Imágenes de páginas

The chapter of Christchurch being connected, not only with the duties of the cathedral, but also with the government of the largest college in the University of Orford, and two of the stalls being annexed, by act of parliament, to the regius professorships of divinity and Hebrew, it may perhaps be advisable that the number of canons should be six; that one of the stalls should be annexed to the Lady Margaret's professorship of divinity, which is at present endowed with one of the stalls at Worcester ; and that this latter stall should be separated from the professorship, and revert to your Majesty's patronage.

With respect to some of the better endowed Canonries, which will remain in four or five of the cathedrals, we are of opinion, that they may be advantageously connected with the Parochial charge of populous districts. The method of effecting this, we reserve for our future consideration ; it being necessary to examine carefully the case of each cathedral, with reference to its revenues and local circum. stances.

The Dean and Canons of Durham, when divested of their separate estates, will still be in the receipt of incomes, considerably larger than those of any other cathedral body: and we are of opinion, that a portion of their revenues may properly be applied towards the important object of maintaining, in a state of respectability and efficiency, the University of Durham ; for the establishment of which the present Dean and Chapter have already made a considerable sacrifice.

In the cathedrals of Lincoln, Lichfield, Exeter, and Salisbury, there are Prebends, not residentiary, the whole or part of the revenues of which belong to the Bishops of the respective dioceses, and, in the account presented to your Majesty in our first Report, have been reckoned as part of the episcopal revenues. We think it advisable that these endowments should be permanently annexed to the respective Sees.

We are of opinion, that the term of residence of each Dean, hereafter to be appointed, should be nine months, and of each Canon three months. It is obvious, that it will become necessary to make sonie alterations in those statutes of the respective churches, by which the turns and periods of residence are regulated.

At present, as we have before stated, the Deans of all the cathedrals upon the old foundation, except Lichfield, receive shares of the corporate funds equal only to those of the Canons; but from the superior value of their separate endowments, the aggregate of their emoluments considerably exceeds that of any other member of the Chapter. As it is now proposed, that these separate endowments shall be disunited from the Deaneries, we recommend, that in future each of the Deans of the old foundation should have, like those of the new, a share in each dividend, double that of a Canon ; such a difference being required by his higher rank, greater expenses, and longer residence.

By a custom, prevailing in most of the cathedrals of the old foundation, the Residentiaries are elected by the Chapter, from among the other Prebendaries, who are in all cases appointed by the Bishop, We recommend, that henceforth the appointments of the Residentiaries be made directly by the Bishop ; except in the case of the cathedral church of St. Paul, where we think that three canonries should be in the direct nomination of the Crown, and the fourth, which will be connected with the office of Archdeacon, in the patronage of the Bishop.

If the recommendation, contained in our first Report to your Majesty, for the erection of two new Sees, be adopted, the two collegiate churches of Manchester and Ripon may be made the cathedrals of those Sees. At Manchester, the establishment is already so similar to that proposed for the cathedrals of the new foundation, that little change wil be required, besides the alteration of titles, from Warden and Fellows, to Dean and Canons.

At Ripon, there are a Dean, a Sub-Dean, and six other Prebendaries; but the Dean alone appears to have kept any regular residence. The revenues of this church are of so small amount, that it may perhaps be expedient to make an arrangement, with respect to the prebends, different from that which is recommended for the other cathedrals.

The Dean of Windsor receives no larger share, in the division of corporate revenues, than a Canon ; but his income is increased by the deanery of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton, a Prebend in the same Church, and the living of Haseley, in the Diocese of Oxford, all of which are annexed to his deanery. We recommend that, upon the first vacancy, the living of Haseley should be severed from the deanery; and that the Dean should in future receive a double share of dividend, as in the other VOL. XVIII, NO. IV.


chapters. The deanery and prebend of Wolverhampton will, according to the principles of this Report, be separated from the deanery of Windsor after the present incumbency; and we are of opinion, that their endowments cannot be better applied, than towards increasing the very slender provision, which now exists, for the pastoral care of that populous district.

The small endowments, belonging to the collegiate establishments of Heytesbury and Middleham, should, we think, be applied to the purpose of providing for the parochial Clergy, in the places with which those establishments are connected.

