The Northam years
THE ANGLICAN SYNOD.
FIRST DAY – MONDAY.
“MY BRETHREN OF THE CLERGY AND THE LAITY,– During the past year we have had several changes in our clerical staff.
“The Rev. E.P. Hood [ Edward Paxton Hood ], senior assistance curate at the Cathedral; the Rev. S. Hawthorne, rector of Busselton, and the Rev. B. Horsfall, who was in temporary charge at Roebourne, have all left the Diocese for other fields of labour.
“The Rev. R. Alderson [ Richard Alderson ], formerly chaplain to the Fremantle goal, and subsequently for some 14 years rector of Pinjarrah, has been removed by death; and the Rev. J. Withers [ Joseph Withers ] has been obliged by failing health to resign the cure of the Bunbury parish.
“The Rev. J.E. Harston [ John Eagles Harston ], who, when we last met, was giving his services gratuitously as an assistant curate in Perth, and has since been on a visit to England, has decided for urgent family reasons to remain in Europe.
“The Rev. W. Everingham [ Wesley Everingham ] has been removed from Dongarra to Busselton; Rev. R. Adams from Perth to Dongarra; Rev. H. Wallis from Southern Cross to Perth; Rev. H. Mason from Pinjarrah to Southern Cross; the Rev. J. Allen from St. John’s, Perth, to Pinjarrah; Rev. J. Orchard from Katanning to St. John’s, Perth; and the Rev. F. Marshall from the Helena district to Bunbury.
“Mr. Hood’s place at the Cathedral in Perth has been filled by the Rev. F.J. Price, from the Diocese of Melbourne; whilst Mr. Orchard has been succeeded in the care of the Katanning district by the Rev. T. Phillips, well-known to us all for the good work done by him during his tenure for some three years not long back of the cure of the parish of Roebourne, whom I have been thankful to welcome back to the Diocese.
“There remain still three important posts unfilled, viz., the Roebourne and Gascoyne district, in the North, and the Helena district in the South; but the lengthened visit of the Diocesan Missioner, the Rev. D.J. Garland [ David John Garland ], to the North, of which I hope presently to speak more particularly, has not only temporarily supplied the two former districts with some regular religious ministrations, but has put matters again in train for the appointment in each case of a resident Pastor; and I trust shortly to be able also to appoint someone again to the charge of the Helena district, including therein the township now forming at the junction of the Midland and Eastern Railway.
“Of the lay-members of the Synod, two have been removed from amongst us by death since last we met, the Hon. T. Burges, M.L.C., of Geraldton [ Thomas Burges ], and Mr. M.W.W. Gibbings [ sic, William Gibbings ] of Northam.
“In Mr. Burges we have lost one, not only deservedly trusted and esteemed in his own family circle and throughout the community, but one who by his consistent Christian life, and his ready counsel and help in all matters of Church work, did much valuable service both to his own parish and to the Diocese.
“Mr. Gibbings too, was one who took an active interest in church work, and will be remembered in our eastern parishes especially as the builder of the new church at Northam and of that of Beverley.
“One other change in the staff of the diocese has been the resignation by Mr. E. Sholl of the office of Registrar of the Diocese which he had held for some years, and the appointment of Mr. F.G. Williams, our Diocesan Secretary, to be his successor.
“My best thanks are due to Mr. Sholl for the help which during his tenure of the office he always rendered me most willingly, and for the work’s sake, in the conduct of much of the routine business of the Diocese.
WORK OF DIOCESE.
“As regards the actual work of the Diocese the past year has been one, I hope, of steady, if of quiet, progress. I have myself in the course of the year visited all the southern parishes except Gingin and Albany, some of them more than once, and held confirmations in most of them.
“The number of confirmations thus held has been 20, and the total number confirmed, 133 males and 181 females.
My visits have in four instances been in special connection with the dedication either of a new church or of a substantial addition to the old parish church.
“Thus the new church in the Beverley town site, which when we last met was nearly completed, was consecrated by me on the 30th of November last; the church at Claremont, near Perth, the foundation stone of which was laid during the last session of the Synod, was consecrated on the 11th of April; the parish church of Geraldton, having been greatly improved in appearance, as well as enlarged in point of accommodation by the addition of same 50 feet to its length, was re-dedicated in May; and the parish church of York, having been converted almost into a new building by raising the roof of the nave to a higher pitch, carrying up the tower, and adding a chancel and organ chamber, was re-dedicated in July.
