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tution, which, except to those who dwell in the diocese of Canterbury, is perhaps not quite so well known as it deserves to be.
S. Peter's Orphan Home was founded in 1866-which, it will be remembered, was the year in which the cholera last visited England-by the late Mrs. Tait. That tender and compassionate heart, which ever beat with sympathy towards every form of human misery, was touched by the desolate condition of so many little ones left fatherless and motherless, through the visitation of that terrible epidemic.
About thirty of the most desolate of these children were therefore assembled together, and placed in a house hired for the purpose at Fulham.
Here the Institution grew and prospered, and so great was the improvement in the little orphans, so apparent the need of such a Home, that when her husband was translated to the See of Canterbury Mrs. Tait determined not only to remove the Orphanage to his new diocese, but to enlarge it considerably, and so to extend its usefulness. The Archbishop gave the ground-which is very beautifully and healthily situated-from his private property in the Isle of Thanet, and a very handsome and commodious building was erected.
So soon as this was completed and the Home in full working order, the foundress proceeded to collect a sum of money for the purpose of adding a Convalescent Home for the reception of women and children in need of sea-air. This Sister-house, constructed on plans approved by the highest medical authority, was built in the Orphanage grounds, yet well separated from the main building. It has accommodation for about twenty-four patients-a few of whom are received gratuitously; and it need hardly be said that the applications for admission are greatly in excess of the number of patients that can be received.
The very large sum required for the building and furnishing of the S. Peter's Orphan and Convalescent Homes was raised entirely through the exertions of Mrs. Tait.
But this was not all. Through the early years of their existence she was permitted by Him who had inspired her to begin these works to watch over them, and to stamp upon them that peculiar character which she desired they should hereafter bear.
The girls of the Orphan Home were to her objects of special interest and affection; each individual child was able to look up to her as one who would love and advise her, andto quote the words of the last published report-'there never was absent from her mind the sense of the tender motherly duty which devolved upon her towards these children.' For several years the institution was conducted gratuitously by the Sisters of S. Peter's, Kilburn, and, under their management, reached a high state of efficiency; and when, from the press of other calls, they found it necessary to retire from this work, the foundress was fortunate enough to secure the gratuitous aid of Miss Gould, who consented to give up her post in the Winchester Hospital and to devote herself to the superintendence of both Homes. There are at the present time in the Orphanage about eighty inmates, who are under thoroughly efficient and suitable training and teaching. They are admitted between the ages of three and ten, and places are provided for them as soon as possible after the attainment of their sixteenth year.
The charge for admission is 157 per
The Orphanage is under Government inspection, and the reports both for secular and religious instruction are excellent. The girls have also been extremely successful in competing with other candidates for the Diocesan Prayer-book-prize examination.
We are so frequently asked to name a Home where orphans, for whom a moderate payment can be made, can be receivedcases which for this very reason would be ineligible for our own Orphanage of Mercy-that we feel many of our readers will thank us heartily for this little sketch of S. Peter's Orphanage.
It only remains to say that although the
funds are so far in a satisfactory state that the institutions are unencumbered by debt, yet the committee fear that there may be a deficiency in the permanent income amounting to 150% or 200l. a year; in other words, subscriptions to this amount would render the Homes self-supporting.
The plan upon which the foundress desired that the Orphan Home should be maintained is best described in the following words, copied from the report she published shortly before she was called away :—
'With respect to orphans, Mrs. Tait is desirous to continue the system which has been successfully adopted since the commencement of the institution, in which ladies or children of the higher classes undertake to watch over and care for individual orphans, and during the child's residence at the Home to provide, or raise, a sum of 12 to 157. a year towards her maintenance; such assistants to be termed children's associates; an associate to undertake, by personal interview or correspondence, to become acquainted with. the orphan, to be interested in her during her residence at the Home, and endeavour to watch over and befriend her, if occasion require it, in after-life; so that each child may feel that she has a friend interested in her future prospects, and taking to some degree the place of the parent she has lost.'
The Committee naturally desire to carry on the Home on the plan set forth in the foregoing extract, and they request that any lady willing to become an associate will put herself in communication with Mrs. Randall Davidson, who has undertaken this portion of her mother's work.
Any information respecting the working of the Homes can be obtained from Miss Tait, or Mrs. Randall Davidson, Lanibeth Palace, to whom donations and subscriptions towards their maintenance may also be sent.
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.
A DAY IN THE EAST END SLUMS. AVING been a worker for years in Whitechapel, it may be interesting to some to read a short account of a day down there. And perhaps, too, it may fill them with a desire to drop their drop of good into the great ocean of poverty and sin.
I start with my companion at ten o'clock, take the train to Aldgate Station, and from thence set out on foot to take round pensions to the deserving poor from the Tower Hamlets Pension Society. A volunteer almoner not only saves the society money and expense, but is able to give individual sympathy and help to the old pensioners.
