« PreviousContinue »
additional archdeaconries, and which will involve the necessity of a change in the territorial limits of some already existing. Jurisdiction should also be given to such of the archdeacons as are at present merely nominal officers.
We have said nothing respecting the future arrangement of rural deaneries, conceiving that it will be most advantageously settled by the Bishops of the several dioceses, power being
given to them for that purpose : but it is proper to remark, that if the rural deans are to be efficient officers, as we think they ought to be, it will be desirable that they should receive some small annual payments, sufficient to defray the expenses incurred by them in their visitations.
With respect to the time at which the proposed territorial changes should take place, some may be effected immediately, with the consent of the Bishops concerned ; others, as for instance those which relate to the formation of the two new dioceses, cannot be effected, except as particular vacancies shall occur, nor until the funds necessary for carrying them into execution shall become available. This brings us to the second head of the Report, viz.
Revenue.—The tables of the episcopal incomes, already published, having been framed upon an average resulting from the receipts of the three years, ending with the year 1831, and from the statements of the respective Bishops as to the probable future receipts, we have thought it expedient to apply for returns of the actual incomes of the several sees, during each of the seven years, ending with the year 1835; for the purpose of enabling us to form a more correct estimate. At present our calculations are necessarily grounded upon the tables published in our first Report ; according to which the average annual revenue of all the sees will be about 148,875l. ; a sum sufficient to provide incomes for all the Bishops, including those of the two new sees, without the addition of any preferment in commendam ; and thus to accomplish one of the objects recommended by your Majesty to our consideration.
But the peculiar manner of leasing the episcopal estates throws great difficulties in the way of carrying into effect the arrangement suggested in our first Report.
If the estates were let at rack rent, so that each Bishop might receive, every year, about that which is stated to be his average annual income, it would be easy, upon the occurrence of a vacancy in one of the richer sees, to require the future Bishop to pay a certain annual sum towards the augmentation of the poorer sees. But the great variation, which occurs in the episcopal incomes, from year to year, according as a greater or less amount of fines is received, presents an obvious difficulty.
One mode of rendering those incomes less uncertain would be, to allow the existing leases, both for lives and for terms of years, to expire. But any plan for accomplishing this object must involve the necessity of borrowing money upon the security of the episcopal estates, in order to compensate the Bishops for the loss of the fines which accrue to them under the
present system, and which form an important part of their incomes. The practical result of such an operation would be, to transfer to the parties lending their money, that interest in the episcopal estates, which is now possessed by the lessees. We are not therefore prepared to recommend the adoption of any general measure, for allowing the leases for lives and terms of years to expire ; although for the purpose of correcting, in some degree, the inconvenience now arising from the great variations in the annual amount of the episcopal incomes, we recommend that facilities should be afforded for the conversion of leases for lives into leases for terms of years.
In order to give a clearer view of the financial part of the subject, we subjoin a statement, shewing the present amount of the incomes of the larger sees, and the reduction which it is proposed to make in them.
Income. Future proposed
5,200 3,800 $
28,500 This reduction, when carried into effect, will furnish annually a sum of 28,500l., to which is to be added the income of the See of Bristol, amounting to 2,3001. The total sum thus obtained, of 30,8001., being divided amongst the thirteen Bishopricks which require an ardition to their present revenues, and the two new sees, will provide an income for each, varying from 4,0001. to 5,000/. per annum, according to the circumstances of the different sees. The sums to be apportioned to each, cannot be determinedd, till we shall have received the returns above referred to. In the sees of York, Bath and Wells, Norwich, and Salisbury, we do not propose to make any alteration.
We are also of opinion, looking to the variable nature of the episcopal incomes, that for the purpose of ensuring the regular payment of the sums which may be allotted to the poorer sees, it may be expedient to provide a fund, by allowing the sums, which are to be deducted from the incomes of the richer bishopricks, to accumulate for a certain time.
Before we quit the consideration of the financial part of the inquiry, we will briefly allude to another mode, by which something may be done towards diminishing the present uncertainty of the episcopal incomes.