“Others of our churches have been improved by smaller external additions or in the internal arrangement and fittings, e.g., Northam church by the erection of a font, purchased by the subscriptions of the children of the parish; St. Alban’s, in Perth, by the addition of a vestry and re-arrangement of chancel; St. John’s, Fremantle, by handsome altar hangings; and Pinjarrah and Busselton churches by some substantial repairs.
“The small church newly erected at Tipperary, in the parish of York has been licensed for public worship; though, owing to some delay in handing over of the title deed, it has not yet been consecrated.
“Another small church is in the course of erection at Marradong in the North Williams district; and another at Dingup, some 20 miles south of Bridgetown, in the Blackwood district; whilst others are being commenced, e.g., in the Dale District of Beverley parish, and at Pingelly, Wagin, and Katanning along the Great Southern Railway.
“A temporary building to serve both as a schoolroom and for church services, is also about to be erected at the junction of the Midland and Eastern Railways, on the borders of the Swan and Guildford parishes.
“Something too has been done during the past year as regards other church buildings and the acquisition of additional church lands.
“Thus at Bridgetown the rectory has been completed, and the land immediately about it fenced, and to a large extent cleared and planted.
“A good parish room has been added to the rectory at Beverley; both at Bunbury and Pinjarrah the rectory has been recently put into a state of thorough repair, whilst at Gingin and Busselton, the only two new of the older parishes of the Diocese that are without a rectory, steps are being taken for the erection of such buildings.
“At Southern Cross a good-sized and fairly substantial house has been purchased by the diocesan trustees as a temporary clergy residence.
“At Fremantle two additional houses have been erected on the rectory glebe.
“Several additional grants of land for church sites, glebes and cemeteries have been made by the Government; whilst at North Fremantle a good church site in a central position has been secured by the sale of a portion of the block originally given for this purpose, on what is now the west side of the railway.
“These are all, it is true, matters in themselves but of external improvement; but we may thankfully take them as at once the outcome of much patient and self-denying labour, and as the evidence of an inner and deeper progress.
“They mean, in most cases, certainly, increased and increasing endeavours on the part of the clergy to supply the needs of our rapidly increasing population both in the central towns and in the outlying parts of our large parishes; and an increasing demand also on the part of the people for the Church’s ministrations.
“My chief concern, indeed, is that, with all this increasing provision for the religious needs of our people, our parishes remain too large, the distances therefore to be travelled too great, and the services to be held too many, for any one clergyman to manage with satisfactory results either to himself or to his people.
“The clergy are most of them over-taxed: there is scarcely one of them who does not need the help of an assistant curate.
“This need is being already met, I am thankful to say, in the parish of Fremantle, where a sufficient sum has been secured by local contributions for an assistant curate.
“In two other of our parishes also, Beverley and Northam, the help of a lay brother from the Burge Missionary College [ St Paul’s College, Burgh Le Marsh, Lincolnshire ], in the Diocese of Lincoln, has been obtained by the rector, their services being given for a fixed period in return merely for board, lodging and clothing.
“Each of thee young men are doing excellent work, assisting not only, under my licence, in the conduct of outlying services, but also in visiting the settlers’ families, in the choir and Sunday schools, in the instruction of candidates for confirmation, in collecting the subscriptions to the church funds, in the conduct of temperance or other parish meetings, the formation of young men’s guilds or brigades, and other like ways.
“Work of the same kind is being well done also by a licensed lay reader in Perth, and there can be no doubt but that such lay help, systematically given by men able to devote their whole time and energies to it, and for the work’s sake, is very valuable.
“It would be a great gain to us to have more such brothers – and eventually we might hope a church brotherhood of our own – doing similar work throughout the Diocese.
“I should be sorry, indeed, that even such lay help should be accepted as a sufficient substitute for that of a staff of assistant clergy.
“To meet effectually the real needs of such a diocese as this each priest in charge of a large parish should have his assistant deacon, even though to secure this we had somewhat to lower the standard of requirements for admission to the diaconate, and to employ as deacons many who would not be likely to pass on to the higher orders of the ministry.
“But there would still, even so, be much good work in all our parishes which an earnest and active layman could do almost better than a clergyman: setting the clergyman himself free from a good deal of labour and anxiety as to the secular concerns of the parish, to give his time and thoughts more fully to the higher duties of his ministry.
“What I have said so for applies almost entirely to the southern portion of the Diocese, as far north as Geraldton.
“The Gascoyne and Roebourne districts have both been since January last, as I have already stated, without a resident pastor.
