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Be it rather ours steadfastly to uphold the One Faith that can alone truly guide in life and support in death-whether by word or by pen, or by circulating the holy thoughts of those that have yielded themselves to the guidance of the Divine Spirit, who has taken of the things of CHRIST and shown them.
To conclude, let me just sum up the various ways in which those interested in this special branch of Church Extension may help it:
1. By lending their books according to the plan set forth in this paper.
2. By giving any volumes they can spare from their own store, to be added to those already under the care of the librarian.
3. By giving other books, which, though of some value in the literary world, are not of a theological type, and could be exchanged by the hon. librarian.
4. By donations towards the purchase of new works, and the expenses of printing and postage.
All gifts, communications, &c., should be sent to the Hon. Librarian,
Miss EDITH WALKER,
P.S.-If any of those twenty-nine kind friends who, a year ago, answered an advertisement of the hon. librarian asking for some Ordination books, would be willing now to place the valuable works, then offered, upon the permanent catalogue of the Church Extension Library, they would confer a great benefit.
HOW CAN WE RECEIVE THEMRELIEVE THEM?
FEW weeks ago, a foreign letter reached us, out of which dropped a cheque for 50%, which—a few kind accompanying lines informed us-was designed for 'the extension of the Orphanage of Mercy.'
It was the gift of a benefactor who has, for many months past, cheered us by his sympathy and generous presents, his interest having been first awakened by a chance copy of our magazine sent out by a friend in England.
Since that time, several 50%. cheques have arrived at intervals for one or other department of our charitable work.
The first was to be devoted to the fund for providing 'Workmen's Restaurants,' for, said the writer, I know what a comfort it must be to be able to turn into a respectable place, and get a good dinner at a moderate price. I have myself experienced what it is to wander about the streets, wearied and hungry, and unable to find any place of refreshment in which, with the length of purse I then possessed, I had a chance of getting anything fit to eat.'
This last contribution for the Orphanage came at a peculiarly opportune moment. It seemed to tell us how we were intended to answer the question which heads this paper. It seemed to bid us set to work boldly to build another Wing on to our present Home, trusting that GOD would, in His infinite goodness, supply us with the means of doing so.
And when, shortly afterwards, unlooked for legacies placed 2,500l. in our hands, we resolved to make no delay, and at once requested our architect to prepare plans for such an extension of the Orphanage as would house one hundred more children.
We had made a rough calculation that the new building could be erected for about double the sum we had in hand. But, alas ! when quantities' had been taken out' and estimates handed in, it was found that we had been reckoning without book; and, it is needless to say, our mistake was on the wrong side!
In plain English, then-if this great work is to be carried out-7,000l. must be laid out upon it; and when this is compared with the cost of other institutions intended to hold a hundred inmates, it will not be found excessive.
After considering what is best to be done, we have decided to make a beginning with what we have in hand, and to keep on building so long as we have wherewithal to pay the workmen. Then, if the sad necessity is laid upon us, we must suspend operations till more help is forthcoming.
As we have before said, we cannot urge the claims of the Extension' very pressingly, because so many of our friends are doing their very utmost for the Convalescent Home, and we are far from wishing to divert funds from that greatly needed Institution. Still, there may be some, under whose eyes this paper will fall, who would feel more especially drawn towards the fatherless and motherless lambs whose cry comes so pitifully to us, to provide for them a safe and happy fold.
If such there should be, will they not help us to raise this sum-which seems so large, so weighty to us; but yet is so light and small, in comparison with the enormous good it will enable us to accomplish?
How it would relieve the anxiety—which must now, to some extent, be our portionto receive a few letters of real sympathy, containing, if not present gifts, at least promises of substantial help in three, six, or even twelve months' time!
Some persons may be disposed to accuse us of rashness, for even entertaining the idea of extending a building which still bears the marks of its own recent erection; and, in defence, we can but say that we believe there are few Christians, who, if placed in our position, would not act in precisely the same manner. How can we receive the piteous appeals which reach us day by day, and not go beyond ourselves, and pass the strict limits of prudence, in the desire to respond to them favourably?
