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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Annual report of the Session and Deacons' Court [1872]

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Annual Report of the Session & Deacons' Court

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Reith and Wilkie Dunedin, N.Z.: Booksellers, Princes Street. 1873.

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Rev. D. M. Stuart, D.D.


  • Borrie, John
  • Cargill, Edward Bowes
  • Dalglish, Robert
  • Falconer. Francis William
  • Gardner, Robert Sinclair
  • Gordon, Colin M'kenzie Grant, John
  • Hepburn, George
  • Hislop, John
  • Hyslop, Andrew
  • Kirkpatrick, Hugh
  • Reith, John
  • Rennie, Alexander
  • Stewart, Alexander
  • Wilkie, James
  • John Borrie, Session Clerk.


  • Baird, William
  • Cassells, Thomas
  • Dutch, George
  • Glasgow, William T.
  • Johnston, Adam
  • Logan, John
  • Mackerras, James T.
  • M'Queen, Charles
  • Moodie, Thomas
  • Scoular, Arthur
  • Simpson, William
  • Smeaton, David
  • Stewart, Wm. Downie
  • Tennant, John
  • Torrance, John
  • Young, George
  • Colin McK. Gordon, Clerk to the Deacon's Court.
  • C. H. Street, Church Treasurer.
  • Thomas Moodie, Treasurer Sustentation Fund.

The Districts of the Elders and Deacons will be seen by referring to the Map hung in the Class Room.

Young Men's Society

Meets in the Class Room every alternate Wednesday at half-past Seven p.m.

  • Rev. D. M. Stuart, D.D., President.
  • John C. Hodges, Vice-President.
  • William Begg, Secretary.
  • John Fulton, Treasurer.

Missionary association.

  • Robert Gillies, President.
  • Mrs. Glasgow, Treasurer.


  • Mrs. Banks, Miss Gardner, Mrs. Irvine, Mrs. Johnston, Mrs. Matheson, Miss Mcglashan, Mrs. Prictor, Mrs. Wallace.
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Sabbath School.

The Church School.

Superintendent—C H. Street. Teachers.

  • Miss Allan
  • Miss Baird
  • Miss Brown
  • Miss Galloway
  • Mrs. Glasgow
  • Miss Glasgow
  • Miss Gordon
  • Miss Grant
  • Miss Henderson
  • Miss Hislop
  • Miss Kelly
  • Miss Kelly, C.
  • Miss M'Gruer
  • Miss M'Laren
  • Miss Park
  • Miss Parker
  • Miss Spratt
  • Miss Smith
  • Miss Sinclair
  • Miss Sutherland
  • Miss Wilson, M.
  • Miss Wilson, A.
  • Miss Wilson, N.
  • Mr. G. Anderson
  • Mr. Baird
  • Mr. Begg, C.
  • Mr. Chisholm, R.
  • Mr. Flanagan
  • Mr. Fulton
  • Mr. Ferguson
  • Mr. Ferguson, R. C.
  • Mr. Gardner
  • Mr. Glasgow
  • Mr. Harlow
  • Mr. Hislop, W.
  • Mr. Hodges
  • Mr. Hyslop
  • Mr. Johnson
  • Mr. Matheson
  • Mr. M'Kerras
  • Mr. Nasmith, S.
  • Mr. Reith.
  • Mr. Scoullar
  • Mr. Shepherd
  • Mr. Stewart, W. D.
  • Mr. Turnbull
  • Mr. Wilkie
  • Mr. White, C.


  • Messrs. Geo. Brown, D. Stuart, T. Tressider, Robt. Brown, T. M'Neil, Moses Bardsley.

Pelichet Bay School.

  • Superintendent—Mr. Grant.
  • TeachersMiss Russell, Miss Irvine, Miss Keith, Miss Bennett, Miss Wood, Mr. Dalgleish.
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The revolution of another year calls upon us to lay before you our Annual Report of the state of the Congregation, spiritually and financially—of work undertaken and done. In the review of the year we are met on the one hand by mercies which require devout acknowledgments, and on the other by changes and occurrences which remind us of life's uncertainty, and the necessity of improving our opportunities of learning and doing.

In carrying on the spiritual affairs of the Congregation the Session held twenty meetings during the year; received into fellowship thirty-six by certificate, and thirty-six by examination—in all forming a goodly addition to the membership and the working strength of the Church. The Communion was dispensed quarterly, and the average number of Communicants was over four hundred.

