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can not only stand, but walk very creditably, while it would be difficult to find a pair of brighter eyes, or rosier cheeks. She often says, 'Me wan's to stop here for always.' This cannot be, of course; but what a difference this seaside sojourn will make to her whole after-life—who could calculate?
The Sisters who work in Shoreditch feel very grateful to the kind friends who in answer to an advertisement in the June number of Our Work have sent orders for plain needlework. It is gratifying to hear that those who have done so have expressed themselves much pleased with the work. We venture to hope that our friends will make it known as widely as possible, and that many more orders will be forthcoming this month. Many of these poor women depend solely on their needle for support.
One dear old woman remarked, 'The pennies she earned were so sweet;' and when told that perhaps if the supply of work continued she might earn two or three shillings a week she almost cried for joy, and said, 'Why, I shall make my fortune!'
By the advice of a kind friend, a quantity of breakfast pinafores, and print and satteen frocks, have been made by the women, and will be supplied at moderate prices. Please address
Stoke Newington, N. Price lists will be forwarded on application.
The absolute necessity of large salt-water baths for such a Home as we propose building was fully set forth in the last number of Our Work. So convinced are we that this addition is essential to the well-being of the future poor sickly little inmates, that we would rather defer the completion of the Convalescent Home-should that be necessary-than build it minus swimming baths. Yet the cost-500%. each—is formidable enough.
A proposal has, however, been made,
which we hail with joy, for, if carried out, it will smooth away at least half the difficulty. A friend offers 10l. towards one bath, and invites forty-nine others to join her in raising the required sum.
At this very season, how many fond and anxious parents are rejoicing to see their little ones gaining health and strength, by means of their daily dip! They watch, with deep gratitude, the colour returning to cheek and lips, the vigour to feeble wasted limbs. They see
Through days and weeks of hope that grows by stealth
That little wan and faded cheeks are kindling into health,
and they exclaim, 'Ah! it was a good idea to bring our 'precious children where they could have the advantage of sea-bathing.'
Dear readers, the children of the respectable working-class are not less dear to them; sometimes, indeed, do they not seem even dearer, for they have often few pleasures, few other sources of happiness?
At this very moment we have at our Broadstairs temporary Home a child who seems literally the idol of his parents. The letter which begged admission for little Ernest stated that he was below the usual age, but pleaded so urgently that an exception should be made in his favour, that we replied he might come if he could make himself happy away from his mother.
We had not thought of the other parent. The very next day the baby arrived, carried by his father-a railway man-who had brought him down from London, and who looked so respectable in his Sunday-best that the children announced him as a gentleman.'
It was most touching to see the affection that subsisted between the father and child. They appeared bound up in each other, and it really seemed at one time as if it would be impossible for them to part. Time after time the young father tore himself away, but, unable to bear the sight of the child's distress, or the sound of his piercing screams, returned to clasp him once
more in his arms and try to soothe him into submission. At last, fearing to lose his train, he rushed from the house, and returned to town.
In about a week came a well-written letter, begging that someone would take the trouble to write. Please, dear Sister, do write and tell me how my dear little boy is. I'm afraid he cried pitiful after me the night I left him.' The Sister in charge was happily able to inform the anxious father that baby Ernest was wonderfully better. The flush of health had come to his pinched face, and his poor little rickety bones had so far hardened that he was able to stand alone. She comforted him, too, with the assurance that his little son had soon discovered the various advantages of his new abode, and made himself happy and very much at home.
One advantage, however, had not been his. For, alas! sea-bathing is impossible under present circumstances, either for Ernest or any of his forty or fifty companions. Machines are quite impracticable, owing to the great expense; and the plan which, hitherto, the Sisters, with much trouble and labour have adopted-of letting the children bathe from the shore-has been frustrated through the building of a large new pier.
So we can but look forward to the time when the roomy baths which appear on the plans for the new Home shall be complete and in full working order, and hope that our kind and good friends will quickly subscribe the necessary funds.
One of the Secretaries Miss Helen Wetherell, or Miss A. M. Thomas, 27 Kilburn Park Road, London, N.W.-will be happy to receive contributions or promises of rol towards the new bath.
The Children's Gift.-Our young friends have enthusiastically welcomed the idea that they should build a ward of the new Convalescent Home with their very own money.
Collecting-cards-with picture of proposed ward-have already been despatched in many directions, and seem to give universal satisfaction. One little girl writes: "My
sister has taken the card you sent, but I should like to have one all to myself, though I am only eight years old. I will do what I can for the poor sick children, and I should like to help to build this room for them.'
Another says: 'I am filling up the card, "The Children's Gift," as fast as possible. All the girls in this school are delighted with it, and I think I shall be able to make use of several more.'