'There are in this parish,' writes a clergyman, 'three orphans. Their father, a miner, died two years since of rapid consumption, aged only twenty-six. The mother-who was herself left an orphan at a tender agetried to go into service to earn enough to support her little family. But, alas! poor
woman, she fell ill, died, and was buried this day. All her relatives are exceedingly poor, and her husband's, if possible, poorer still-mere labourers. Will you take these children? No payment can be made for them.'
'Will you take in a poor destitute baby of nine months old?' writes another correspondent. 'There are also two other children of three and five years. The case is a most deplorable one. The father died lately of consumption, and the grief of his young wife was so excessive that she died the following day from its effects. These poor little children are now left quite homeless and friendless. Will you-can you take them in?'
Another friend says:-'I am writing to know whether you could possibly grant admittance into your Home to two little girls. The father died some years ago. The mother has just gone, too, after a long and painful illness, leaving twelve children, some of whom are struggling for an existence, and the rest are thrown upon charity.'
It is hard to say 'No' to such appeals as the above, and yet such is our daily duty now; for what else can we say when our present quarters are full, and the little beds are already almost too closely packed together for health?
Nevertheless, we are full of hope, and trust that a brighter and better state of things is in store for the helpless destitute orphan. Some kind hearts may realise what a privilege it would be to invest a portion of their capital in this righteous cause-could there be a better, a safer investment !-or, perhaps, from some source not yet dreamt of, help may arrive. The need is so great, the cry of these homeless and friendless ones is so pitiful!
Do not they seem to say to us-do not their parents, even from the shores of eternity, say to us-nay, does not the LORD Himself say to us-Receive them, relieve them?
Contributions received by Miss A. M. Thomas, or Miss Helen Wetherell, 27 Kilburn Park Road, N.W.
A Church Teachers' Union.
HE first meeting of the members of the Teachers' Union was held last July 7-9, at the Orphanage of Mercy. Agreeably to the notice issued, there was a day's retreat beginning on Friday evening and ending on Sunday morning.
This was taken by the Rev. Fred. Hall, one of the S. Augustine's clergy, to whose kind interest and counsel this guild is greatly indebted for its auspicious beginning. The rest of the Sunday was spent at Kilburnpartly in attending the beautiful services at S. Augustine's Church, and partly in a conference (presided over by Mr. Hall) which occupied all the afternoon, when the Union was fully organised, rules and constitutions drawn up, and members nominated to hold certain offices, &c.
As it was also arranged that there should be a public medium of intercourse and information in the shape of a 'Quarterly Paper,' to be commenced in September, it will not be worth while to detail the proceedings here.
But we are sure that not only absent members, but others interested in this young society, will be glad to hear with what success and hopeful promise this first gathering went off. As several were teachers holding offices of importance in our leading Training Colleges, and others were their nomineeshaving passed out of these nurseries of learning to spheres of their own-there was already a pleasant basis of mutual acquaintance and regard, which made the meeting a hearty one. But beyond and above this, we have much reason for thankfulness for the evident spiritual blessing vouchsafed to those who were sharers together of the retreat. Very warm and grateful were the feelings expressed, by one and all, for the comfort and rest afforded during the two happy days spent in the Sisters' Home-feelings which only those who have experienced the ceaseless
bustle and strain, combined with the monotonous routine of a teacher's life, can fully enter into.
The closing act of the two days was perhaps of all the most impressive. After Evensong at S. Augustine's, a short but very solemn little service was held in the Sisters' chapel, when the first fifteen members pledged themselves to obey the simple rules of the society, and were admitted into it by Mr. Hall, receiving at the same time the badge of the Union-a plain bronze cross, with the motto Facere et Docere.
That our Union has a field of work before it for God's glory and for His Church, which is likely to widen and expand as time goes on, we have little doubt; and if only its members prove faithful to their motto 'to do and to teach' solely for these ends, we believe it will prove a holy and a happy, a prosperous and widespread association.
