Through Ninety Years
The Bishopric Endowment Fund
The Bishopric Endowment Fund
There was no Endowment for the See when Bishop William Williams was consecrated; he was provided for from sources outside the Diocese. He secured sundry sums from native contributors for this purpose. The first was £257 10s. 6d. recorded in the accounts presented to Synod in 1861, increased to £589 11s. 9d. at the 1864 Synod. These were invested in houses and land at Onehunga near Auckland.
It was resolved at the Synod of 1874 “That it is incumbent on the members of the Church to make a vigorous effort towards providing a sufficient fund for the Endowment of the Bishopric.”
The two immediate successors to the first Bishop had both been missionaries, and the Church Missionary Society continued their respective stipends while they held office.
Archdeacon W. L. Williams at the Synod of 1877 urged that the Bishopric Endowment Fund should be raised to £5,000. A Committee was appointed which reported to Synod next year that the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge had offered a grant of £500 available when £4,500 had been raised, and that fifty-five subscribers had promised £3,885 to be paid over a series of years. This was gradually collected and added to, and the Committee was able to report to the Synod of 1889 that the S.P.C.K. grant had been received, and the capital had reached £5,610 including the Onehunga property.
At the Synod the following year Dean Hovell proposed that the Colonial Bishoprics Fund Committee page 332 should be applied to for a grant. This Committee offered to give £500 when a further £4,500 had been raised.
Four years later the Endowment Fund Committee reported that Rev. J. Hobbs of Hastings had undertaken a canvass of the Diocese, on which he secured promises amounting to £1,696.
Continued efforts extending over several years enabled the Committee to report to Synod in 1903 that the Endowment Fund had been then raised to £10,023 including grants of £500 each from the Colonial Bishoprics Fund, and a second grant from the S.P.C.K.
A good investment in land had been secured for £10,000 and the next year this property was let for a term for £500 per annum.
At the Synod of 1906 when the capital stood at £11,456 15s. the Bishop urged that a See house should be provided. It was then decided, on the motion of Archdeacon D. Ruddock, to endeavour to raise the Endowment Fund to £25,000 to include also the See house. The Archdeacon, who had worked in the Diocese for several years, after retiring from the Melanesian Mission, made a full canvass of the Diocese.
The next year it was reported that a group of churchmen had undertaken to contribute £1 for every £1 subscribed by others to the extent of the additional amount proposed.
The contributions were paid annually for a term of years, and up to 1909 the promises from both sources had amounted to £7,000, of which £3,000 was allocated to the See house.
At the 1910 Synod the Committee reported that a suitable house in Clyde Road had been purchased. This absorbed capital to the amount of £3,830.
The Bishopric Endowment and See House Committee continued its work obtaining additions from time to time. It reported to the Synod of 1916 that its capital, including the See house, had reached £23,036 7s. 7d.