New Zealand Conference

Report in the 1912 Magazine

Transcription of article published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J. Cocker (Editor of “the New Zealand Primitive Methodist”)

THE Conference this year was held in Christchurch, the city of the Plain, and capital of the Canterbury Province. Eighty-four delegates were present, including  several ladies. The Rev. G. Knowle Smith was elected to the position of President, while Mr. W.T. Lill, a highly respected Canterbury layman, who in many ways has served our Church, was unanimously appointed his Vice. An interesting feature of the opening session was a most able address from the retiring president, Rev. G.H. Mann, which, by request of conference was printed in “The New Zealand Primitive Methodist.”


When at last the Conference settled down to routine work it was found that every department of the Church was in a healthy state. The value of the fire insurance fund was £2,158, the New Zealand Superannuated Ministers’, Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund stood at £4,866. Over £500 had been raised on behalf of the Home Mission Fund and in addition £37 had been sent to England for the support of work in Africa. A gold medal is to be given to the person who collects during the month of May the highest amount for missions. At the general effort, which takes place later in the year, medals of the same metal will be given to the persons who collect the highest amount in each of the five districts in the Dominion.


Mr. G. H. Stiles, ex-Vice-President and Mayor of Foxton, has promised to support an orphan in our English Orphanage. This means that one orphan will be selected, and from his or her entrance into the orphanage until the time of leaving, a period of possibly some eight to ten years, the cost of supporting such orphan will be born by Mr. Stiles.


A strongly worded resolution condemning the Ne Temere Decree was passed with a recommendation that such resolution should be read from all our pulpits.


The leaders of the C.E. Societies and Sunday School authorities were requested to arrange for classes for instruction in Protestant principles, and suggest Dr. Horton’s book, “England’s Danger” as a suitable book for study.


The statistics for the year showed: Members, 3,362; increase, 98; an increase of five schools, 9 teachers, and 65 scholars.


The representatives to the English Conference will be the retiring President, the Rev. G. Mann, and Mr. F. A. Holmes, of Buxton.


The Methodist Union debate lasted for a day and a half, and the Conference voted by sixty-six votes to sixteen in favour of reunion on the basis agreed upon by the committees of the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Churches. We are now waiting until the Methodist (Wesleyan) Conference has voted upon the question. After this has taken place all our members of at least one year’s standing and over eighteen years of age will vote upon the question in special society meetings, so that the decision of this important matter will be the act of the whole Church.


The public meetings were well attended and most of them were of a very enthusiastic nature. The Conference as a whole was the finest we have attended. A spiritual tone pervaded it, and every member must have returned inspired.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/405

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