“The local contributions from the settlers, required to supplement the allowances made for diocesan funds, having failed, partly owing to the heavy losses sustained by them in consequence of the long drought of the previous years and partly to other causes.
“I am thankful to say, however, that I have been able to turn to good account the services of our Diocesan Missioner, the Rev. D.J. Garland [ David John Garland ], in maintaining the ministrations of the Church in these districts during this period, and in again securing in each case the necessary local support for a resident clergyman.
“Mr. Garland, after taking charge of the Pariah of Dongarra, for a couple of months, until the appointment of the Rev. R.A. Adams as Mr. Everingham’s successor in the cure of that parish, and holding a ten-day’s mission at Canon Louch’s request at Geraldton, besides advocating and otherwise furthering the objects of the Diocesan Church Extension Society throughout the Rural Deanery of Geraldton, proceeded in March last to Carnarvon, where he remained for some six weeks, holding frequent services, giving daily religious instruction to the children, visiting the settlers, and reorganising church matters generally, with a view both to the erection of a small church and clergyman’s residence and to obtaining definite promises of contribution towards the clergyman’s stipend.
“From thence he went on in May to Roebourne, where he has since remained, with the exception of a five weeks journey (of some 600 miles going and returning) to the Marble Bar goldfields and the eastward stations, doing similar good work.
“I learn both from his own letters, and from other sources, that the congregations have been got well together again both at Roebourne and at Cossack, that the offertory collections have been larger than ever before, and an interest in church work has been awakened throughout this district.
“He has been cordially and actively seconded in his efforts by the Roebourne vestry, and especially by the churchwardens, Mr. Cowan, R.M. [ Regional Magistrate ], and Mr. A.S. Roe, and by Mr. G. Gordon, with the result that already a sum of nearly £200 has been guaranteed from local contributions towards the stipend of a resident clergyman.
“It has been arranged to supplement this amount for a time from diocesan funds so as to make up a stipend of £300 per annum, and I am now in consultation with the Board of Nominators with a view to the appointment as soon as possible, of a suitable clergyman to the charge of the district.
“Mr. Garland is now on his way back to Carnarvon, where he will spend at least another five or six weeks ere his return to Perth, with a view to completing there also the arrangements necessary to the appointment of a resident clergyman as Mr. Elliott’s successor in the charge of that district, and the erection of the proposed church.
“I had intended that whilst in the north he should go on as far as Roebuck Bay and Derby, if not to Wyndham, and report to me as to the practicability of arrangements being made under which these places shall be either visited periodically from Roebourne, or provided with a resident clergyman of their own.
“But the withdrawal just at this time of the coast steamers has prevented this, and it is well, perhaps, that he has thus been obliged to give a longer time than was at first proposed to those two districts, as it is clearly essential that the work in them should be placed on a sound basis before anything can be attempted to any real effect in the districts further north.
“If now I can secure the services of an experienced and devoted clergyman to follow up the work which Mr. Garland has done, having his headquarters at Roebourne – the first step at any rate will have been taken in this direction: and I shall hope that ere long the means will be forthcoming which will enable me so to increase the staff of clergy there working with him, as not only to provide thoroughly for the whole of the Roebourne District the regular religious ministrations which it requires, but to allow of the work being extended to the parts beyond.
“I am satisfied, both from my own personal knowledge, and from the information that I have recently received from Mr. Garland and others, that in order to enable that distant portion of the Diocese being worked at all as it should be two things are necessary: First, That a strong centre should be established at Roebourne; and, second, That the clergyman who is in chief charge there should be in a position to give a good deal of time and labour to general supervision and organisation on throughout the whole three districts.
“The time has hardly yet come for constituting them into a separate diocese; but I should be thankful to see my way to forming them shortly into a distinct Archdeaconry under the care of an Archdeacon to a great extent, at any rate, if not entirely free from parochial duties, to supply to them on my behalf that constant personal care and supervision which it is practically impossible for me myself to the them from so far distant a centre as Perth, with the continually increasing demands of the southern portion of the Diocese upon my time and thoughts.
CHURCH EXTENSION FUNDS.
“With his time so fully occupied as Diocesan Missioner in the northern districts, Mr. Garland has not been able since January to do much in the southern parishes in his capacity of organising secretary to the Diocesan Church Extension Society.
“I have myself refrained, moreover, in consideration of the general financial depression of the past six months, and the prevalence of smallpox in Perth just at the time when the annual collections in aid of the funds of the Society should have been made, from asking the clergy to make any special efforts to seek contributions in its support in their several parishes.