It is desirable that Members on changing their residence, would leave their address with their former Elder or the Church Officer, as otherwise they are apt to be overlooked in the distribution of Communion Cards, which the Elders hope to render effective.

It is with great regret that the Session reports that Messrs Street and Smith have resigned their Eldership in the Congregation.

The Congregation.

While the Session have pleasure in reporting that the attendance on Public Worship is well maintained, they observe, in respect of the Evening Service, a slackness on the part of several families. Aware that there may be sufficient reasons for this, they hope that none will reckon among these the increased facilities for Sabbath travelling which the Port Chalmers Railway affords.

The Prayer Meeting.

For a part of the year the attendance on the Prayer Meeting was highly encouraging. Here, week by week, prayers are offered for the sick, the tempted, and the young, and in general for all Church work and objects. The Session record with pleasure that a fair proportion of These who attend give assistance in the service. After conference with the Deacons, they recommend, with a view to meet the circumstances of many members, that the hour of meeting be altered from seven o'clock to half-past seven p.m.

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The Sabbath Schools.

The Church Sabbath School, under the care of Mr Street and his noble staff of Teachers, more than maintains its ground—having the large attendance of upwards of four hundred. The spiritual work done from Sabbath to Sabbath can only be appreciated by The se who are conversant with school operations. While prominence is given to direct Scriptural teaching, the children are encouraged to store their memories with choice Psalms and Hymns, and lessons of faith and duty. The fact that the religious instruction of our Public Schools is now, from the religious divisions of the people, necessarily limited to little more than the reading of the Scriptures, is a loud call to the churches to increase the efficiency of the Sabbath School. The Session have learned with much pleasure that the Sabbath School Teachers of the Church meet from time to time not only for prayer but also for conversation on the School lessons, and the best means of imparting their knowledge of the Gospel.

The Pelichet Bay Sabbath School.

This School continues to prosper under the zealous care of Mr Grant and his unwearied assistants. The attendance at this school is 45. The Minister has borne frequent testimony to the value of the Christian service to the children of the Church and the Gospel by our Sabbath Schools—and we join with him in commending them to your prayers and sympathies.

The Bible Class

Meets in the Class-room every Sabbath morning at ten o'clock. The ugh this institution, like the Church itself, is subject to change—the older pupils giving place to younger ones—the average attendance is still maintained. In the lessons of the class the Minister keeps steadily in view the end of all Christian instruction, the conversion of the Scholars, their growth in sacred knowledge; with a view to Church Membership and service in the diffusion of the Gospel. Appreciating the importance of this class as mid-way between the Sabbath School and Church work, the Session would earnestly exhort parents to encourage their sons and daughters to join it.

The Missionary Association.

This society reported at its annual meeting contributions to the amount of £108 9s for the spread of the Gospel. Its nourishing condition is due, under God, to the devotedness of Mrs Glasgow and the Collectors. At the Annual Meeting there was a general wish that the Synod should take a warmer interest in the spiritual condition of our Maories. The Minister took care to convey this page 6 wish to the Synod, and he reports that the Ministers adjacent to the Maori settlements have been instructed to do their utmost for their spiritual necessities. Members of the Congregation interested in missions, are reminded that Missionary intelligence is communicated at the Prayer Meetings held on the first Thursday of each month. Missionary publications can be obtained through the members of the Committee.

Church Psalmody.

Mr Francis, the Precentor, devotes an evening every week during six months in the year to give instruction in Sacred Music to Members of the Congregation. The Session would urge our young people to avail themselves of the class, with a view to the still greater improvement of our service of song. They gladly acknowledge the heartiness of our Congregational singing. The Session and Deacons' Court gladly acknowledge a contribution of £10, through Mrs R. Gillies and friends, towards purchasing music for the Choir.

The Young Men's Association.

This Society meets in the class-room on every alternate Wednesday, at half-past seven o'clock p.m., during its session. Its objects are the improvement of the Members by the delivery and criticism of original essays, discussions, readings, recitations, and the cultivation of friendly feelings among the members. The Session recommend it to the young men of the Congregation.

Election of Deacons.