The circumstances of the collegiate church of Southwell differ essentially from those of any other which has come under our consideration; the choral service is there performed twice daily: there is no dean; but there are sixteen prebendaries, each of whom is resident but three months in a cycle of four years. All of these, besides their share of the corporate funds, have separate estates, which would appear, from the reserved rents, to differ considerably in value. The gross average of the corporate revenue is about 2,2001., from which an establishment is maintained as large as that of some cathedrals. The surplus income is divided among the four residentiaries of the year. Each has received about 2001. on account of stipend and dividend. We think that this Chapter deserves separate consideration, according to its own peculiar circumstances : but our present opinion is, that the Archdeacon of Nottingham should be the head of the church and rector of the parish, with one assistant minister; that the vicarage should be better endowed; that there should be two vicars choral : and that the separate estates should be dealt with, as in the case of the cathedrals on the old foundation.

We have taken into our consideration the important nature of the duties belonging to the office of Archdeacon, and the inadequacy of the provision at present made for the great majority of these officers, the number of whom we have proposed to increase, and upon whom additional labour will be imposed by the regulations which we are prepared to recommend. Their remuneration arises principally from small payments made to them at their visitations under the name of Procurations, the amount of which is the same as it was several centuries ago. The total of their emoluments is, in most cases, not adequate to defray the necessary expenses even of their ordinary visitations, still less those of their parochial circuits, the regular performance of which is the most essential of their duties. We have already recommended that in each cathedral, where such an arrangement is practicable, one at least of the stalls should be applied to the purpose of making a better provision for this important office. An instance of such an arrangement already exists in the cathedral of Rochester.

As it is desirable that dignities in cathedral and collegiate churches should be bestowed upon those only whose qualifications have been proved by a certain period of service in the ministry of the Church, we further recommend that no person be hereafter capable of receiving the appointment of Dean, Archdeacon, or Canon, until he shall have been six years complete in priest's orders.

Our attention has been drawn to the condition of those ministers in the cathedral and collegiate churches who are known by the names of Minor Canons, Vicars Choral, Priest Vicars, or Chaplaius. The service is performed by them, or some of them, in all these churches twice, and in some three times a day, throughout the year. The number in St. Paul's Cathedral is twelve : in others there are eight, six, four, and in the Collegiate Church of Manchester two. The emoluments are almost as various as the numbers. At Durham some of the minor canons receive as much as 1701. a year ; in some churches they have not more than 301.; but the majority receive from 507. to 701. In consequence of the smallness of their salaries, in almost all the cathedrals, we find a prevalent custom of giving to these ministers chapter livings, which they hold together with their places in the cathedral. We are of opinion that the interests, both of the cathedrals and of the parishes, would be consulted by retaining only so many of these ministers as are sufficient for the service of the cathedrals, and giving them such salaries, as may preclude the necessity of their holding benefices together with their offices in the cathedral.

In most of the cathedrals of old foundation se subordinate ministers form a distinct Corporation, subsist upon the separate funds thereto belonging, and exert the same power of leasing their property as other ecclesiastical bodies. The consequent auctuation and uncertainty of income, arising from fines received upon renewal of leases in different years, which is found very inconvenient by the holders of larger preferment, must occasionally become a source of distress to those whose average subsistence is very slender. We are of opinion, that it would be expedient to make some arrangement for placing the property of these minor Corporations upon a better footing.

The alterations which we have proposed with respect both to the Arrangement of Dioceses, and the constitution of Deans and Chapters, appear to us to render it expedient that a change should be made in the exercise of the Patronage which is now vested in the last-mentioned bodies. We recommend that such regulations should be adopted as may leave it in the power of Deans and Chapters, under certain restrictions, to give preferment to the members of their own body, and to the minor canons, who may reasonably look to them for reward after a certain period of service ; and that where the presentation to any benefice in their gift is not required for these purposes, it should pass in some cases to the Crown, and in others to the Bishop of the diocese in which either the cathedral or the benefice may be respectively situate. This recommendation is not to be regarded as extending to the Chapter of Christchurch, and must of course be considered as subject to modification in particular cases,

We likewise recommend that, in general, the Livings, the patronage of which belongs to the Prebends which are to cease, and those in the gift of the Deans and Residentiaries in right of their separate estates, shall, after the present incumbencies, fall to the presentation of the respective Bishops.

As the last remaining point connected with Deans and Chapters, we feel it right to take some notice of the Expenditure of their Corporate Revenues, arising from rentals, and other regular sources. We have already noticed the great liberality of those bodies in bestowing large sums on the reparation and embellishment of their churches, to the diminution of their own incomes. The ordinary expenditure appears tó us in general economical and moderate, and such as is required for the due performance of choral service, the care and maintenance of the fabric, and the decent propriety of a cathedral establishment. There is, however, a considerable difference observable in the scale of this expenditure in different places ; but, with respect to any reductions which can be effected under this head, the case of each cathedral will require to be considered by itself.

