Annual General Meeting: 1906

Services of a Curate Urgently Needed

Appeal from the Vicar

In his address to the parishioners, at the annual meeting of St. Matthew's, held in the schoolroom, last evening, the Rev A. M. Johnson, Vicar, called attention to the pressing necessity for the appointment of a curate, pointed out that under existing conditions an important duty was being unavoidably neglected and, instead of advancing, the Church would probably retrogress. He mentioned that the Government Land Tax absorbs a large part of the rent which shoudl go to the curate fund, and as only about  £60 could be relied upon another  £90 had to be raised. If, however, all the seat rents were paid, he would have no hesitation in advising the immediate appointment of a curate, but, unfortunately, all the seat rents were not paid. Then again, the question arose as to the wisdom of moving in that direction and incurring the additional expense considering that they had an overdraft of £80. On the other hand, the Vicar pointed out, that by not having a curate, the Church was not doing its duty to the Taueru people and others, who had contributed generously to the Curate's Stipend Fund, and whose offertories the Church absorbed. "If financial reasons block the way," he continued, "I am content to go on single-handed for a time, but I must ask for more lay help. We lose touch with many, and we are not making headway."

The Churchwardens, in their report, also strongly recommended that steps be taken to secure an assistant for the Vicar, to enable the work in outlying parts of the parish to be extended, and ot give to the Vicar the assistance of which he is at present so much in need.

Mr W. A. Fendall vigorously urged the parishioners to do something in the way of providing for a curate, so that the excessively onerous duties of the Vicar could be lightened, and proper attention paid to local mission work. He remarked that annually substantial assistance was given in support of foreign missions, while pressing work right at their doors was being completely neglected simply for the want of a special effort. Both Eketahuna and Greytown, he said, almost equalled Masterton in the amount of stipend paid the Vicar, and at the same time provided adequate assistance. Only with a competent staff, he argued, could efficient work be accomplished, and in making arrangements for the appointment of a curate, he did not think any individual parishioner would need to make an unduly heavy sacrifice. Mr Fendall moved: "That this meeting of parishioners strongly recommends the incoming Vestry to take steps immediately to raise funds for securing the services of an assistant for the Vicar."

Mr R. Brown, in seconding the motion, suggested the meeting form itself into a committee to take immediate action.

Mr Fendall's motion was put to the meeting and carried unanimously.



Reference to the Matter by the Vicar.

Question of Ways and Means

At the annual meeting of St. Matthew's parishioners, held last night, Rev. A.M. Johnson, Vicar, made reference, in his address, to the proposal to erect a new church. He remarked that large questions had to be faced this year, and the most important was the erection of the new church. All the preliminary difficulties but one had been overcome. The Vicar said he had hoped that there would have been no necessity to move out of the present ground, but this had been the wish of the Vestry for some years past, and they had secured all they required from the Diocesan Trustees. As things were, he, personally would do all in his power to provide a church creditable to the Parish.

The Churchwardens reported that the long-pending negotations in connection with the acquisition of the new church acre were now satisfactorily concluded. Under the arrangement, the Vestry would receive the nett rents (excepting the portion occupied by Mr W. G. Beard, of which the rents go to the Curate Stipend Fund) until the accumulations amount to the purchase money for the new church acre, after which the Diocesan Trustees will receive the investments until the same amounts to £5000, the estimated cost of the new church. It was stated that now that negotiations were completed, it was desirable that no time should be lost in setting to work to raise additional funds and arrange for the speedy erection of the new place of worship.


Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume XXX, Issue 8436, 28 April 1906, Page 5