Transcription of article published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J. Crocker
THE Conference this year was held in Wellington, the “Empire City.” The Rev. G.H. Mann was unanimously elected President. He hails from Liversedge, in Yorkshire, and belongs to a loyal Primitive Methodist family. His sister, Miss F. Mann, was the first District Evangelist in the Leeds and York district, he has two brothers and two sisters who are local preachers. Before coming out to New Zealand he laboured as a local preacher and evangelist on the Poplar, Bournemouth, Croydon, and Upton Park Stations. He came to this land in 1894, and on all his stations he has done excellent work.
The Rev. G.K. Smith was General Committee Delegate, and combining his English experience with our procedure in New Zealand, he did his work well.
Rev. R. Raine, who, with his wife and daughter, is visiting England, was appointed delegate to the English Conference. Mr. F.A. Holmes, of Brexton, was appointed lay delegate. Mr. Raine was also appointed to represent the New Zealand Conference at the Ecumenical Conference at Toronto, Canada.
The Revs. D.B.F. Carlisle and F.A. Thompson were ordained to the full work of the ministry. The Rev. E. Drake delivered the charge to the ministers, and the Rev. T.A. Pybres the one to the churches.
Sunday-school work received considerable attention. The following are the statistics: Schools, ninety-one; teachers, 661 (increase twelve); teachers (church members), 547 (increase twenty-six); scholars, 6,275 (increase sixty-one); income, £1,601 16s. 6½ d.; expenditure, £1,326 6s. 4½d.; school property (not building), £1,364 4s.
Our church properties were in a healthy financial position. Four new churches had been built during the year. Churches, eighty-one (increase four); other preaching places, seventy; hearers, 10,485; houses, forty-eight; total cost, £72,354 14s. Present value: Churches, £54,092 12s. 3d., houses, £25,071. 15s. 3d.; musical instruments £3,172 12s. 6d.; land not built upon, £4,641; debt at present, £21,910; gross income, £8,531 3s. 7d.; gross outgo, £7,940 7s.
We are pleased to report an increase of 118 members. The following are the statistics: Ministers, forty-seven (increase, six); Circuit missionaries, one; home missionaries, five; Local Preachers, 208 (increase seventeen); class leaders, sixty-three; church members, 3,264 (increase, 118); deaths, forty.
The report of the Fire Insurance Fund showed the capital value of the Fund to be £1,943.
During the year £598 had been raised on behalf of the Missionary Fund. It must be remembered that fifteen out of our thirty-two Circuits are receiving grants from the Missionary Fund, and most of them are comparatively new mission stations.
An income of £372 was reported in connection with the Children’s Equalisation Fund.
The value of the Jubilee Loan Fund was reported to be £1,506.
The income for the African Mission Fund was £19. 11s.
It was decided to appoint a saddle-bag missionary to work the outlying part of the East Egmont Mission, and £116 was at once subscribed by the members of the Conference to support the missionary. In dealing with this matter the Conference displayed considerable enthusiasm.
The Connexional Magazine and newspaper was reported to have had a successful year. It had been enlarged to twenty pages, and its circulation had increased. The Rev. J. Cocker was appointed Editor-in-Chief for a seventh year, and the Rev. J. Dawson was appointed joint-editor.
Recently the New Zealand Branch of the Wesleyan Church of Australasia has been granted separations from Australia, and as this has always been made a preliminary condition to our agreeing to Methodist Union, it was felt that we ought now to discuss the matter with our Wesleyan friends. A committee of twenty-four members of Conference was appointed to meet a like committee to be appointed by the Wesleyan Conference; this has since been done, and during the year the two committees will meet to discuss terms.
The Bible in schools is an oft and much-debated subject, there being a great desire by many to have the Bible read in the day-schools, from which it is now excluded. There was a very animated discussion. Archdeacon Harper of the Anglican Church addressed the Conference. A fear was expressed lest sectarianism should be introduced, though the Conference was in favour of Bible reading.
The liquor question was discussed and resolutions were passed calling upon our people to use every opportunity to kill the liquor traffic at the Local Option Poll about the end of next November.
There were also discussions upon gambling, Sabbath Desecration, and the Opium question. We have never known more helpful discussions, and certainly our annual gathering has never been so fully reported throughout the Dominion. The discussion upon Compulsory Military Training of the Citizens of the Dominion raised great interest in the centres of population.
The whole of the series of public meetings were well attended. Probably the one held in the town hall and dealing with public questions was the best. The subjects were of the widest interest. The Conference was the finest we have ever attended. It was well attended by strong delegates. The discussions were not confined to a few persons. The tone was excellent. The breezes were few and slight. There was a buoyant, hopeful spirit, and the gathering was an inspiration.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/558