Pew rents: editorial, 16 July 1895

It appears that pew rents versus free church seats was a controversial topic. Just prior to the Parish Annual General Meeting in July 1895, the following editorial appeared in the Wairarapa Daily News.

Free Church Seats

The Rev. Alex. Campbell Yorke, is taking a vote of his congregation, as to whether all sittings in the Church shall be free. It is somewhat singular, that about seventeen years ago, a predecessor of the Rev. gentleman, abolished pew rents in the same Church, with the result that the funds of the parish collapsed, and the Incumbent was literally starved out of his parsonage, and took refuge in a southern diocese. Theoretically, no doubt, the pew rent system is wrong, but it takes a bold and a lucky man to run a Church without it.


The Rev. Alex. Campbell Yorke, Vicar, responded in the Friday edition, suggesting the editor had got his facts wrong. See:  Pew rents argument: Vicar A. C. Yorke writes