« PreviousContinue »
the Church of England. It divides the “body of Trustees” into two “standing Committees,” one consisting of Churchmen, the other of Nonconformists; and places one half of the annual income at the disposal of each Committee, without allowing any variation from this proportion by a decision of a majority of the trustees.
It makes the main purpose of the Charity to consist in the distribution of Bibles, and it leaves the distribution of other “religious books" entirely at the discretion of each separate standing Committee.
9. But the Scheme must be considered as in some respects unsatisfactory. Even if members of the Church of England be authorised to have part in the management of the Charity, it is not right that they should always constitute a majority of the trustees, and thus be enabled (with certain restrictions) to control its administration. Nor is it consistent with the known objection of the Founder to the Book of Common Prayer, and his express injunction concerning free prayer, that this book should be singled out and authorised for distribution. If there needed to be a provision for the distribution of “religious books," this general designation should have been sufficient. The same provision, however, allows Nonconformist trustees, if they think fit, to distribute religious books for the promotion of their own distinctive principles. And to prevent a diverse procedure on the part of the two Committees, it might have been well if the Charity had been restricted to the distribution of Bibles alone.
10. Whilst it is a most excellent thing to present a free gift of Bibles to young people, it must be remembered that the possession of the sacred volume by no means ensures its proper use.
It is desirable that (as permitted by the Scheme) means should be adopted in connection with the selection of the recipients to induce them to read the Bible attentively and to promote their adequate instruction therein, so that they may understand its meaning and lay to heart its Divine truths. Much may be done for this purpose in co-operation with ministers of churches and with superintendents and teachers of Sunday-schools. Hitherto the returns received from many places where Bibles have been distributed fail to indicate the adoption of any uniform or adequate method of selecting the recipients, and ascertaining their interest in the Bible, and their proficiency in the knowledge of it, even to the extent of learning a few Psalms by heart. It is doubtful whether, notwithstanding a profusion of Bibles, there exists in those who should be chiefly concerned about the matter any proper conviction of the unspeakable importance of instructing the young in the true knowledge of the Scriptures, or of the urgent necessity of their efficient teaching therein, such as is eminently needed at the present day, and may be given with the abundant aids which are now afforded for this purpose. If by any means this Charity can deepen that conviction and help it to find practical expression, it will most completely fulfil the purpose of the Founder.
Administration of Charity.
THE SCHEME. 1. From and after the date of the approval of this Scheme by the Court, this Charity and the property thereof (of which a description is contained in the Schedule hereto) shall be administered by a body of Trustees as hereinafter constituted under the title of “ Lord Wharton's Charity."
2. The Trustees of the Charity shall be nine in number, of whom, subject to the two Rules next following, five shall be Members of the Church of England and four Nonconformist Members respectively. Of the four Nonconformist Members one shall be a representative of the Presbyterian Church of England, whose headquarters are 7, East India Avenue, in the City of London; another shall be a representative of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, whose headquarters are the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, in the City of London; another shall be a representative of the Wesleyan Methodist Church hereinafter referred to, whose Central Office is 2, Castle Street, City Road, in the City of London; and the fourth shall be a representative of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, whose headquarters are 19, Furnival Street, in the City of London.
3. Until the number of Trustees is made up to nine, the Charity shall be governed by the present Trustees, who are as follows: Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Charles Rowley Hay, the Rev. Canon Francis Henry Murray, John Archibald Shaw Stewart, Colonel Francis Haygarth, John Gilbert Talbot, and the Honourable John Stewart Gathorne Hardy (commonly called Lord Medway), and they shall continue to be Trustees after
the number has been made up to nine. The number shall be in the first instance made up to nine by the appointment of three Nonconformist Trustees. 4. The Central Authorities of each of the said four Appointment
of NonconNonconformist Bodies or the majority of them shall formist
Trustees. agree in the selection of three persons to be appointed in the first instance as the representatives of three of such bodies, and the present Trustees may appoint them provisionally as Trustees, but may decline to appoint all, any, or one of such persons, in which case the Central Authorities shall select others or another to be Trustees, and so till three persons so selected have been approved by the Trustees, when the Trustees shall provisionally appoint them as Trustees. 5. On the next vacancy among the present Trustees, As to first
Vacancy in the Central Authority of that one of the said four bodies
present which has then no representative among the Trustees Trustees, shall select a member of such body as Trustee, and so from time to time until the Trustees shall approve the selection, when they shall provisionally appoint the person so selected as Trustee. 6. Until the Charity Commissioners otherwise direct, The Central
Authorities of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of England, the the NonconExecutive Committee of the Congregational Union of formist
Bodies. England and Wales, the Yearly Conference of the People called Methodists in the connexion established by the late Rev. John Wesley, A.M. (otherwise known as the Wesleyan Methodist Church), and the Council of the Baptist Union of England and Wales, shall be deemed respectively to be the Central Authorities of the four respective bodies. But the Trustees may accept nominations purporting to come from the Secretary or from the person acting as Secretary of any of the said bodies without evidence of his authority to represent the Central Authority.
7. Trustees to fill vacancies shall be elected pro- As to future visionally If the vacancy shall
occur among Trustees who are members of the Church of England, it shall be filled provisionally by the appointment of a
member of the Church of England, the Church of England Trustees only to be entitled to vote at such election.
If the vacancy shall occur among the Trustees who are Nonconformists, it shall be filled provisionally by the appointment of a Member of that one of the above-mentioned Nonconformist Bodies in respect of whose representative the vacancy occurs, and he shall be selected by such body in the manner provided by
Appointments 8. Every appointment made provisionally shall be to be approved forth with notified with all proper information to the by Charity Commis- Charity Commissioners, and shall only become valid sioners.
when the Charity Commissioners have intimated their approval thereof. If the Commissioners shall not approve of any person provisionally appointed, a fresh election shall be provisionally made and submitted to
them for approval. Determination 9.
any Trustee of the Charity shall become bankof Trusteeship.
rupt, or file a petition for liquidation, or his goods shall be taken in execution, or compound with his creditors, or become incapacitated to act, or shall not attend any meeting of the Trustees during a consecutive period of two years, the Trustees shall cause a record of the fact to be entered in their books, and upon such record being entered the Trustee to whom it applies shall imme
diately cease to be a Trustee. Remaining 10. Pending any vacancy or vacancies, the remaining Trustees may Trustees may act for all purposes in the administration act.
of the affairs of the Charity. First Meeting.
11. Notice of the time and place for holding the first Meeting of the Trustees shall be given in writing by the Solicitor to Her Majesty's Attorney-General to each Trustee, not less than seven days previous to the time
appointed, and such notice may be sent by post. General
12. The Trustees shall hold not less than two MeetMeeting of
ings in each year, of which one shall be the Annual Trustees.
General Meeting, for transacting the business of the