We have still to mention the subject of Sinecure Rectories. The total number of these Preferments is seventy, of which above thirty are in the patronage of the Crown, or of Ecclesiastical Corporations. We recommend that these latter should be suppressed, and that the resources arising from them should be applied towards augmenting the existing provision for the cure of souls, due regard being had, in the first instance, to the wants of those dioceses in which the sinecure rectories are situate.

With respect to the probable extent of the Fund applicable to the purpose of increasing the present provision for the Parochial Clergy, which may be derived from the different sources pointed out in this Report; although it is not possible to form an accurate estimate until the points which are reserved for further consideration shall have been finally settled, we entertain a confident expectation that the amount will ultimately not be less than 130,0001. per annum.

It appears by the Liber Regis, compiled in the reign of King Henry tbe 8th, that in several parts of England there are Hospitals of ancient foundation, which were at that time deemed promotions Spiritual, and as such were charged with first-fruits and tenths, although partaking also of an eleemosynary character. We are informed that these establishments are, from the increase in the value of their possessions, capable of affording, in some instances, after amply satisfying the objects of the founder's bounty, the means of making a better provision for the care of souls in the parishes with which they are connected. Our attention, however, having but recently been called to them, we have no precise information either of their number, of the value of their possessions, or of the expenditure necessary for their proper maintenance; and are not, therefore, at present able to offer to your Majesty any suggestions with respect to these hospitals.

Residence of the Clergy.-In obedience to your Majesty's command, we have next directed our special attention to the Residence of the Clergy on their respective benefices; and we have taken this subject into consideration jointly with that of Pluralities, which has a direct and important bearing upon it.

A cursory inspection of the returns, made to the Ecclesiastical Revenues Commis. sion, is sufficient to show the difficulty of abolishing pluralities altogether.

It appears that of 10,478 benefices, from which returns have been received, 297 are under 501. per annum, 1629 are between 501. and 1001. per annum, and 1602 are between 1001. and 1501. So that there are 1926 benefices under 100l. per annum, and 3528 under 1501., not taking account of the reductions even of these small values, which liave taken place since the returns were made.

On many of these benefices there is no glebe house, nor do they furnish the means of erecting any. It is difficult, in many cases, to provide for the performance of the spiritual duties of very poor livings, except by intrusting them to the clergyman of some neighbouring parish. With the evils, however, which may be supposed to result from such a state of things, there is this advantage—that it furnishes employa ment for young men, upon their first entering into the ministry, in the character of stipendiary Curates ; a regular supply of whom is indispensable to the efficiency and good order of the Established Church. Nevertheless it has been long admitted, that pluralities, if not wholly abolished, should be restricted within as narrow limits as the actual state of the Church will permit: and it is not unreasonable to expect, that such restriction may lead to the augmentation of many of the poorer benefices, partly from private resources, and partly from the funds, which the operation of measures proposed by us may render available to that purpose.

In determining the principles, upon which the holding of benefices in plurality should in future be regulated, we have had respect partly to distance, and partly to value.

With respect to distance, we are of opinion, that if an Incumbent be permitted to hold two benefices, distant from each other not more than ten miles, he will be able, without inconvenience, to exercise an occasional superintendence and control over the benefice upon which he does not reside; the regular duties of which will be performed by his curate.

With respect to value, we recommend that no benefice of greater annual value than five hundred pounds should be held in plurality with any other benefice, except in cases, where the small value, or large population, of some neighbouring benefice may render it advisable that it should be held by the Incumbent of a better endowed living. In such cases we recommend, that upon a statement, made by the Bisliop of the Diocese to the Archbishop, and transmitted, with the sanction of his approval, to the Privy Council, it shall be lawful for your Majesty in Council to allow such plurality.

We recommend that not more than two preferments of any description be held by the same person, except in the case of an Archdeacon, who may be permitted to hold one benefice with cure of souls and one canonry.

We are of opinion, that the operation of a law, embodying these provisions, will, at no very distant period, have so far reduced the number of pluralities, as to leave no just ground of complaint on that score.

Closely connected with this subject, is that which relates to the union of small livings, and the dissolution of existing unions.

