Volume 16 – 1899 – Missing
The following abstracts have been taken from the Annual Report presented on April 30th 1900 at St James’s Hall, Piccadilly.
P.5 – A resolution was proposed ‘That this meeting pledges itself to support the organised endeavour which has been so successfully initiated by the Church Association, to induce all Protestants to unite their votes at the coming General Election, In order to secure the return to Parliament of such candidates only as will pledge themselves to support legislation for effectively cleansing the National Church from the ‘Sacrifice of the Mass’ (with its accompanying idolatry), and from the Confessional, by effectively restraining the law-breaking clergy, and also by securing the appointment of bishops who will themselves loyally respect and enforce the laws of this Church and realm in the spirit of the Reformation Settlement, which has been the foundation of England’s greatness, and of all our Civil and Religious Liberties.’
P.7 – ‘The steady progress which the Association has been making during a series of years has been marked with satisfaction by all our friends, and even The Church Times has ceased to tell its readers that the C. A. is “either dying or dead”. But we have now got even beyond the stage of a steady progress, and the Association is going forward by leaps and bounds. It is said that “comparisons are odious”; but when they are such as we are about to record they are, at least to ourselves, not only not “odious” but satisfactory, and such as we may be very thankful for. The most important item is the income of the Association. Last year, 1899, not withstanding the war, where so many societies were complaining of a shortage of income, it leaped up to £12,923, an income which the Council is thankful to be able to record.’
P. 9 – The circulation of Protestant literature amounted to 1,178,826 items. ‘This alone is eloquent as to the great work now being done by the Association.’
In 1899 the letters received and dealt with were 21,897 and the letters written in reply were 10,879. The letters, postcards, parcels etc. in 1899 amounted to 96,886, the weight of the parcels sent off during the past year was over 13 tons.
P.10 – “The Staff” - In 1900 there are five secretaries, seven parliamentary agents, and ten clerks; a staff of twenty-two persons. ‘It is no spirit of boastfulness that the Council recounts these encouraging proofs of public sympathy and of honest hard work in the Protestant cause.’
P.11 – “Prayer and Humiliation” - ‘The Council summoned their friends to a gathering held at Exeter hall, for united prayer and self-humiliation, and they were among the first to urge upon the Government the duty, of asking Her Majesty, to set apart a day for a National recognition of the grave National sin of permitting idolatrous practices and superstitious beliefs to creep unchecked into the Established Church of this country.’
P.12 – “The Archbishops”. ‘Dr Temple . . . has taken upon himself to promulge three new dogmas: (1) That he is a “sacrificing priest”, which the Romish bishops in England shewed to be ridiculous and impossible; (2) That the Church of England sanctions Consubstantiation and symbolises with the Greek, Roman and Lutheran communions as against the Reformed Churches of Scotland, France and Germany: a statement which is precisely the converse of the facts; and (3) That Prayers for the dead may be lawfully used in public services by himself and other ecclesiastics. All these claims are not only unprecedented, but are directly contrary to the whole stream of tradition and usage in the Church of England since the Reformation. Every year may witness a fresh dogma put forth in the same uncanonical and unconstitutional fashion by a single clergyman whose experience of the “cure of souls” is almost nil. If, however, he rivals the Pope of Rome in his facility of dogmatising, the Archbishop’s usurpations of authority are hardly less unwarranted. The Primate has during the past twelve months put forth a claim that under Elizabeth’s Act of Uniformity, he can (with only the personal sanction of the reigning Sovereign) give statutory authority to any “further Ceremonies” and Offices, without consulting a single human being: in particular, he hinted to the Ritualists that incense and processional lights, which he was bound to declare illegal, might be legalised hereafter in this backstairs fashion by himself alone.’
P.21 – “Litigation”. ‘Two very important and, alas ! costly faculty suits have been undertaken. At St Ethelburga’s Church, Bishopsgate Street, the lawfulness of a tabernacle and crucifix was challenged. . . . At the Church of the Annunciation at Brighton the illegal ornaments petitioned against include “Stations of the Cross” ‘ - with thirteen other points of order.
P.30 - “ Vans and Colporteurs”. The ministry with eleven vans and two additional colporteurs was continuing.
P.32 – “Imperial Protestant Federation”. ‘A proposal to join this Federation was entertained by the Council. . . . It being contrary to the practice of the Church Association to delegate any of its powers to another Society they decided to withdraw and to work independently, but on the same friendly lines as with all other separate societies which have for their object to serve the Protestant cause.’