The following is a little sketch of some of those visited :
No. I.-Mrs. H., aged eighty-two, keeps a 'school' for small children, but what she teaches them is hard to make out, as she can hardly sign her name legibly on her pensioncard, her arms and legs are quite useless, and her eyes are so dim that she cannot see to read. However, I suppose the parents are content to pay their weekly 2d. to get their children out of the way, and the old woman says the six children just pay someone to
clean her room up for her. Not that I should have thought the money often went that way to judge from the look of the room!
No. II.-The Miss A.'s are two dear old women, living together in a little back room, so small that they and I can hardly all get in to it at the same time. Their bed is so short that, small people as they are, they must be doubled up in it, and the dirty leaking ceiling comes close down upon the bed. They are the most cheerful pair I ever saw in any station of life, always merry, never grumbling, and delighting most of all in the parish church services, which they attend on every possible occasion. Yes, miss,' one of them said to me the other day, 'sister has been ill, but not too bad to go to church, thank God.' They have a weakness for plum-pudding, so we generally manage to take them some of the remains of our Sunday feast. Getting the card signed here is a great difficulty, as they are not 'scholars,' but at last after many blots and jokes it is safely accomplished and we are off again.
No. III. Mr. and Mrs. W., or 'Darby and Joan,' as we call them, are a most affectionate old couple, living in a very bad street, and nearly opposite a noisy public-house. 'Darby' is a partial invalid, and only able to pursue his trade as carpenter to a very small extent; and 'Joan' is almost helpless from having been run over while trying to save a little boy from the same fate. They are a most pious old pair, and have very funny ways of describing their blessings. We had to pawn our blankets last week,' say they, 'but the LORD took them out for us before the cold weather came.'
Leaving them a little beef 'cut from the joint,' as they express it, we start off down W Street, through dirt, and scores of babies playing in the gutter, to No. 77.
No. IV. An old blind woman, Mrs. E., lives here with her 'lodger' Mrs. B., who shares her room and bed at a rental of one shilling a week. It is a very common thing in Whitechapel to take a 'bed lodger,' but very inconvenient if they happen to quarrel, as my friends do. I have to divide every
little tit-bit I take to them, or else Mrs. B. (who, although very old and helpless, has the full use of her eyes) is accused of having eaten the whole. I read a chapter in the Bible here generally at their request, but as Mrs. B. keeps up a most inappropriate commentary all the time, and Mrs. E. snubs her and tells her to hold her tongue, it is no easy task. After trying rather ineffectually to make peace between them, and give what little comfort I can to brighten their lives, I thankfully quit the dirty room and smelling atmosphere, and wend my way to Spitalfields.
No. V. Close to the parish church lives a pet pensioner, Mrs. W., who is deaf and dumb, and appears to be perfectly friendless, except for a kind deaf and dumb missionary who calls upon her now and then. She had a very good son, who used to keep her, but he died last year, and now she adds to her small income by doing any plain needlework we can get for her, and by darning stockings for her poor neighbours at one penny a pair! She spends most of her time in cleaning her little room, which is a model of neatness and order. But I mistake when I say she is quite friendless, for she has a dear cat for a companion, and, however poor and thin she may look herself, Tom' looks fat and well fed. Her joy at seeing me, she expresses by wringing my hands in a most energetic manner, after which I set to work, in dumb show, to tell her anything amusing I can think of with which to vary her dull and lonely life.
Having finished the pension-giving, we proceed to a club-room in Whitechapel to hold our class for girls, where we take the modest lunch which we have brought with us. The girls then begin dropping in. They are all over thirteen years of age, and under twenty, and as wild a set as can be found. We insist on a washed face, but the result is usually a 'high-water mark' all round-of dirt. We nominally teach the three R's and plain needlework, of which they are utterly ignorant as a rule. As a reward for steadiness and good conduct we play to them, and they sing easy songs which
we have taught them, the street-singers by trade shouting in rather a distressing manner. We try, on the plan of precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, to give them religious instruction, but it is very difficult to get their attention. They nearly all bring babies with them, either their own sisters and brothers, or their employers' children, which is a great hindrance, notwithstanding the sugar-plums with which we try to keep them quiet. We try all we can. to give the girls advice, sympathy, and individual attention; in fact, to civilise them as much as possible, and educate that higher part of them which has so little chance of development.
And now to conclude, let me give a word of advice to those who would begin visiting among the poor. Do not go with the idea that you are going to give all and get nothing, for many are the lessons that you will receive from them of wonderful contentment and gratitude; also of that unselfishness and that love for one another which will to some extent, we must hope, be accepted by GoD instead of the love for Him of whom they know not.
Anyone wishing to help in work of this kind will be most thankfully welcomed.
