The Bishop of London
moved the second reading of a Bill to encourage, under certain regulations, the Building of Churches by private individuals. His Lordship said, that by the common law of the land, any person who should build a new church or chapel would not possess the patronage of it; but that patronage would go to the incumbent of the parish. This operated as a discouragement to pious men, who might otherwise be disposed to erect buildings for the performance of divine worship according to the rites of the Church. The object of the present Bill was, to remove that cause of discouragement, by giving to such persons as erected places of worship, with the sanction of the Commissioners for building New Churches, and the Bishop in whose diocess they might be built, the right of nomination. It had of late been the fashion in other places, and in the public prints, to cast a great deal of obloquy on the Board of Commissioners for Building Churches, the members of which had faithfully discharged the important trust reposed in them. He had been a member of that Board for seven 729 years, and he would challenge any man to point out any Board which had discharged its duty gratuitously with more activity, fidelity, impartiality, or with a more liberal sacrifice of time and attention. The munificence of the Legislature of this Christian empire had placed at the disposal of that Board a sum of l,500,000l.; and during the time that they had the disposal of that fund, they had built 134 churches and chapels, in which there were 192,974 sittings, 106,154 of which were free to the poor. He felt great satisfaction in stating, that every chapel and church built by his Majesty's Commissioners, with very few exceptions, to be accounted for by local circumstances, had, since their erection, been filled to overflowing, without, at the same time, any diminution taking place in the numbers of those who attended the old churches of the country. He there- fore did not scruple to put it to their lord- ships, whether 1,500,000l. could be better disposed of, in the present state of the country.
§ Bill read a second time.