Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/47

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25
THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

Church Schools. The religious instruction of the Board Schools satisfies the Nonconformists; but we—the Church—are forbidden to use our plan. I made a close study of the question during the thirty-two years I was in the same parish in Pembrokeshire, before coming to Llandaff.”

“But what to your mind is the most interesting phase of Church work in Wales?”

“Well, the Church has grown—in this Diocese enormously. Confirmations are supposed to be a very fair test of Church growth. In the three years preceding my advent to the Diocese, Bishop Ollivant confirmed, roughly speaking, 7000 candidates. In three years of my time I confirmed—in 1895, 4454; in 1896, 4066; in 1897, 4850. If you add those figures together you will observe the improvement. My confirmations for three years total rather less than 14,000 compared with the 7000, for three years, of my predecessor. Just about double, you see. Well, I think the most interesting phase of the work is really the tremendous struggle to grapple with this increase of population, which, on the whole, has been a very successful one. Take the grants made by my fund since its foundation. They amount to £26,672. The total cost of the churches to which those grants were made is £225,680, and the accommodation comprises 45,103 additional sittings. Those are very striking facts. That fund alone has supplied 45,000 sittings, and you