If any lady will send us orders for plain needlework, we shall be most grateful on behalf of our deaf and dumb friends. The address may be had from the editor of Our Work.
THE CLERGY HOUSE OF REST, WEST MALVERN.
HE Malvern Hills! There is somewhat of romance and fairyland in the very name, and their outline-distinct, or seen but as a dim cloud— is the loveliest thing in the landscape of many an English county. If Switzerland is the playground of Europe, the Malvern Hills may well be called the playground of Eng
land, having-as doctors say-the best air in England, and being easy of access from most parts of the British Islands.
High on the west side of these beautiful hills there is a Home to which at the present moment we earnestly desire to draw attention. It has been founded for the rest and refreshment of clergy, overworked either in body or mind.
How do the very words 'a sick priest' appeal to our sympathies, for their sickness and weariness are generally caused by overanxiety and labour on our behalf.
There are few things more piteous than to see clergy, to whom so many look for help in their work, unable to obtain the rest and change of air on which their continued usefulness depends. Such thoughts as these make us anxious to commend the following paper, which has just reached us, to the earnest consideration of all readers of Our Work:
Memorial to the late Rev. James Skinner.
Amongst those who knew and valued the late Rev. James Skinner, there are many who have expressed a wish that some permanent Memorial of him could be made, and their desire to contribute to it.
It has seemed to them that nothing would be so suitable, or fall in so entirely with what he would have wished, as to bring help, and comfort, and rest to invalid priests.
It is proposed that any money given for this object should be vested in trustees; the interest to be applied towards defraying the cost of the residence of invalid priests for a certain number of weeks at the Clergy House of Rest, West Malvern.
Those who know how sorely rest, and the refreshment of thoroughly good air and food, are often needed by priests out of health who cannot afford them, will feel how great a blessing such a foundation would prove to many. There is this advantage in such a memorial, that no definite sum would be required, such as would be needed for a building.
The whole cost for board and lodging at the Clergy House of Rest is 27. a week. It
would be arranged that if this House were ever given up, the interest of the money should still be spent in affording rest to sick priests.
Reference permitted to
Rev. T. T. CARTER,
Warden of the House of Mercy, Clewer.
Rev. ROBT. LIDDELL,
Late Vicar of St. Paul's, Knightsbridge.
Rev. G. C. WHITE,
Vicar of Newland, Malvern.
Rev. W. NEVINS,
Late Rector of Miningsbye.
Rev. T. HUMPHRIES CLARK,
Warden of St. Lucy's Home, Gloucester.
Rev. A. BABINGTON,
Late Rector of Wanlip.
Subscriptions will be received by the Treasurer, the Rev. WILLIAM NEVINS, The Birches, Malvern Links.
No more fitting memorial could be imagined for him whose loss we deeply mourn.
In the Worcestershire plain, on the road from Malvern to the village of Madresfield, there is a group of buildings which is entered from Newland Common, through a large arched gateway. Passing through it, we find ourselves in a fair turfed quadrangle, shaded by noble elms, and surrounded on three sides by buildings-almshouses for aged labourers, and the exquisite Church of S. Leonard's, Newland, connected by a cloister with the Warden's house. The fourth side of the quadrangle is open to the Malvern Hills.
The buildings are so covered with creepers as to give them almost the look of age, but this earthly paradise has been erected within the last twenty years, and the Rev. James Skinner was the first Warden of the Beauchamp Almshouses.
Under his fostering care it grew to its present perfection of beauty, and, what is far more, became a centre of Church teaching and Church life and work to the whole of the Malvern district. Broken down in health by hard London work, Mr. Skinner spent
the last fifteen years of his life of labour at Newland. Then came four years of suffering after leaving that beloved home, and thenall through the night preceding the eve of last Epiphany-dwellers on the Malvern Hills could see the lights in Newland Church, where faithful friends, working men who loved him and others, prayed and watched while he lay in his coffin before the altar of his own beautiful Church.
Of all the works in which he had taken a leading part, none was probably so dear to his heart as the Clergy House of Rest. He was its Warden when it first began in some houses close to Newland. Now, with its offshoot, S. Edward's Orphanage for Boys, it has been removed to the more bracing air of West Malvern, and there the valuable theological library of the late Warden has just been removed-a noble gift from Mrs. Skinner. Is it too much to hope that, by means of this memorial, the Home may become a true House of Rest to many an overworked Priest, who would otherwise be unable to profit by it?
Every hundred pounds subscribed will give at least a fortnight's rest to some sick or overworked Clergyman, long after the present generation of workers has passed
We may be sure that there are few things that would have brought more comfort to the heart of one who wore out his own strength in work for the English Church, and who, in Canon Carter's touching words, 'devoted himself with especial singleness of heart to deepen, to develop, and to guide the spiritual life of her children.'