At a Congregational Meeting held on the 21st May, 1872, a resolution was passed requesting the Session to take into consideration the advisability of one third of the Deacons retiring annually. At a meeting of the Session held on the 4th June, the Session having considered the said resolution, the Deacons concurring, unanimously resolved that the number of Deacons be forthwith increased to fifteen, it being understood that one-half of the present Deacons retire by lot in twelve months, and the remaining half the following year, subject to the retiring members being eligible for reelection.

Accordingly the following gentlemen were elected to the Deaconship, viz.—William Baird, The mas Cassells, Adam Johnston, James T. Mackerras, and Charles McQueen.

The change above referred to will necessitate an annual election of Deacons to fill the place of those who retire by effluxion of time.

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Deacons' Court.

The Deacons' Court held twenty-four meetings during the year.

Funds of the Church.

The sum contributed by the Church for all purposes during the year amounts to £1,572 5s. 4d., being £22 8s 5d in excess of last year.

Through some accident, The ugh the amount actually raised for the Sustentation Fund is above that of 1871—yet that reported is two guineas under.

The special collections show that the Congregation has a heart for objects not especially Congregational.

The Library.

There are Libraries in connection with the Sabbath Schools which are extensively used. The Church Library, rich in history, biography, philosophy, poetry, and practical divinity, is open every Thursday evening at the close of the Prayer Meeting, and is free to the Members of the Congregation. Mr Glasgow, assisted by Mr Dalglish attends to issue books. The Deacons' Court have to repeat the hope that a plan may be devised whereby the Catalogue of the Library may be periodically enlarged.

University Scholarship.

This Scholarship, held by John Ferguson, expires after another year. It will remain for the friends of the higher education to decide whether they will renew it for the encouragement of young men studying for the Ministry.

The Relief Fund.

The Congregational collection to this fund amounted to the handsome sum of £5-1 15s. 5d., for which the Deacons' Court feels thankful.

There is still a balance in hand which will enable the Court to afford some relief until the next annual Collection falls due.

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New Knox Church,

The erection of a new church has been under the consideration of your Deacons' Court for a long time. For the information of members generally it may be desirable to recapitulate the salient facts connected with this matter.

As far back as the 11th of April, 1871, the Court resolved that steps should be taken towards the erection of a new church, and on the 12th of the following month a Congregational meeting was held at which the action of the Court was approved of. A Committee was appointed to canvass for subscriptions and another Committee (to act in concert with the Deacons' Court) was elected to obtain plans, and be prepared with information to be laid before another meeting of the Congregation.

A Committee appointed to inquire and report as to the probable costs of the foundation of the present site and also of the new site, unanimously recommended the purchase of the section adjoining the manse property, and that the present church should be kept for the use of the Sabbath School. After much consideration it was resolved by the Deacons' Court to adopt the suggestion of the Committee. A Congregational meeting was held, on the 21st August, 1871, at which the proposal to purchase the section above referred to was discussed and met with the cordial approval of the meeting.

The Building Committee having asked for competitive designs for a stone church capable of accommodating one thousand persons, 17 plans were sent in. The Committee gave in a final report on the 25th July last, which recommended among other things that the consent of the Congregation should be obtained to the principle—that the Deacons' Court should select and appoint an architect for the erection of the new church. At a meeting of the Congregation held on the 8th August last, this course was approved of, and a resolution was passed remitting the whole question of the erection of the church to the Deacons' Court without limitation of amount.

In accordance with this resolution the Deacons' Court, on the 22nd August last, nominated Mr David Ross as architect, and a Building Committee (members of the Court) was appointed to make all necessary arrangements with that gentleman. The Committee having come to an agreement with him sent him the necessary instructions, and on the 1st of October 1872, your Deacons' Court instructed the Building Committee to call for tenders. page 9 This was done, and the tender of Messrs Roach and Martin for £6,818 was accepted. On the 13th November the Building Committee and contractors signed the contract.

On the 25th November last the foundation stone was laid by Dr Stuart in the presence of the Office-bearers, and on the 27th of the same month the sum of £175 was paid to the Architect in respect of commission.