Although we cannot recommend the adoption of any measure for the general sale of the reversions of the episcopal estates, yet there are estates, belonging to some sees, the reversions of which may, perhaps, be advantageously sold. Such sales can now be effected only under the authority of an Act of Parliament; we would therefore suggest, the expediency of giving power to effect them, under certain restrictions, and with the consent of the body to which we have already referred. The produce of such sales may constitute a fund, out of which the Bishop may receive compensation, either for foregoing a fine, in order to facilitate the conversion of a lease for lives into one for a term of years, or for waving his right of granting a concurrent lease, when a lessee will not renew.
With respect to the bishoprick of Durham, we have been informed by Viscount Melbourne, that your Majesty has been pleased to approve of a plan, for detaching from that see its palatine jurisdiction, and for placing the county of Durham on the same footing, as to secular affairs, with the other English counties. We beg leave respectfully to state our entire concurrence in the propriety of that arrangement, which we ourselves had intended to suggest in this Report
Considering that the Bishop of Durham will thus be relieved from the expenses incident to the secular jurisdiction in question, we have proposed a larger reduction in the income of that see, than we should otherwise have been prepared to recommend. If this arrangement should be carried into effect, it may be desirable that the Bishop of Durham should be relieved from the heavy charge of maintaining and keeping in repair the castle at Durham, which building may conveniently be appropriated to the uses of the university, apartments being reserved for the Bishop.
It is probable that in consequence of these changes, the excess of income, above 8,0001. per annum, which has been proposed as the future income of the see of Durhain, will be larger than has been stated in the foregoing table.
We beg leave further to recommend, that the temporal jurisdiction which the Archbishop of York possesses in various parts of the counties of York and Nottingham, and that which the Bishop of Ely possesses within the Isle of Ely, should be detached from those sees; and that the districts, comprised within those jurisdictions, should be merged in the counties in which they are respectively situate.
It will be necessary to provide residences for the Bishops of Manchester, Ripon, Lincoln, Llandaff, and Rochester. The mode of doing this should, in our opinion, be left to the determination of whatever body may be appointed to carry into effect the measures recommended in our reports. A suitable residence may probably be provided for the Bishop of Rochester, either in Essex or Hertfordshire, by the sale or exchange of his present residence.
Cathedral and Collegiate Churches.-In further obedience to your Majesty's commands, we have diligently applied ourselves to consider the state of the cathedral and collegiate churches, in England and Wales, with a view to the suggestion of such measures, as may render them conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church; and to devise the best mode of providing for the cure of souls, with special reference to the residence of the clergy on their respective benefices."
In approaching this branch of the inquiry, we think it important to explain the principles upon which we have proceeded. In order to give increased efficiency and usefulness to the Established Church, it is obviously necessary, that we should attempt the accomplishment of two objects, which are indispensable to the complete attainment of that end. One is, to improve the condition of those benefices, the population of which is of considerable amount, but which are now 80 scantily endowed as not to yield a competent maintenance for a clergyman; the other is, to add to the numbers of clergymen and churches, and so to make a more adequate provision for the religious instruction of a rapidly increased and increasing population.
It appears, from the Report of the Ecclesiastical Revenues Commission, that there are no less than 3,528 benefices under 150l. per annum. Of this number 13 contain each a population of more than 10,000 ; 51 a population of from 5,000 to 10,000; 251 a population of between 2,000 and 5,000 ; and 1,125 have each a population of between 500 and 2,000. On every one of these benefices it is desirable that there should be a resident clergyman; but unless their value be augmented, it will in many cases be impossible to secure this advantage. The necessity of such augmentation will be greatly increased by the changes, which we are about to recommend, in the laws relating to pluralities and residence. The means, which can be applied to effect the improvement, are very far short of the amount required. Even were no addition to be made to the income of benefices having a population below 500, it would take no less a sum than 235,000l. per annum, to raise all benefices, having a population of between 500 and 2,000, to the annual value of 2001. ; those having a population of 2,000 and upwards, to 3001.; and those having 5,000 and upwards, to 4001. per annum. Of the
benefices included in this enumeration, there are 1,052 in private patronage, and 1,253 in public patronage, the latter of which are, in the first instance, the preferable objects of assistance from the funds, which we propose to render available to the purposes of augmentation ; and those funds will be very far from adequate to the improvement even of this class of preferments.