It has been decided to give it the name of the Church Teachers' Union,' as representing their character and aim-that, namely, of upholding, in doctrine and practice, the cause of the true Church, in these days of doubt and disunion.
It is pleasant to receive such a testimony as the following, from one who, though not able to be present at the retreat, has for some time adopted our rule of prayer and practice in an educational post of much trial and difficulty. She writes :-'I do hope that teachers of all classes will join this Union. My own experience of the little service-i.e. the daily prayers of the Union-is that it is most helpful; and secular as much of my work is here, it seems to have raised the whole vocation of teaching to a higher level. I had long felt the need of such an impulse, and I am most thankful for it.'
To this we should like to add the impressions of one who took part in our first meeting. 'School life this week has seemed so much happier to me, more so than it has done since I left college. Those few days, apart from the ordinary school surroundings. and thoughts, have given me so very much to be thankful for.'
Communications respecting this Union to be addressed to
What Others are Doing.
Under this heading we desire to introduce our readers to a variety of charitable and religious work which is being carried on for GOD in different parts of the world. It will be distinctly a record of work -charitable, philanthropic, and missionary-and we wish it to be understood that we by no means commit ourselves to any approval of the religious views and opinions held by those who do such work. In this particular, great scope will be allowed, and we trust that our readers will understand and appreciate our motives. We shall gladly welcome interesting accounts written by those engaged themselves in charitable and missionary work. Mere begging appeals are not admissible.
EXPERIMENTS AT THE WEST END.
BOUT eighteen months ago, an account of S. Thomas's Parish, Regent Street, raised a good deal of kind interest on the part of the readers of Our Work. Perhaps they may like to know how things are going on there; and so they shall, by the editor's kind invitation.
The circulation of the periodical has, however, extended so very greatly of late, that the subject will be a new one to many recent subscribers, and we must, therefore, go over our former ground a little.
Accustomed as we are to look on the time succeeding the Restoration as one of great laxity and deadness in morals and religion, we do not sufficiently realise the religious fervour which was induced by the manifestations of GOD'S awful power in the Plague, and in the Great Fire. This showed itself in various forms, and, amongst others, in much churchgoing and church-building. One of the churches built about that time was S. James's, Piccadilly, of which Dr. Tenison, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, became the first rector in 1684.
In the memorable year 1688 he built a temporary church on a piece of ground which had almost always been Church property since the time of Alfred the Great. This he called an oratory, or tabernacle, and after being made Archbishop in 1694, he took steps to give it permanence. The more substantial building, afterwards raised on the same site, always went by the name of Archbishop Tenison's Chapel, till 1869, when it had a district given it, and was consecrated under the name of S. Thomas. The district was carved out of the mother-parish of S. James's—a large slice of poverty, however ! S. James's is a very rich parish; S. Thomas's is very poor. It contains the east side of Regent Street from Beale Street to Oxford Circus. Here, one would say, is wealth enough. True, but the wealthy shopkeepers do not reside there, and their interests and charities appear to be mostly bestowed elsewhere. Behind Regent Street is a close network of narrow streets, affording lodging to the tailors, sempstresses, &c., who work for the large shops, and to many other poor besides. This is the parish of S. Thomas's, to all charitable intents and purposes. The houses are exceedingly old, most of them dating from the time when London began to stretch out westward. Some of them retain marks of their better days, when they were mentioned as 'very good houses fit for gentry,' but they are now greatly dilapidated, and are crowded with a wonderful number of inhabitants-some houses containing not fewer than fifteen families.
Owing to the metropolitan improvements,' which generally, alas! do not provide new dwellings for the poor whose ancient tenements they destroy, this crowding increases more and more. Many of the respectable old inhabitants have, therefore, gone elsewhere, and a great deal needs to be done both for the bodies and souls of those who have taken their place.