“You will see, however, from the report which will be laid before you, together with the diocesan treasurer’s statement of accounts for the year ended June 30th, that most of our parishes have given some help.
“The receipts to the fund during the year amounted in all to £340, of which £202 (including several donations for special objects) was received from England as the result chiefly of the efforts of our good friend, Miss Maurice, on behalf of the Diocese, and £138.10s. was raised in the colony.
“Branches of the Society are now established in Perth, the Swan, York, Northam, Geraldton, Dongarra, Busselton, and more recently in Bridgetown; the Swan and Busselton branches having been again this year, as they were last, the most regular in their remittances.
“The amount from collections at confirmations was just over £10. I may remind you that in addition to the amount thus raised, we have at our disposal for church extension work a sum of a little over £200 per annum, being the interest of the £4,000 set apart for this purpose from our Diocesan Sustentation and Endowment Fund.
“We still have, too, I am thankful to say, the valuable assistance of the annual grants of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Colonial and Continental Church Society, amounting altogether to £750 per annum.
“There is scarcely one of our country parishes which has not for some years past been helped from these funds to make up the necessary stipend of its pastor.
“It is through their help that separate parishes or parochial districts have in several cases been constituted and provided with their own resident clergymen, as in the case of Roebourne, Carnarvon, Dongarra, the Blackwood, the Williams district, and, still more recently, Katanning and the Yilgarn goldfields.
“It has been in dependence upon their help that I have ventured to engage the services of the Rev. Mr. Garland for a limited period, as Diocesan Missioner and organising secretary of the Church Extension Society.
“But we cannot expect all the outside help to be continued to us much longer.
“A portion, indeed, of grant of The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, being a sum of £250 per annum given as an extra grant for three years, will cease at the end of next year.
“On the other hand, not only ought the work taken in hand to be maintained, but fresh work needs even now at many different points to be taken up, whilst the influx of population into the colony seems likely to increase and bring with it fresh demands still in the near future.
“It becomes very important, therefore, that during this next year special efforts should be made to complete the organisation of our Church Extension Society, so as to make it an active and permanent agency throughout the Diocese for raising the funds that will be needed for these purposes.
“It will be one chief part of the Rev. Mr. Garland’s work during the coming year to promote and assist such efforts in the several parishes of the southern portion of the Diocese.
“I may, perhaps, here mention that I received some two months ago from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in response to an application from Mr. Garland, a present of an excellent magic lantern with over 100 well-selected slides, to be used for lectures and entertainments in connection with our church extension work.
“This lantern he has already been turning to good account at Roebourne, and it will be found, I have no doubt, yet more serviceable towards this object in his hands and the hands of others amongst us in this part of the Diocese.
FINANCES OF DIOCESE.
“Nor is it only of the funds needed for our church extension work that we have to think.
“The whole question of the financial arrangements of the Diocese is one that needs careful consideration.
“At present we are dependent for the stipends of our clergy in our older parishes, partly upon the Government subsidy, and partly upon the annual voluntary contributions of the parishioners.
“These last necessarily fluctuate with the times, and too often with the personal popularity or otherwise of the clergyman.
“And, should the Government subsidy be withdrawn, as we are told it may be ere long, will be a very insufficient support, unless placed on a different basis, on which to rely.
“We ought, I think, to be making, without loss of time, some special efforts both to increase our local or parish endowments, and to secure to the Diocese a much larger central fund than we yet possess, from which at once to supplement on some fixed scale the amounts assured to the incomes of the clergy from local endowments and contributions; and to aid either the formation of new parishes, or the employment of additional clergy as assistants in outlying districts.
“It would be well that the Synod at this session should either make some definite suggestions as to what form these efforts should take in the hands of the Bishop-in-Council, or appoint a strong select Finance Committee to go into the question thoroughly, and invite the attention of the several parish vestries to it in such ways as they shall deem best.
“Such matters, though not the highest with which to deal, enter rightly into our deliberations as a Synod.
“Our church work has necessarily its financial as well as its higher spiritual point of aspect.
“The question of income is not, of course, with any right-minded clergyman that which mainly influences him in accepting a call to any particular post of work, or in the discharge of the duties there assigned him.
“But the spiritual ‘labourer is worthy of his hire’ no less than the ordinary workman; and it is for the interest of the Church as a whole that the incomes of the clergy should be placed on a footing that will not only ensure to the work of the ministry men of high educational training and ability, but will place them in a position in which they will be free from money worries and difficulties to give their whole time and thought to the faithful prosecution of their sacred duties.
RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS.
“I pass on to a subject which has essentially to do with the spiritual side of the Church’s work – that of the religious instruction of the children attending the public elementary schools of the colony.
“At our last session a series of resolutions on this important subject were adopted, and a Diocesan Board of Education was appointed to deal with it.
“The report of that Board will show what, so far, they have done in the direction indicated by those resolutions.
“I may here say that I lost no time, after consultation with the Board, in bringing to the notice of the Government, through the Colonial Secretary, as requested by the Synod, the subject dealt with in the third of those resolutions – viz., the advisability of introducing into our Elementary Education Act provisions similar to those of the New South Wales Act, permitting ministers of religion to give religions instruction to the children of their own communion during school hours.
“Our own Education Act, indeed, provided that religion instruction should be given in the public elementary schools at certain fixed times, but the authorised instruction was limited to the reading of the Bible and other religious books approved by the Central Board, without note or comment; the children were practically free to attend or not, as they pleased, it being laid down in by-law 61 that the attendance register should not be called until after the time set apart at the opening of the school for such instruction; and the school teacher was the person with whom it rested to give such instruction.
“I readily acknowledge not only that many of our school teachers have been good Christian men and women, but that the provisions of the Act in this matter have been in most eases liberally construed by the District Boards, so that such questions and explanations of the passage of Scripture read as would make its teachings clear to the children have been allowed, and no objection had been taken to a minister of religion taking occasionally such Scripture lessons when himself, as he usually was, a member of the Board.
“But still we had no real security as to what the school teacher’s own religions belief or habits might be.
“The ministers of religion, as such, had no right to teach in the school, and a District Board might at any time limit the instruction to be given in its schools to that laid down by the letter of the law.
“It was but reasonable to expect, therefore, that all who regard religious instruction as ‘the beginning of wisdom’ – the only sure foundation on which to build up the after-training of mind and character – and wish to secure such instruction being honestly and thoroughly given in our schools, would gladly welcome an alteration of the law that would allow the religious instruction in our elementary schools to be given in future within the school hours, and by the several ministers of religion to the children of their own communion.
“We may be thankful, at any rate, not merely for our own children’s sakes, but in the interests of the colony as a whole, that our Government, after careful consideration of the matter, have introduced provisions to this effect in the Elementary Education Act 1871, Amendment Act, which has been passed during the session of Parliament just concluded.
“I am sure that in thus following the lines of the New South Wales Act they have taken a right course.
“To exclude religious instruction altogether from our public education after the example of France and the United States of America and some of our sister colonies, would be to make a fatal mistake.
“It has been said, for instance, in regard to France: ‘That the increase of crime amongst the juvenile population has been very great since religion was excluded from the schools’ and (ii). ‘That with religious instruction all teaching of morality has disappeared.’
“And the same is said to be the case in the United States, and nearer home, in Victoria.
“In England, on the other hand, not only is the feeling in favour of religious education stronger than ever, but there is a growing feeling in favour of some such mode of settling the difficulty of determining what religious teaching shall be given in the public elementary school as for some time past has been adopted in New South Wales and has now been introduced into our own Education Act.
“It is for you, my brethren of the clergy, to consider how you can best avail yourselves of the permission now given you to give religious instruction in the Government schools of your several parishes, so as to make that instruction really effective.
“There will, no doubt, be a good deal of difficulty in doing this, partly from the fact that the time available to any one clergyman in any one school will not be more than half-an-hour once, or, at the most, twice a week; and partly from the distance often in our country districts of the schools one from the other.
“I do not now attempt to offer any especial suggestions to you in the matter.
“I will only say:
“(i). That the religions instruction of the children of your flocks who are being educated in the Government schools should be regarded by you as one of the most important amongst your parish duties, on which the time spent will be found, perhaps, to be the best spent portion of the day;
“(ii). That it is clearly advisable that a common syllabus of instruction should be adopted as far as practicable throughout the Diocese, and a common plan followed, including arrangements for yearly examinations and prizes, under the general direction of the Diocesan Board of Education, assisted, if possible, by a Diocesan Inspector or organising secretary – an office that may, perhaps, be best combined at present with that of the Diocesan Missioner.
“One other matter which I wish briefly to refer to, as also a matter of special thankfulness in connection with the work of the past years, that of which you will find a more detailed mention in the report of our Missions Committee, viz., the actual commencement at length of a home for the native and half-caste children near Carnarvon, in the Gascoyne district, under the care of a lady well known in the district who had volunteered her services for this purpose.