We think it necessary here to remark, that in stating the sum which would be required to augment all benefices of a certain population and income, according to a supposed scale, we have chiefly in view the propriety of laying before your Majesty some facts, which may serve to illustrate, though by no means to give a complete view of, the wants of the parochial clergy: and we are far from intending that an inference should be drawn from this statement, as to our opinion respecting the best mode of distributing the sum, whatever it may be, which will be derived from the adoption of the propositions which we are about to offer.
The question as to the general principles of distribution requires the most serious consideration, and much additional inquiry; and we must reserve, for the present, any distinct recommendation to your Majesty.
The most prominent, however, of those defects, which cripple the energies of the Established Church, and circumscribe its usefulness, is the want of churches and ministers in the large towns and populous districts of the kingdom. The growth of the population has been so rapid, as to outrun the means possessed by the establishment, of meeting its spiritual wants: and the result has been, that a vast proportion of the people are left destitute of the opportunities of public worship and Christian instruction, even when every allowance is made for the exertions of those religious bodies which are not in connexion with the Established Church.
It is not necessary, in this Report, to enter into all the details, by which the truth of this assertion might be proved. It will be sufficient to state the following facts as examples. Looking to those parishes only, which contain each a population exceeding 10,000, we find that in London and its suburbs, including the parishes on either bank of the Thames, there are four parishes or districts, each having a population exceeding 20,000, and containing an aggregate of 166,000 persons, with church-room for 8,200, (not quite one-twentieth of the wbole ;) and only eleven clergymen.
There are twenty one others, the aggregate population of which is 739,000, while the church-room is for 66,155, (not one-tenth of the whole;) and only forty-five clergymen.
There are nine others, with an aggregate population of 232,000, and church-room for 27,327, (not one-eighth of the whole;) and only nineteen clergymen.
The entire population of these thirty-four parishes amounts to 1,137,000, while there is church-room only for 101,682. Supposing that church-room is required for one-third, there ought to be sittings for 379,000 persons. There is therefore a deficiency of 277,318 sittings: or if we allow 25,000 for the number of sittings in proprietary chapels, the deficiency will be 252,318.
Allowing one church for a population of 3,000, there would be required, in these parishes, 379 churches ; whereas there are in fact only 69, or, if proprietary chapels be added, about 100, leaving a deficiency of 279; while there are only 139 clergymen, in a population exceeding a million.
In the diocese of Chester, there are thirty-eight parishes or districts, in Lancashire, each with a population exceeding 10,000, containing an aggregate of 816,000 souls, with churchroom for 97,700, or about one-eighth; the proportions varying in the different parishes from one-sixth to one-twenty-third.
In the diocese of York, there are twenty parishes or districts, each with a population exceeding 10,000, and with an aggregate of 402,000, while the church accommodation is for 48,000; the proportions varying from one-sixth to one-thirtieth.
In the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, there are sixteen parishes or districts, each having a population above 10,000, the aggregate being 235,000, with church-room for about 29,000 ; the proportions varying from one-sixth to one-fourteenth.
But a comparison between the amount of population, and that of church-room, will not furnish, by itself, an accurate view of the provision which is made for the spiritual wants of the people; because many of the chapels, which contribute to swell the amount of churchroom, have no particular districts assigned to them; and we consider the assignment of a district to each church or chapel, to be necessary to the ends of pastoral instruction, and to carrying into full effect the parochial economy of the Established Church.
The evils, which flow from this deficiency in the means of religious instruction and pastoral superintendence, greatly outweigh all other inconveniences, resulting from any defects or anomalies in our Ecclesiastical institutions; and it unfortunately happens, that while these evils are the most urgent of all, and most require the application of an effectual remedy, they are precisely those for which a remedy can be least easily found.
The resources which the Established Church possesses, and wbich can properly be made available to that purpose, in whatever way they may be husbanded or distributed, are evidently quite inadequate to the exigency of the case; and all that we can hope to do is, gradually to diminish the intensity of the evil.
Much indeed has already been done towards this end, partly by the application of the first fruits and tenths, granted by Queen Anne for the augmentation of small benefices; partly by the aid of liberal Parliamentary grants for the same purpose; and partly by the exertions of individual beneficence. The sums of money, voted by Parliament, and administered by the Commissioners for building and promoting the building of additional churches and chapels, have been met by a large amount of subscriptions and parochial contributions, in the more populous parts of the country; and the result is, that there have been erected 212 additional churches and chapels, and that sittings have been thus provided for 2833,536 persons, of which 155,938 are free and unappropriated.
