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93147. a year) from Welsh First Fruits and Tenths. In view of the misleading prominence given by Mr McKenna to Parliamentary Grants through Queen Anne's Bounty to the Church in Wales as an argument for the 'national character' of Welsh Church endowments, it deserves notice that these grants amount only to 58127. a year, and that similar grants were also made under the authority of the same Acts of Parliament to Nonconformist ministers. The only difference between these two sets of Parliamentary Grants which makes it possible -though not equitable-for the State to reclaim one set and not the other is that the grants to Queen Anne's Bounty for the Church in England and Wales were used as capital for permanent endowment, whereas the Nonconformist grants were used up in annual income grants. Through grants from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty, and through private benefactions, 127,7291. a year, or more than half the present amount of parochial endowments in Wales, was added since 1703; and the amount of endowments believed to have belonged to Welsh benefices prior to 1703 is 116,2581. a year, of which 91,8657. a year is tithe.
Under the Bill of 1909 the Church in Wales was to be deprived (subject to existing life interests) of 253,1631. a year, and to be left at the expiration of life interests with only 20,5841. a year for the maintenance of its ministry. This remnant represents only 1s. 6d. in the pound out of 273,7477. a year, which is the total amount of its existing endowments. The epithets 'cruel and monstrous' were justly applied to these proposals at the Representative Church Council last November by the Bishop of Oxford. Mr Ellis Griffith's plea that existing life interests mean a permanent re-endowment of the disestablished Church with 60,000l. a year is futile, for all the payments on account of existing life interests would not be more than sufficient to pay during their lifetime the present incomes of present incumbents, leaving no surplus for the re-endowment of the disestablished Church in Wales. Under the Bill of 1909, out of endowments from English sources at least 51,1247. a year was to be transferred from the Church in Wales to the Church in England-from the poorer to the richer dioceses-while at least 29,4197. a year was to be alienated Vol. 216.-No. 431.
to Welsh secular objects. Under the Bill of 1909 also all grants from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty to the Church in Wales were, for the future, peremptorily prohibited (Section 18 (3)). Mr McKenna on January 25 last said: "Through the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty England has been generous to the Church in Wales to the extent of 60,000l. a year. If England wished to continue her generosity to her sister Church in Wales I do not think that anyone would desire to frustrate her benevolence.' The supporters of the Government in the Press have generally taken these words as an intimation that the original provisions of the Bill of 1909 in regard to endowments from English sources and the peremptory prohibition of future grants to the Church in Wales from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty would not reappear in this year's Bill. Should that prove to be true, it will be interesting to learn what the Welsh Disestablishment party will say to a concession so unpalatable to them. A leader of the disendowers in Wales declared that the concession is meant to continue' only as long as the Church in England would remain established; for on the disestablishment of the latter the whole position would be revised.'* Should this be so, all that Mr McKenna's concession means is that the Church in Wales is to be disendowed at two strokes instead of one.
Whether that be the case or not, the Bill remains a Bill for the secularisation of religious endowments, the only difference being in the amount to be secularised. In the Bill of 1909, it was proposed to secularise 202,0391. a year out of Church endowments in Wales. In this year's Bill it is likely from Mr McKenna's forecast that the amount to be secularised will be 172,6207. He says 180,000%. a year. The wrong principle remains. It is only a difference of degree. His concession, moreover, lands Mr McKenna in new difficulties over his theory that Church property is 'national property.' Mr McKenna apparently proposes to leave to the Church in Wales endowments derived through the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from property formerly belonging to English bishoprics and
* South Wales Daily News,' January 30, 1912.
chapters, but proposes to secularise the ancient property of Welsh bishoprics and chapters. In the Bill of 1909 Church endowments in Wales derived from First Fruits and Tenths from clergy in England as well as from clergy in Wales were deemed to be 'national property' and secularised. In this year's Bill a distinction is to be drawn between the First Fruits and Tenths of English and Welsh clergy. The Church in Wales is to retain endowments derived from First Fruits and Tenths of English clergy, but to be deprived of endowments derived from payments made by Welsh clergy. The proposal of 1909 in regard to Bounty endowments was scandalous, but as modified by Mr McKenna's concession it becomes an absurdity as well as a scandal.