'A Mother' writes that her little boy is saving all his pennies and will buy nothing with his pocket-money, because he wants to build a room for nursing the poor little sick London children.
National schoolmasters and schoolmistresses have written to beg us to send cards immediately, and school-children of all ranks are hard at work.
Still, in spite of all this help and encouragement, 500l. is a large sum for such little people to collect. Many a 'mickle' must make the 'muckle'; or, in other words, it is only by enlisting the sympathies of a large number of little ones that the thing can be done. Will all parents, teachers, elder brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, help us to do this?
As it is hoped that a large gathering of the friends of the Church Extension Association will assemble on August 8 to witness the laying of the foundation-stone of the Convalescent Home, we venture to suggest to the friends living on the London, Chatham, and Dover line that hampers of fruit and flowers would be very acceptable. It would be a convenience if the hampers could be sent off early the day before, so as to reach Broadstairs the same evening or early the following morning.
Address, Miss PAGET,
5 Wrotham Crescent, Broadstairs.
+ OUR WORK +
At Home and Abroad.
No. 9.-VOL. V.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1882.
Laying the Foundation Stone of S. Mary's Convalescent Home, Broadstairs.
Communicated by A SPECTATOR.
EING one of those who procured a ticket for the ceremony on the 8th, I found myself on the platform of the Victoria Station on that Tuesday morning of last month, in time for the 'special' which was to convey passengers to Broadstairs for the occasion. It was soon apparent that our train would be well filled. Various groups of clergy, ladies, and others, many wearing the silver cross with the well-known motto, 'Pro Ecclesia Dei,' were evidently bound in the same direction, and presently two troops of children and older girls defiled on to the platform under the charge of various Sisters from the Orphanage of Mercy. The happy faces of the children gave token of great expectations. Very bright and trim they looked in what was evidently fresh new attire for the occasion; white straw shady hats with red trimming, blue serge frocks with check overalls, and scarlet stockings-all neatly fitting-proved that their nurses did. not hold the mistaken notion that slouching, ill-shaped, ugly-coloured garments befit the little objects of a public charity. I was told
by a Sister in charge of the children, that there were forty orphans and seventeen industrial girls to be our companions on the journey, and they were going to join some fifty more who were already at their little seaside home.
Each of the forty carried a doll, upon which she bestowed great attention-for one of the features of this annual exit from London to the country is the distribution to each child of a doll, carefully hoarded for the purpose by the Sisters.
That there may be no jealousy in the matter, there is a grand drawing of prizes a few days previously, and thus each child takes her chance for, maybe, a big baby-dolly in long clothes, or a little wooden creature with a noseless face that has lost its youthful bloom.
Such were our travelling associates, and in due time we all arrived at Broadstairs, a little seaside town, only of late years rising above the dignity of a village, but, like all other watering-places nowadays, being rapidly extended. It lies in a hollow between the cliffs, and the Church tower stands well in the midst. Towards this object most of the visitors wended their way, as at three o'clock the opening service was to be held. In the interval, substantial refreshment was freely provided by the Sisters at the schools adjoining the Church, of which most people were glad to avail themselves.
At the hour appointed the little church of
Broadstairs was well filled by a good congregation. It must have been a satisfaction to the Sisters and promoters of the new Hospital to see such a goodly gathering of clergy, many of whom were from the neighbourhood; and in the Rector of Broadstairs, the Rev. R. A. Fawssett, the work has a hearty and earnest friend. The Archbishop had been asked to preach on the occasion, but was unavoidably prevented by having to confirm the two young princes, sons of the Prince of Wales, on that day; but I was told that he wrote very kindly to express his interest in the institution and his willingness to become a patron.
In his absence a forcible and impressive sermon was preached by Mr. Fawssett on the text, taken from the first special lesson-chosen from the history of Moses: 'Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' He dwelt on this message as given to the Church of Christ, and invited all those present to co-operate in the work by giving liberally of their substance towards this Hospital, where those who, like Moses, were outcast, and, as it were, 'drawn out of the water' of poverty, might be tended with all care and devotion. The preacher referred very happily to the influential part borne by Our Work in spreading interest throughout the land in this and similar undertakings of the C. E. A. Finding its way into families of rich and poor, it was eagerly hailed each month, and pleaded in the appealing language of truth for the poor little sufferers for whose sake they were to-day called together. He ended by dwelling on the latter part of the text, 'I will give thee thy wages.' The work was GOD's work, and from Him all might look for a sure reward, both those who undertook the task of nurses and those who by their alms enabled them to perform that blessed task.
The service ended and the blessing given, a procession was formed outside the church, the surpliced Clergy and Choir leading, followed by the Sisters and Orphans, and the stream of spectators.