The incorporated Society for promoting the enlargment, building, and repairing of churches and chapels, by the expenditure of 196,7701. raised entirely by private subscription, and expended principally in the enlargement of churches and chapels previously existing, has occasioned the outlay of at least 900,0001. on the part of those who have received assistance from it; and additional sittings in churches have been provided for 307,314 persons, of which 222,248 are free and unappropriated. In addition to these efforts, many churches have been built and endowed by pious and liberal individuals. Upon the whole we may state, that within the last twenty years additional church-room has been secured, for at least 600,000 persons, and some hundreds of additional clergymen have been stationed in populous districts, which were before destitute of the advantages of pastoral care and instruction. But all that has been hitherto done, in this way, falls very far short of the necessity of the case.
We have entered upon the inquiry which relates to cathedral and collegiate churches, under a strong impression, that if the endowments of those bodies should appear to be larger than is requisite for the purposes of their institution, and for maintaining them in such a state of efficiency and respectability as may enable them fully to carry those purposes into effect, the surplus of those endowments, whatever it may be, ought to be made available for the augmentation of poor benefices containing a large population, and to the great object of adding to the number of the parochial clergy.
But whatever resources may be obtained by carrying into effect the measures which we are prepared to recommend, it should be borne in mind that, as the operation of those measures must of necessity be gradual, so also must be the additions which will result from them to our existing means. We are therefore desirous of not appearing to encourage any expectation of a large immediate accession to the funds, which are now available to the augmentation of poor benefices, and the creation of new ones. It is, however, to be hoped, that the sacrifices which will be required from the cathedral and collegiate churches of the country, will have the effect of stimulating individual benevolence, to contribute towards the accomplishment of these most important ends.
Having made particular inquiries concerning the constitution of these several foundations, the establishments maintained in each, the revenues of the corporations, and of their individual members, and the disposition of their corporate funds, we are now prepared to recommend such measures as will, in our opinion, leave a suficient provision for the proper performance of the services of the churches, for the continual reparation and maintenance of the fabrics, and for the other objects contemplated by the founders, and at the same time allow the application of a considerable portion of their revenues, to the purpose of making additional provision for the cure of souls, in parishes where such assistance is most required.
We find a material variety, both in the constitution of these establishments, and in the amount and disposition of their respective revenues. For the purposes of this report, it will be convenient to divide the cathedral chapters into two classes, between which there exists & marked line of distinction :
First, the deans and chapters of the old foundation.
The former term comprehends all those cathedral establishments which were founded at different periods before the reign of King Henry the Eighth ; the latter, those wbich were founded by letters patent from the Crown, confirmed by Parliament, about the time of the reformation. The establishments of the old foundation, though some of them possess codes of statutes, granted at different periods, yet appear to be governed principally by the domestic enactments of the bodies themselves, and by customs, the origin of which cannot always be discovered. Those of the new foundation are, for the most part, governed by statutes, which were granted by the Crown, and subsequently ratified by Parliament. In the enactments of these statutes there is a great similarity, and frequently an identity.
The principal distinction between the two foundations, which bear upon the subject of the present Report, are these. The old comprise, not only the dean and canons residentiary, who compose the chapters of each, but various other prebendaries, who are not required to keep any residence at the cathedral, nor to perform any other duty, except that of preaching one or two sermons in each year. The dean, and each of the residentiaries, has, besides a separate endowment and a small fixed stipend, a share of that portion of the corporate revenues which remains after the payment of those stipends and other general expenses. Of this portion which is called dividend, the dean receives no larger share than any other member of the chapter ; except at Lichfield, where a different scale of division is prescribed by a local act of Parliament. Those prebendaries, who are not residentiaries, have no share of the corporate revenues, except, in some cases, small fixed payments, but in most instances possess each a separate endowment.
In the chapters of the new foundation, on the contrary, there are no prebendaries, besides the residentiaries; and except at Durham and Ely, they have no separate estates. The dean, independently of statutable allowances upon a materially larger scale than those of the prebendaries, receives, on the division of fines, a two-fold share.
