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Reports of meetings on Māori Church matters, 1872-1888

C.1.—Address Presented to the Bishop of Nelson in Suva

page 13

C.1.—Address Presented to the Bishop of Nelson in Suva.

To the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Nelson.
My Lord Bishop,

We the Members of the Church of England resident in Suva, most reverently and most heartily welcome your Lordship to this Colony. We regret extremely that owing to the difficulties of our position in many respects we have not been able to accord you that outward expression of welcome which, under more favourable conditions, we should have wished to give, but we feel sure that you will accept our efforts, small and insignificant as they may appear, in the same spirit in which we now offer them.

We would in the first place desire to express our extreme gratitude to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury for the kindly interest which he has taken in our Church in commending us to the consideration and care of your Lordship's Right Reverend Brethren the Primate of Australia, the Primate and Bishops of New Zealand, and the Bishop of Melanesia; for the expression of sympathy and promise of help which was conveyed to us by the letter of the Primate of New Zealand read to our congregation on Sunday last; and lastly to yourself for the evidence of that good will shown by the presence of your Lordship amongst us here to-day, notwithstanding the great personal trouble and inconvenience which your visit to us has necessarily incurred.

We assure you that such an expression and evidence of real interest in our welfare are by no means lightly regarded by us, and will be valued by us in no small degree.

Our numbers and our capabilities are but few and slight at present, but the impetus which their Lordships' efforts and your own will give to us both collectively and individually, will not be merely temporary in its nature, but, with God's blessing, be productive of permanent benefit to us. It is in this spirit we now come before you, and we are sure that our confidence in your kindness of heart and liberality of mind is not misplaced.

This is the first official visit of a Bishop of our Church to Suva since it became the capital of the Colony, and the fact of your Lordship being the first visiting Bishop here, will be permanently page 14marked in our minds by the opening of our Church, which we shall, in the proper manner, most reverently and humbly petition your Lordship to consecrate on Saturday next, and although we have not been able to present it in a condition of final completion, yet we trust that it will, even now, meet with your Lordship's approval and be accepted for the high purpose for which we dedicate it,

In conclusion, we humbly ask your Lordship to convey to the Synod our earnest desire to do our utmost to meet the wishes of their Lordships, and of whatever Bishop may finally be appointed over us, and our hope that the affairs of our Church in Fiji may be guided by them with that care and consideration which this distant and most isolated offspring of our great Mother Church most surely needs.

We remain, My Lord Bishop,
Your Lordship's most obedient humble Servants,

J. Francis Jones, Clerk.
William: Floyd, Clerk.
Bolton Glanvill Corney
Leslie J. Walker.
G. Ruthven le Hunt.
Francis Winter.
Franc Otway.

Suva, Fiji, 14th September, 1886.