HL Deb 19 March 1838 vol 41 cc988-9
The Earl of Ripon

, in presenting a petition from the bishop and clergy of the diocese of Down and Connor, complaining of a great want of church accommodation in that diocese, took the opportunity to say, that their Lordships were aware that, in that diocese, there were a great many Protestants. They had offered to advance a considerable sum of money for the purpose of obviating the complaint, and had made application to the Commissioners in Ireland for assistance to complete the object. The Commissioners answered that they were sorry that they could afford no relief, but they had actually no funds from which they could advance any money. He was not at all surprised at that answer, because the expenditure of that commission, the necessary and inevitable expenditure, had exceeded their income in four years by the sum of 229,000l.; and they had been compelled to borrow 100,000l. under the Act from the Government, and apply the money which they obtained by the sale of perpetuities and bishops' leases, which money ought to have been laid aside to form a fund.

The Bishop of Derry

would take that opportunity of stating to their Lordships, that many of the clauses in the Church Temporalities' Act were of a very injurious nature. In Ireland, as he supposed was the case in this country, there were many large parishes the churches of which were situated at the extremity, and he hoped that the Commissioners would, as soon as possible, turn their attention to that subject, as it was impossible for many of the parishioners to attend the performance of public worship. There was one class in Ireland who seemed to be altogether forgotten—he meant the curates, who were often turned out of their cures upon the coming in of a new incumbent, and were left to poverty in the evening of their life. He sincerely trusted that whenever the funds of the Commissioners were in a more flourishing condition, something would be done for that suffering class. Might he ask the noble Viscount if that Bill—the Church Temporalities' Bill, was likely to be altered during the Session?

Viscount Melbourne

was not aware that there existed any serious objections to the Bill alluded to by the right rev. Prelate.

Petition laid on the table.