The third point-the application of Church endowments-is closely connected with the two remaining points specified in the Commission's terms of reference, 'the provision made and the work done for the spiritual welfare of the people by the Church in Wales.' The proposal of the Government for the secularisation of Church endowments in Wales cannot be justified upon any recognised principle of equity unless it can be conclusively shown that the object to which they have been continuously applied for centuries and are applied at the present time is contrary to the public weal, or that they are in excess of what this object requires, or that the trust attached to Church endowments in Wales is not faithfully discharged at the present time. Church property in Wales, as in England, is corporate trust property and is not national property,' 'except in the same sense in which all property is national property,' as Prof. Freeman pointed out years ago. This bedrock fact is rightly emphasised as the foundation of his whole argument in the Rev. J. F. Bradley's remarkably able and frank protest against the unrighteousness of Welsh Disendowment. His pamphlet, The Case against Welsh Disendowment,' is a valuable contribution to the discussion of this year's Bill. It is even a more valuable contribution to the good relations of Churchmen and Nonconformists that the author of this unanswerable plea for justice to the Church is a Congregational minister of strong Radical convictions in politics.
From another point of view, the aid of the great
Presbyterian, Dr Chalmers, may be appealed to with equal confidence. Dr Chalmers, in his lectures on National Churches, showed once for all, over seventy years ago, that no object can be more conducive to the public weal than the religious object for which Church endowments were originally given and to which they have been continuously applied up to the present time. No one has ever more eloquently insisted on the value to the State of an efficient parochial system of religious work and of the conditions of its efficiency than Dr Chalmers. The aim of the parochial system is to bring the Gospel to the homes of the people, especially to the homes of those who neglect attendance at public worship. In these days of growing indifference the value of the parochial system is as great as ever, for the only way to teach people the value of public worship is to minister to them in their homes. The principle of the parochial system is the principle of a universal home mission covering the whole country. Dr Chalmers saw clearly that the efficiency of the parochial system of religious work cannot be secured without endowments, for the law of supply and demand does not hold in things of the spirit and in things of the mind. The law of supply and demand is that people pay for what they desire. They will not pay for what they need till they are first taught without pay to desire what is necessary for them. This fact has been recognised years ago in elementary education. The cry that everyone should be made to pay for his own religion is a shallow cry, as contrary to sound reason as it is to the central missionary character of Christianity. Dr Chalmers, after his withdrawal from the Established Church of Scotland for conscience' sake and after all the great success with which he applied the voluntary principle to the Free Church of Scotland, said, near the end of his life, The longer I live the more firmly persuaded I am that the voluntary principle is utterly unfit to furnish a Christian people with the means of Christian instruction.' It is intolerable that the Government should single out the poorest part of the Church of England for the secularisation of Church endowments in the present economic and social condition of Wales. There is no part of the country, as the recent advance of Syndicalism in South Wales shows, where the
home-mission work of the parochial system of the Church is more indispensable than in the populous industrial parts of South Wales, where more than half the whole population of Wales is to be found at the present time. The statistical witness of the Calvinistic Methodists rightly admitted before the Royal Commission that, in this part of Wales, 'It would be a disaster to the whole of religion if any denomination were crippled in its resources' (Q. 24986).
The value of the parochial system is likewise great in the poor rural districts of Wales where the population is steadily decreasing. Welsh Nonconformists deserve all credit for the good work they have done and are doing for the spiritual welfare of the people of Wales; but, with all their efforts, the problem of adequately maintaining a resident ministry in country parishes is proving too great for the voluntary principle unaided to solve. It has been ascertained that in the dioceses of St Asaph and St David's about one-third of the parishes are without any resident Nonconformist minister; and in these parishes the parochial system of the Church is an advantage to Nonconformists as well as to Churchmen. In the light of the facts, the only question of equity to be asked is whether the Church in Wales is faithfully doing its work; and the Report of the Royal Commission proves conclusively that the Church in Wales, no less than in England, is faithfully endeavouring to fulfil the sacred trust attached to its insufficient endowments.
The Church in Wales will bear comparison with the general average standard of the whole Church in England and Wales together in the three recognised tests of Church activity, viz., the proportion to the population of the number of sittings in church, of Easter communicants, and of Sunday-school scholars. The official figures laid before the Commission show that in 1906 the proportion of sittings in Church to the total population in Wales is 22.8 per cent. as compared with 22 per cent. for the whole Church in England and Wales. The proportion in the diocese of St Asaph is 30 per cent. and in that of St David's 29 per cent. In the same year the proportion of Easter communicants in church to the total population in Wales was 6.63 per cent. as compared with 6.28 per