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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Session XI

Session XI.

The Synod met and was constituted. The Moderator in the chair.

The Synod met in private conference, on the report of committee on the state of religion, in accordance with resolution of last sederunt. Thereafter public business was proceeded with.

The minutes of the former meeting were read and sustained.

The following deliverance was adopted on the report of committee on state of religion:—"The Synod approve of report as amended; record the thanks of the Synod to the committee, and especially to its convener; express the satisfaction of the Synod at the favorable symptoms of a growing interest in religion indicated in the report; regret the existence of so much that is opposed to the progress of true godliness throughout the Province, and in terms of the report instruct the several ministers to observe the first Sabbath of November as a day of special services for the young, and to address their respective congregations on the first Sabbath of March on the subject of Sabbath observance; and to continue special evangelistic services during the year; and further recommend that a deputation be appointed to visit the outlying districts of the Church during the year."

The Rev. Messrs. Todd and Ryley were appointed a deputation to visit the outlying districts of the Province.

The Committee on Bills, &c., brought up minute of Presbytery of Dunedin (being a new application for the sanctioning of Caversham as a ministerial charge), with the proviso that this proposal to reopen a matter already determined should not be held as affording a precedent for like procedure in future. After consideration, powers were granted to the Dunedin Presbytery to sanction Caversham as a ministerial charge, provided that the charge be self-sustaining.

The committee appointed to consider the whole matter of the Aged and Infirm Ministers Fund brought up the following report, which was adopteed: "1. That the Synod resolve to institute an Aged and Infirm Minister Fund. 2. That each minister of the Church be required to pay into said fund not less than L2 per annum. 3. That the wealthier members and friends of the Church be invited to contribute to this fund by donation, legacy, or otherwise, as they may deem best. 4. That the whole matter be sent down to presbyteries for their consideration, with instruc- page 15 tions that they bring the subject before their sessions and deacons' courts. 5. That presbyteries be required to appoint committees within their bounds, for the purpose of obtaining contributions to this fund. 6. That the following be appointed a Synod's Committee to mature this scheme and to further the objects of the fund, viz.:—Revs. J. Ryley (convener) Dr. Copland, W. Gillies, J. Gow, A. Greig, J. H. M'Naughton (ministers), with Messrs. Millar, Wales, Rennie, Reith, Smith, and Glen-dinning."

The Synod having taken into consideration the state of Mr. Alves' health, and the necessity of making provision for him, resolved to remit the matter to the Presbytery of Dunedin, to deal therewith as they may see fit.

Report of Committee on Tcmperance was called for, given in, and read. After consideration, it was resolved, "To adopt the report, record the thanks of the Synod to the committee, especially the convener, and instruct the several ministers to attend to the recommendations contained in the report.

Report of Committee on revision of records was given in, read, and adopted, and the Moderator authorised to attest the several records as examined.

Mr. Wales gave notice that he would move that in Rule 27, page 9 of the rules of procedure, after the words "duly elected," be inserted the words—"for a term of three years, and that an annual election of officebearers take place, one-third of the elders and one-third of the deacons to retire annually. In the first election made under this rule, those who have the lowest number of votes to retire first." And that the above be sent down to presbyteries for their consideration, and to report to next Synod.

Report of Committee appointed to confer with deacons' court of First Church anent new church, having been called for, was given in as follows:—"Your Committee have held several meetings with the representatives of the deacons' court, and one meeting of said court along with the University Committee. The accompanying extract minute of deacons' court was read and considered, when the following resolution was adopted, though not unanimously:—'That no further grant towards First Church be recommended, but that arrangements be made to secure the full grant of L14,000 being immediately paid up; and further, that the present church be taken in lieu of L1500 now lying on it as a mortgage.'" The following is the minute of deacons' court referred to in the Committee's report:—

The report of the Committee appointed to consider Mr. E. Smith's letter of 6th inst. was brought up by Mr. Moore, as follows:—

"The Committee find that the new church building will probably be finished in about three months. That the total cost of same will be as follows,
Contract for building L14.000 0 0
Architect's commission, and advertising 710 2 6
Inspector's fees 57 10 0
L14,767 12 6
page 16

"That in terms of the contract payments have to be made only from the Manse Reserve Fund, as the rents of the property accrue, but that a sufficient sum to meet the cost of the building has not yet accrued from this source. That the deacons' court cannot get possession of the building until the above sum of L14,767 12s. 6d. is fully-provided for. That the Synod has only voted the sum of L14,000, and that the deacons' court has no fund from which to pay the balance of the said sum of L14,767 12s. 6d. That this sum represents the bare cost of the building and approaches to same, but that it will be necessary to have the ground properly fenced and drained. That this is estimated to cost about L1000. The Committee recommend that the Synod be respectfully requested to make provision for the payment of the above sum of L14,767 12s. 6d., so as to enable the deacons' court to get possession of the building on completion; and also to vote from the Manse Reserve Fund a sum sufficieut to properly fence and drain the land in connection with the Church."

It was moved by Mr. Mollison, seconded by Mr. Wilkinson, and carried unanimously, that the report of the Committee be adopted; and that the Committee be re-appointed, and instructed to lay before the Committee of Synod an extract from this minute, and to support the views of this court before the Synod, if necessary, and that the same Committee be appointed to arrange for a settlement with the Synod as to the present church building.

It was moved and seconded, that the report be adopted, and that the Synod resolve in accordance therewith. Further consideration of the report was adjourned till the evening sederunt.

Adjourned, to meet in this place this evening at six o'clock.

Closed with prayer.