Eloquent and popular preachers and hearty services drew large congregations to the newly formed district church, but not from the parish -the richer parishioners spending Sunday at their country dwellings, and the poorer being so accustomed to look on this church as a fashionable chapel, pewed to the teeth, with little room or welcome for them, that they seemed unable to realise the fact, when the pews were cut down into open sittings and the whole church was declared free. Those who had been used to go to church continued to
attend S. James's, Piccadilly, and scarcely a poor person was to be seen within S. Thomas's till the formation of S. Mary's Guild for working women, now nearly seven years ago. Since that, their numbers have been gradually on the increase, and many have learned to love their church and value its ordinances. Much has been done with the endeavour to raise and Christianise the neighbourhood, but there are many drawbacks. One great obstacle is found
in the influence of a number of German socialist tailors, who here give free vent to opinions for which, in their own country, they would speedily be imprisoned; and they encourage the tendency to infidelity which is only too rife amongst our own working men. There are also a number of very low and 'rowdy' Irish, Roman Catholic by profession, and well taken care of by their own Clergy and Sisters, but always ready for the amusement of interrupting, or breaking up a Mission service with a shower of stones from without or a shindy within.
In March 1880, the writers of the present article were invited by the Vicar of S. Thomas's to undertake the working of his parish, and found themselves called upon to find a practical answer to the difficult question-What can be done to evangelise the district?' Such a question could only be answered by experience. So they tried experiments, and began by using such materials as were ready to hand.
Not money-there was scarcely any of that. But a few kind people used to send soup and broken bread and meat for the poor, who appeared only moderately grateful for the gift. The first attempt was to make this really useful by inducing more persons to give scraps, and by cooking them in a savoury way. This has proved thoroughly successful, as far as the poor are concerned. Every evening those who have leave to do so fill the hall of the Mission House, and receive a quart of strong soup or stewed meat, with plenty of pieces of bread, on payment of one penny, or without payment in cases of extreme poverty. This system of payment (which was also an experiment) has worked surprisingly in stopping discontent and grumbling, and in raising the self-respect of the recipients. And one of the most pleasant things connected with this part of the work is the way in which the people of the district have themselves, from time to time, brought their offerings for those still poorer than themselves-'Oh, if you please, the lady as lives
over the milk-shop has sent this bag of bread,' &c. During the winter there are families which have nothing at all to live on but what they get in this way. Would that some more rich householders would let them eat of their crumbs!
Some good people thought this a very unspiritual way of going to work; but those who have been used to live without a thought beyond their bodily needs cannot understand advances which do not begin in that direction. And if they need food, as they do, several good purposes are served by giving it to them in this way. The expense of coal for cooking is saved them. Having food, and not money, put into their hands, they cannot do otherwise than eat it, and share it with their children; and being so far well fed, the temptation to still the cravings of hunger with gin is repressed. Of course there is still a terrible amount of drunkenness about, but this plan has its use in checking it.
The next experiment was a Sunday afternoon tea and Bible class for the women of the district. This was begun in April 1880, and has never been intermitted. All parishioners have a general invitation to drop in to tea at four o'clock, in the kitchen of the Mission House. Some scarcely ever miss; some come occasionally; some not at all. All sorts come : those who do lead good lives, and those who do not. They have a 'comfortable cup of tea' and a chat about the affairs of the parish or the nation, or anything else that interests them; after tea hymn-books are given round, and they sing with much heartiness. They then have a Bible class, and, soothed by their magic draught, accept extremely plain English. They pay great attention, and end with another hymn and with simple prayers, which they repeat always after the reader, so as gradually to make them their own. Then, if any flowers are available, each receives a bunch, and treasures it often till the next Sunday; and so they go home, in time to attend to their husbands and children.
Most of these people have some religious formula or other, which they trust to as a charm, as, 'Ah! GOD must prepare us for death!' 'I hope GOD will have mercy on me!' but religious ideas are so foreign to their minds, and the words in which they are clothed are so unusual, that it is a long time before they are at all really understood or accepted. However,