The Committee were anxious to secure the services of a competent Inspector of Works, one in whom they, the Architect, and Contractors, would have full confidence. They were desirous of consulting the Architect in the appointment of the Inspector, but they were astonished to find that he (the Architect) demanded the appointment and dismissal of this officer entirely in his own hands. To this the Committee, acting under the instructions of your Deacons' Court, absolutely refused to agree, more especially as the person proposed by the Architect was one whom the Committee did not consider suitable. The Committee endeavoured to adjust the difficulty amicably by requesting the Architect to nominate one or more persons suitable for the office, from whom the Committee would select one, leaving Mr Ross to appoint him. As the Architect declined to accede to this proposal, and insisted on the person named by him being appointed, the Building Committee, in the interest of the Congregation, after giving the Architect notice, advertised for an Inspector. On the 31st December last the Committee appointed Mr David Henderson, and intimation of this was given to the Architect who refused to recognise him as the inspector. Much correspondence passed between the Architect and the Building Committee without any satisfactory result. The Committee therefore brought the position of affairs before the Deacons' Court, with an intimation that having carefully considered all the aspects of the case, and having ascertained that the Contractors were willing to annul the contract for a reasonable sum, they re-commended that the contract be annulled.

Your Deacons' Court believing that the position assumed by the Architect regarding the appointment of an inspector was unreasonable, on duly considering all the circumstances, anticipating further difficulties with him during the progress of the work, and being pressed by the necessity for an immediate decision, adopted the recommendation of the Committee and instructed that body to take the necessary steps for cancelling the contract. Accordingly the Committee and the contractors annulled the contract and notice was given to the Architect dispensing with his services.

The Deacons' Court regrets the unpleasant position in which it has been placed, but it is hopeful that at an early date the erection of the new church will be proceeded with.

John Borrie

, Session Clerk.

Colin McK. Gordon

, Clerk to Deacons Court.
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Dr. Balance Sheet, Knox Church

To Balance at Dec. 31st, 1871.

£ s. d £ s. d.
Bank, New S. Wales, on deposit 306 0 0
In hands of Treasurer 5 0 0
311 0 0
Seat Rents 350 1 0
Ordinary Church-door Collections 497 2 7
Bible Society 13 5 1
Ministers passages 24 0 8
Church Extension 23 18 2
Poor Fund 54 15 5
Benevolent Asylum 54 6 0
Seaman's Mission 8 17 7
Sabbath Schools 17 17 3
197 0 2
Net proceeds of sale, section 23 block 16 342 17 0
Interest on deposit receipts 12 2 3
Sustentation Fund, June 213 9 10
Sustentation Fund, Deer. 195 8 0
408 17 10
Missions 98 13 2
"Dayspring" per Knox Church School 19 0 2
Pelichet Bay 1 10 5
119 3 9
Knox Church Scholarship 30 0 0
Choir, collected by Mrs Robert Gillies 10 0 0
1,967 4 7
Balance on Dec. 31st, 1872—
Due to Bank of New S. Wales on current account 156 13 8
£2,434 18 3
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Deacons' Court, Dec. 31st, 1872. Cr.

By Balance at Dec. 31st, 1871.

Due Bank of New S. Wales £61 7 6
Due Knox Church Scholarship 2 0 0
£63 7 6
New Church 215 0 0
Section 27, block 25 368 7 6
Gas 22 1 6
Church repairs and removing and reerecting house 135 3 7
Manse 34 16 6
Library 3 5 6
Insurance 12 0 0
Advertising and Printing 15 10 6
Travelling expenses, Rev. C. Ross 7 5 0
Synod and Presbytery 16 10 0
Communion elements 10 17 7
Sundries 16 13 11
Music for Choir 3 11 6
Paid Treasurer, General Fund, Missions 119 3 9
Paid Treasurer, General Sustentation Fund 408 17 10
Paid Treasurer, General Church Extension 23 18 2
Paid Treasurer, General Minister's Passages 24 0 8
Treasurer of Bible Society 13 5 1
Treasurer of Bible Poor's Fund 54 15 5
Treasurer of Bible Benevolent Asylum 54 6 0
Treasurer of Bible Seaman's Mission 8 17 7
Treasurer of Bible Sabbath School 17 17 3
Sabbath School 34 13 2
Less amount of collection 17 17 3
16 15 11
Knox Church Scholarship, Ferguson 30 0 0
Minister's Supplement 300 0 0
Beadle 90 0 0
Precentor 42 10 0
2,065 10 9
Balance at December 31st, 1872—
Due by Bank New S. Wales on deposit 306 0 0
£2,434 18 3

"We have examined the above for the year ending 31st Dec. 1872, compared with the books and vouchers, and find it correct.

"A. Johnston

"Thos. Moodie