The cathedral and collegiate churches of the dioceses in the principality of Wales are, in some respects, so peculiarly circu anced, as to require that they should be treated in a somewhat different manner from the other cathedral and collegiate churches, although without departing from the main principles laid down in this Report.
The churches to which the measures now about to be recommended will apply, are :-Of the old foundation -- the cathedrals of York, London, Chichester, Exeter, Hereford,
Lichfield, Lincoln, Salisbury, and Wells; and St. George's Chapel at Windsor. Of the new~the cathedrals of Canterbury, Durham, Winchester, Bristol, Carlisle, Chester,
Ely, Gloucester, Norwich, Oxford, Peterborough, Rochester, and Worcester; and the collegiate church of Westminster.
In all these churches, the daily performance of the choral service is maintained out of the revenues of the dean and chapter ; who also, in most instances, sustain and repair the fabric : and many of these bodies have of late years devoted very large sums, out of those revenues, to the reparation and improvement of the buildings intrusted to their care.
The advantages resulting to the interests of religion, from the existence of this species of preferment, when conferred on clergymen distinguished for professional merit, as well as the benefits accruing to the cities in which the cathedrals are situate, from the residence of such a description of clergy, are too obvious to require illustration. But we are of opinion, that the most important objects of these institutions may be secured and continued, consistently with a reduction of the present cathedral preferments, and the appropriation of a considerable portion of the revenues towards making a better provision for the cure of souls.
With these views we humbly recommend, that no new appointments shall, in future, be made to any of the stalls of the old foundation, which are not residentiary: with the exception of some, the income of which is little more than nominal, and which perhaps it may be deemed expedient to retain, as marks of distinction to be bestowed on deserving clergymen. As these stalls shall respectively become vacant, the proceeds of the estates or tithes, with which they are endowed, may conveniently be received by the treasurer of Queen Anne's bounty, and dealt with according to the provisions of the act passed in the last session, * until it shall have been determined what final arrangement shall be made.
The number of prebends, affected by this recommendation, is above 360. In a few cases, the income is regulated by some local custom or statute: but the greater part are endowed with a separate property under lease, either for twenty-one years, or (as more frequently happens) for three lives.
We also recommend, that the proceeds of estates with which the deans and residentiaries of the old foundation, and those of Durham and Ely, are endowed, separate from the corporate property of the chapters, should, as vacancies occur, be received and dealt with, in the same manner as is proposed with regard to the property attached to the prebends last mentioned.
We further recommend, that the chapter, in each of the churches enumerated, both of the old and new foundation, should consist hereafter of a dean and four canons, the establishment at present actually existing in the cathedrals of York, Chichester, and Carlisle ; that one, at least, of these canonries, where they may be in the patronage of the Bishop, should be made available towards a better provision for the office of archdeacon ; that until the existing chapter shall be reduced to the proposed number, no new election nor appointments take place; and that the income, resulting from stipends, dividends, or other sources, which would have been payable to each residentiary exceeding the number of four, should, as the stalls become vacant, be paid by the chapter clerk to the treasurer of Queen Anne's bounty, as in the case of the separate estates.
We are of opinion, that an exception to this rule might with propriety be made in the case of Chester, where the income of each of the six prebendaries does not exceed 125., on an average of the last seven years. We recommend that the income of two prebendal stalls, as they become vacant, should go to increase that of the dean and the other four canons, which will even then be very small, in reference to their station, and the duties required of them.
In the cathedrals of York and Lichfield, if the dignitaries be divested of all separate endowments, the corporate property will not be adequate to the proper support of a dean and four canons. We recommend, therefore, that in these two cases part of the separate endowments should be added to the general funds of the respective corporations.
In the cathedrals of St. Paul and of Lincoln the present number of canons residentiary is only three; out of whose revenues we recommend, that provision be made for the archdeacons of the dioceses of London and Lincoln respectively; one of whom, in each of those dioceses, should have a place in the chapter, which will then consist of a dean and four canons.
*5&6 W. IV. c. 30, intituled “ An Act for protecting the Revenues of vacant Ecclesiastical dignities, prebends, canonries, and benefices without cure of souls, and for preventing the lapse thereof during the pending inquiries respecting the state of the Established Church in England and Wales."
Vol. IX.-April, 1836.