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cheerful, active woman. Two years since, her husband died, about three months before the birth of her last child. She made a hard struggle to keep her home together and her children from the Union. The Guardians gave her the liberal allowance of 35. a week and three loaves, which she had to fetch from a cottage two miles distant from her home. Gradually the struggle for life became too hard for her, and she died, worn out with work and poor food. The Guardians immediately stopped the allowance, and sent a message to say the children must go to the Workhouse. There is one elder brother, but he has just married a young wife who nursed his mother with tender care to the last, and his wages are but 145. a week, so he can help them but little.
'I am sending you to-day, carriage paid, a box of children's clothing; some of it I have hoarded for years on account of the tender memories associated with it, but I shall now like to think that it is of service to
some of your little ones. I take a great interest in all your labours, and, by sharing in them, hope to share in the blessings they must draw down. I shall send you a contribution as soon as I can.'
A white satin dress, the wedding dress of a dear deceased sister, came for us to make use of for some Church work. Doubtless the owners parted with it with some regret, yet were content that it should be relinquished for a good work.
'The card you sent me I have great pleasure in returning filled up. I took it into my Sunday-school in the morning and explained the object to my youngsters, asking all who felt inclined to bring me a penny in the afternoon. They responded most cheerfully, and it was a treat to see little ones of three and four toddling up to my table, beaming with delight when they gave the penny. The teachers also gave 6d. each. I was much pleased at this, as they are all poor people. I enclose a cheque for 27, 18s. 6d. from my Sunday-school, and the balance I add.
'I am glad to see the foundation-stone of
the Convalescent Home is going to be laid. I cannot be there, but I send you two guineas, and wish I could send a great deal more.'
'I send you a few stamps for your Kilburn Orphanage-all I can,' writes another friend. I hope you will soon get enough for the new wing, it is so sad to hear the words "No room." Will you please send me another card to collect pence for the Convalescent Hospital? I want one to make excursions amongst my friends whilst the other remains with me.' We know by experience that this plan of excursionising answers well.
At Paternoster Row.-Church SundaySchool Union.-'I have just come out of my Sunday-school thoroughly disheartened at the want of some systematic course of teaching. Can you help me by any suggestions, by sending me any books or leaflets I can choose from? There are scholars, from young men and women down to infants, in the school, and the whole time seems wasted. There is a book called "The Systematic Bible Teacher," but I cannot put it in the teachers' hands, there being no good definite Church teaching. Can you give me something better? I have only just come into this parish, and it is a good opportunity for introducing something in the way of good Church teaching.'
So writes one priest. A post or two later brings another similar appeal :—
'I have just come into charge of this parish, and find that it will be necessary to begin afresh to organise a Sunday-school. Will you kindly send me specimens of leaflets, which I believe you publish (not your Catechisms, which I have); also, if you publish them, specimen pages of register-books, &c., with any hints you may be able to give me as to starting such a school in a scattered country parish.' We trust that the leaflets which we have forwarded may be found useful in supplying the instruction required in both of these parishes.
'A splendid hamperful of beans, flowers, cabbages, black currants, &c., arrived-so
large, that the bearer with difficulty carried it downstairs.
'I am leaving for Tasmania to-day, whence I hope to write for more copies of some of your publications, which seem very excellent,' says a priest.
A short time ago we sent a parcel of tracts, periodicals, &c., for the navvies now working near East Grinsted, and to-day we received a visit from the lady who had distributed them. She said we should be glad to hear how very acceptable they were; she thought that they had saved many an hour's swearing, by giving occupation in bad weather or in sick
A hamper of lettuces came, very useful for our salads-two large dishes of which, and sometimes more, are consumed daily at dinner-time. We also received a letter offering us black currants at a low price, the writer very kindly offering to pay the carriage. We gladly closed with the proposal, as black currant pudding is quite the favourite food here at this time.
One of the Sisters was standing at a corner, waiting for an omnibus, a few days ago, when a respectable-looking woman stopped close by, and, after some trouble in putting down her parcels, &c., produced 2d., which she put into the Sister's hand, saying, 'Excuse a trifle, it all helps the cause, you know,' and hastened away without waiting for any thanks.
We had another proof of good feeling this evening, when half a basketful of strawberries was given to a Sister by one of the market women, with the remark, 'Perhaps your little girls would like some of them;' and so they did, and enjoyed their feast extremely !
A country choir came; unfortunately they arrived at our very busiest time, when it was quite impossible to receive them, our regular customers filling all the three rooms. We were therefore obliged to ask them to come back later, which they did, and we provided them with tea.
AINT MARY'S CONVALESCENT HOME! we hear our friends exclaim, as they read the title of our opening article, 'why S. Mary's?' Would it not suffice to call it The Broadstairs Convalescent Home?' Perhaps so, if it could in fairness lay claim to that titlethat is, if it were the only institution of the sort in the neighbourhood, or even the oldest.
This, however, is not the case, as everyone in the neighbourhood knows very well. And for the enlightenment of friends at a distance, we must explain that not half a mile from our new site stands the handsome building called S. Peter's Orphan Home-better known, perhaps, by the more familiar title of 'Mrs. Tait's Orphanage'-and close by, in the Orphanage grounds, stands a Convalescent Home, where not only women, but a few children also, are received for a small weekly payment.
When, therefore, the Archbishop of Canterbury-to the great gratification of all concerned-was pleased to express his approval and to give his sanction to the work we now have in hand, he made the suggestion that the new Convalescent Home should receive some distinctive name, some special dedication which would mark it as separate from the already existing institution of S. Peter's.
In this proposal we most gladly acquiesced, and with his Grace's consent have decided that our Home at Broadstairs shall be known for the future as-'S. Mary's Convalescent Home for the Children of the Poor.' We trust this may entirely prevent any confusion being made between the two Homes, or any inconvenience arising from our proximity to those who have so kindly welcomed us as near neighbours.
And here it may not be out of place to give a few details respecting the elder insti
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, Lambeth Palace, to whom donations and subscriptions towards their maintenance may also be sent.
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