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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Session XII

Session XII.

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

The minutes of last meeting were read and approved

The Synod having resumed consideration of report on First Church, it was moved and seconded, "That the Synod grant L14,000, together with the sum of L1767 12s. 6d. set forth in the extract minute of deacons' court, on the condition that the latter body give a guarantee that no further grant would be asked in respect of the erection of the new church, and that the present church building be handed over to the Synod in lieu of L1500 for which it is mortgaged."

Before determining the matter, it was resolved that the deacons' court of First Church should lay their records on the table of the Synod. To give them an opportunity to do this, the Synod proceeded to take up other business, when Mr. Todd's motion anent printing papers was adopted; and Mr. Watt, in accordance with the sense of the Synod, withdrew the motion standing in his name, anent reading of papers before Synod. Motion anent election of elders, of which notice was given in by Mr. Wales, was sent down to Presbyteries.

Committee appointed to revise Rules of Procedure continued, with name of Mr. Stevens added.

The records of deacons' court of First Church having been laid on the table, the Synod resumed discussion of the report anent First Church, when it was moved and seconded, "That no further grant towards the First Church be sanctioned; but that arrangements be made to pay the deacons' court such sum additional to what has already been paid as will make up the amount to L13,000 on completion of their new buildnig; and that on condition of their taking possession of the same and vacating the present building and site, the remaining portion of the page 17 Synod's grant, amounting to L1000, be paid within six months thereafter; and that the present church be taken in lieu of L1500 now lying on it as a mortgage, on condition that the deacons' court accept the said sum of L1500 as a full discharge of all claims for said building." A vote having been taken between the two amendments, the latter was carried by a majority of 18 to 6. Thereafter a vote was taken between the original motion and the amendment carried, when the latter was adopted by a majority of 15 to 5. Thereupon the following reasons of dissent were given:—"1. That the Dunedin Church Lands Ordinance, 1861, vested in the Presbyterian Church of Otago the land known as the Manse Reserve, for the purposes, among others, of erecting a church and manse for the First Church of Otago, and that the erection of such should form a first charge against the rents accruing from said Manse Reserve. 2. That it rests upon this Synod to complete thoroughly the church now in course of erection, in virtue of the authority given by the Supreme Court to the Deacons' Court of First Church. 3. That the resolution carried, as a refusal to implement the responsibilities resting on this Synod as bound to carry out the Dunedin Church Lauds Ordinance, is consequently a violation of said Ordinance. Signed—James P. Millar, Charles Connor, Thomas Alexander, James M'Naughton, N. Y. A. Wales, John Waters." The following were appointed a committee to answer the reasons of dissent, viz.:—Messrs. Copland, Will, Gillies, and Todd; Dr. Copland convener.

The Synod adjourned, to meet in this place tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.