“At yet, indeed, we have received no particulars beyond the fact that she has taken up her abode at the Mission Home, and is preparing to commence work; but from the information that she has sent us as to the probable number of children that can be gathered into the Home, and the co-operation and support that has been promised her by the Resident Magistrate and others, we have reason to trust that a satisfactory beginning will then at length have been made, on the lines marked out from the first by the Missions Committee, of some definite work on behalf of the native races of our northern districts; though it may be bet a small beginning, and that in one only of the different branches of the large missionary work that is being more and more opened up to us throughout the whole north-western portion of this colony.
OTHER COLONIAL DIOCESES.
“I have left myself no time to speak of matters church work during the past years, outside our own Diocese, but having their general interest for us as one amongst the many Dioceses of the Anglican colonial church, and of the province of Australia in particular.
“I will but say now that the past year has been marked by the removal from amongst us of the two oldest of our colonial bishops, Bishop Austin [ William Percy Austin ], for fifty years Bishop of British Guiana in the West Indies, with whom I was myself during many years especially associated in friendship and in work, and Bishop Medley [ John Medley ], for more than forty years Bishop of Fredericton, Nova Scotia: as well as of Bishop Charles Wordsworth, of the Church in Scotland, whose name has been a scarcely less familiar one throughout the churches of the Anglican Communion, than that of his eminent brother, the late Bishop of Lincoln.
“Here too in Australia, one of our oldest Bishop, Bishop Turner [ James Francis Turner ], of Grafton and Armidale, has been called to his rest.
“The past year has been marked, too, amongst ourselves, by the election of Canon Chalmers [ William Chalmers ], of the Melbourne Diocese, a clergyman of well-known learning and ability and of long colonial experience; to the vacant Diocese of Goulburn: and by the completion of the endowment of the proposed new Diocese of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, and the unanimous election of Bishop Dawes [ Nathaniel Dawes ], previously coadjutor to the Bishop of Brisbane, as its first Bishop.
CHURCH CONGRESS AT HOBART.
“I wish also especially to mention that arrangements have been made for holding a Church Congress for the Provinces of Australia and New Zealand in January next at Hobart, in Tasmania: and that it is the desire of the Bishop of Tasmania and of the Congress Committee that this Diocese should be well represented on the list of readers of papers and speakers.
“It is proposed further to utilise the occasion for a Conference between the Bishops of New Zealand and Australia, under the presidency of the Primate of Australia, on questions touching generally on the work of the Church in this hemisphere.
“It will thus be an occasion of more than ordinary interest, and an opportunity of calling special attention to, possibly of enlisting some help in both the home and the missionary work of the church on the western and north-western side of the Australian Continent.
“I have myself accepted the invitation sent me to attend the Congress conditionally upon my being able to make the necessary arrangements; and I have forwarded the names of some of the clergy, who, I have reason to think, would be ready so to attend as representatives of the Diocese subject to the same condition.
BUSINESS OF SESSION.
“We have before us but little this section in the way of legislative business.
“We shall be all the more free, therefore, at our next meeting, to account for careful deliberation of subjects such as those to which I have referred as needing our special attention, and others which may be suggested to our consideration by the reports of committees that will come before us.
“I am glad to find that so large a proportion of the clergy of the Diocese have been able to come up this time to the meeting of Synod, owing mainly to the increased facilities of travelling now afforded by the extension of our railways, and the consideration of the Minister of Railways, and the managing director of the Great Southern Railway, in granting fares at reduced rates to clergymen travelling to and from Perth for this purpose.
“Apart from the actual business and deliberations of the Synod, such an annual gathering of clergy from all parts of this large Diocese is of great advantage in the opportunities that it affords for mutual intercourse and counsel one with another, and with the leading lay members of the Church; which are the more valuable from the fact that, as a rule, the clergy, in a Diocese such as this, stand so much each one alone in his work, having each as best he may to meet his own special difficulties and discouragements.
“At the new era which we have now reached in the industrial and political history of our colony, with the changes that it will probably bring with it, it becomes especially important to us thus to take counsel from time to time one with another, so that our work in all parts of the Diocese alike, may be carried on on the same lines of true, orderly, development; with the one simple aim before us of advancing each at our several posts, that which is, in fact, God’s own work in the world, the truest and best interests alike of our Church and of our country.
“In the hope that this, under God’s good guidance, may be now and always the result of our gathering together, I invite you to proceed to the business of this session.”
– from page 6 and 7, “The West Australian” of 18 October 1893.