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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

VIII.—report of Church Extension Committee

VIII.—report of Church Extension Committee.

Your Committee have pleasure in reporting that early in the year the following Ministers Were settled, with every prospect of comfort and usefulness, viz—1. Rev. Andrew Bett, in Tapanui; 2. Rev. Alexander Blake, M.A., in Kaikorai; 3. Rev. James Cameron, in Lawrence; 4. Rev. John Macara, in Balclutha; 5. Rev James M. Thomson, in Winton and Forest Hill; 6. Rev. Charles S. Ross, in Riverton.

The charges still vacant are—1. First Church, Dunedin, through the resignation of the Rev. George Sutherland; 2. Inch Clutha, through the translation of the Rev. James Kirkland to Hokitika; 3. Alexandra and Clyde; 4. Lower Waitaki; 5. Waitahuna.

Your Committee regret that they have not been able to give regular supply to the vacant charges, owing to various causes, as the continued illness of the Rev. Wm. Alves, late of Kaikorai; the acceptance by the Rev. Mr. Cosh of a call from Balmain Church, New South Wales; and the appointment of Mr. Fleming, a Student of Divinity under the care of the Dunedin Presbytery, and who was ready for license, to the Rectorship of Invercargill Grammar School. On the scarcity of ministerial supply becoming known, the Presbytery of Dunedin proposed that the Church Extension Committee should be requested to send home for two Preachers with as little delay as possible, provided the other Presbyteries of the Church concurred with the proposal. The Presbyteries of Southland and Oamaru did so; the Clutha Presbytery, however, while approving of the object, recommended its attainment through the Synod, and for this purpose suggested the calling of a pro re nata meeting of the Court. Your Committee, in view of the delay which the Clutha suggestion would occasion, decided to send for two Ministers, feeling sure that their action in this emergency would be condoned by the Synod.

It affords your Committee much satisfaction to report that several young men of fair ability and good character are now attending the undergraduate course at the Otago University, with a view to the Christian Minsstry in our Church But this fact, so gratifying to the lovers of our Zion, imposes on the Synod the necessity of making immediate provision for their training in theology and kindred subjects.

In view of the large additions recently made to our population, and likely to continue to be made for some time, the supply of vacant charges and stations, and the taking up of new ground requiring ordinances, as Stewart's Island, Martin's Bay, Upper Waitaki, etc, your Committee request authority to send for two Preachers in addition to the two sent for in November. There is no donbt that, with a largely increased staff of Ministers, there are several fields within our bounds now lying waste where ordinances would be valued.

The First Church and Inch Clutha congregations have laid the Church under obligation, by providing pulpit supply for themselves—thus relieving their Presbyteries and your Committee.

Waitahuna, since its sanction, has borne the entire expense of ordinances. The Rev. A. B. Arnott, M.A., has ministered there for six months with acceptance.

The Committee regret that such important fields as Alexandra and Clyde, and the Lower Waitaki, should be so long without regular supply.

It is the earnest prayer of your Committee that God may lead our Synod to devise liberal things for the immediate evangelisation of such parts of our country as are to this day without the preached Gospel.

D. M. Stuart

, Convener.