Where two benefices are contiguous to each other, each being of small value and population, we think that it may, in many cases, be expedient to unite them, so as to form one benefice. This may pow be done, under certain restrictions, by the bishop, with the consent of the patron; but there exists a degree of uncertainty, as to the circumstances under which it can be legally done, which it is desirable to remove, by a more strict and precise limitation. On the other hand, some instances are to be found of unions, the constituent members of which are so circumstanced, with respect to value or population, as to render it desirable that they should be separated from each other, and made independent benefices. We think that your Majesty in Council, upon the recommendation of the Bishop, certified to your Majesty by such Commissioners as may be appointed for purposes connected with the objects of this Report, should have the power of declaring, that such separation shall take place, either immediately with consent of the Incumbent, or, if such consent be not given, upon the first avoidance of the benefice,

We are also of opinion, that power should be given to your Majesty, in certain cases, with the advice of your Majesty's Privy Council, and with the consent of the Bishop and Parrons, to alter the boundaries of parishes contiguous to each other.

With respect to residence, we are of opinion, that it is not necessary to depart from. the general principles of the statute, 57 Geo. III. c. 99, which consolidated all the previous acts relating to residence, and the employment of stipendiary curates by non-resident incumbents. But we think it expedient to make further provision for the enforcing of residence, by diminishing the number of exemptions, and the grounds

of licence of non-residence, which the act in question allows; by limiting the period of legal absence in certain cases ; and by giving additional powers to the Bishops, with respect to the appointment and payment of Curates, and the repairs and erection of glebe houses.

With reference to these subjects, pluralities, residence, and the employment of stipendiary Curates, we have prepared a bill, embodying the suggestions to which we have alluded, repealing the present statute law, and re-enacting its principal provisions, with such alterations and additions as appear necessary to carry

those suggestions into effect. But we think it right to state explicitly our opinion, that the residence of the parochial Clergy, to the extent which the interests of religion require, can only be secured by providing the means of augmenting poor benefices, and erecting glebe houses. There are not less than 2878 benefices on which there is no house of residence, and 1728, the houses upon which are unfit for residence.

We deem it right, respectfully to repeat the observation, made in our first Report, that in all our proposals, we assume that vested interests will be respected, so far as regards the revenues and profits of persons actually holding any of the offices, which will be affected by those proposals.

Having, in the course of our proceedings, been informed of your Majesty's gracious intention, not to fill up the stall, which has become vacant, in your Majesty's. Royal Chapel at Windsor, until it should have undergone our consideration; and having also received, through Viscount Melbourne, your Majesty's express permission, to deal with the Chapter of that chapel, notwithstanding its contiguity to and connexion with the royal residence, in the same mode as with other Chapters in the patronage of the Crown; .we have, without scruple, offered to your. Majesty, in the foregoing Report, such suggestions as have been dictated by our sense of duty, as well with regard to those dignities which are in the direct patronage of your Majesty, as with regard to those which are in the gift of Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, and Chapters.

We have further to acknowledge the communication, by Viscount Melbourne, of your Majesty's commands, that no appointment shall take place to the stall, which has lately become vacant in the Chapter of Westminster. As the reasons assigned in our former Report, for recommending the union of the stall, then vacant in the same Chapter, with the parish of St. Margaret, apply with equal force to the annexation of similar preferment to the equally populous parish of St. John, Westminster, we humbly submit to your Majesty's consideration, that the present vacancy affords a suitable opportunity of providing for the spiritual wants of the latter parish.

We also think it due to those Archbishops and Bishops, who have forborne to collate, pending our proceedings, to sinecure rectories, prebends, and offices within their patronage, to enumerate the preferments now remaining vacant on this account, with the names of their respective patrons. In the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury : The sinecure rectory of Ashbury, in the diocese

of Salisbury. The sinecure rectory of Kilken or Cilcain, in the diocese of

St. Asaph. Archbishop of York : The prebend of South Newbald, in the cathedral of

York. Bishop of London :- The prebend of Chamberlayn Wood, in the cathedral of

St. Paul's. Bishop of St.Asaph :-The sinecure rectory of Llanbrynmair, in that diocese. Bishop of Bath and Wells : - The precentorship of the church, and the prebend of

Litton, in the cathedral of Wells. Bishop of Chichester :- The prebend of Waltham, in the cathedral of Chichester. Bishop of St. David's :The preceptorship of the church of Brecon, and the

prebend of Boughrode, in the same church. Bishop of Exeter :-A non-residentiary prebend, in the cathedral of Exeter. Bishop of Lincoln :- The three prebends of Carlton cum Thurlby, Empingham, and

Welton Rivall, in the cathedral of Lincoln. We have further to observe, that the Rey. J. H. M. Luxmoore, the present possessor of the sinecure Rectory of Whitford, in the diocese of St. Asaph, has expressed his willingness to resign all vested interest in the same, if it can be appropriated towards the endowment of a Welch professorship, in the northern part of the principality of Wales.

And lastly, we have received from Mrs. Hartley, of Bath, the liberal offer of

« AnteriorContinuar »