of England—upwards of 7,000—have incomes of less than £180 a year. I think this, as well as the general unsettlement of thought, has for the present considerably checked the supply of curates. Most of the individual clergy, particularly in London, are worthy of all respect and esteem; but, as a whole, the Church in the present day is wanting in cohesion and unity, and anyone who, in one direction or the other, disturbs the balance, incurs very grave responsibility.”