A few hundred yards, and a little turn in the road brought us all to the site of the Convalescent Home. A most commanding position it is, stretching from the high road to the edge of the cliff. The walls of that part now undertaken, viz. the front and east side, have already reached a considerable height.
The stone, which was the centre of attraction, is a handsome block of reddish stone -of the kind called 'Cumberland Rag'bearing the cross and motto 'Pro Ecclesia Dei' cut in relief, with the date A.D. 1882. It forms the corner-stone of what will be the principal entrance.
As the procession entered the ground, the choir struck up the hymn 'The Church's One Foundation,' which was heartily joined in by those present. The Clergy and Choir then took up their stand at the right of the stone; in front of it stood Lord Nelson; the Sisters and Orphans occupied a square space reserved for them at the side, the centre of the square being quite filled up with the children, while a background was formed behind by the 'baby' Orphans, who, the better to see and hear, were hoisted on to the top of the rising wall.
Thus the front of the area was left open to visitors, who were well able to have a full view of the proceedings and to join in the service.
Prayers were then commenced by the Rev. R. C. Kirkpatrick, the Choir chanting the Psalm Except the Lord build the house.' After a blessing had been invoked on the stone, on the work, and on those who had contributed of their substance towards it, Lord Nelson proceeded to lay the stone with the following words: In the faith of JESUS CHRIST We place this head-stone in the foundation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that here true faith, the fear of GOD, and brotherly love may dwell, and that this place may be set apart for the glory of GoD and for the tending of the sick children of His poor. Grant this, O heavenly Father, through the same Thy Son, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost now and for Amen.'
After performing the ceremony Lord Nelson gave a short address, very much to the point, and the clear earnest tones of his voice must, I am sure, have been audible by all present. I copy the substance of it from a newspaper report :
He said that the Sisters of the Church in their daily lives taught us not only that Christianity consisted in working out our own salvation, but in going about-as our LORD Himself did when on earth-doing good. It was a blessed thing that they should have given us this opportunity of walking in our blessed LORD'S steps, and of performing by means of this institution one of the works of mercy which He commanded us to perform for Him. He could imagine nothing that was more likely to do the true work of the Church than such works as these. If we would extend-as we were striving to dothe power of the Church over the masses of the people, we might rest assured this was the way to do it.
How could we expect to touch more truly the hearts of the labouring classes of the country than by ministering after His example to the children whom He loved. Many who were not of the very poorest class knew that if it pleased God to strike down any of their little ones with sickness, how willingly they would throw up everything and do all that was possible to save that child's life. Think, then, what it must be when the child of poor parents was stricken down, perhaps carried off from fear of infection to the hospital; and though, it was true, carefully nursed and tended there, returned home to rough fare, bad lodging, and foul air, to try to recover from sickness. It was at such a time as this that the good Sisters of the Church stepped in. It was at such a time as this that they took these children to their bosom, and after a time returned them to their parents healthy and strong; and we shared in this work by giving our alms to it. As fast as we exerted ourselves to do these and similar works for GOD, so fast would the Church be built up in the hearts of the people, and those who did not know what
Christianity meant would be got to understand it, and would recognise that what it taught was for the benefit of mankind.
He prayed GOD to bless this work, and to stir up in the hearts of all present a sense of its blessedness, that they might not only give to-day, but through the rest of their lives, remembering that it was a high privilege to be permitted to share in any undertaking designed to benefit either the bodies or souls of our brethren in CHRIST.
After the address we all sang 'CHRIST is our Corner Stone' (Ancient and Modern, 239), and intercessions were made, first, for the workmen employed in the building, and then for the children to be nursed within the walls. Another hymn, Heavenly Father, send Thy blessing' (Ancient and Modern, 338), and all was concluded with the blessing.
We visitors then dispersed, to survey the ground and admire the fine expanse of sea-view. On the left lay the North Foreland, crowned with its lighthouse, and-midway betweenthe woods of the Archbishop's residence. The coast-guardsmen, whose station is close at hand, had done their part, with kindly interest and trouble, by decorating both the temporary platform with Union Jacks, and dressing the poles of the scaffolding with flags, quite in seaman-like style, like the yards of a man-of-war. Indeed, it could not fail to strike an observer how hearty was the feeling evinced by all officials-churchwardens, sidesmen, coastguard, workmen, &c.-in the work in hand.
Being anxious to see the quarters now occupied by the Sisters and their children, I made my way through the town to the further outskirts, where I found two pleasant-looking houses, adjoining one another, which form the temporary Convalescent Home.
Much packing must be necessary to receive so many little occupants, and the staff of Sisters and workers as well; still in summer weather and Broadstairs happily has few wet days-little more than a shake-down at night and feeding-rooms by day are necessary.