§ THE EARL OF DERBY
presented a petition from the inhabitants of St. Titus, Liverpool, praying their Lordships to ap- 861 point a Committee to examine into the causes wherefore the Church of St. Titus, Liverpool, continues closed, with the view to its immediate opening. The petitioners stated that the parish being a very large one a great want of church accommodation had been felt; and in the year 1863 a gentleman commenced collecting subscriptions, and the church was built, on the understanding that the seats were to be entirely free, and the patronage of the church vested in trustees. Subsequently a difference of opinion had arisen between the Bishop of the diocese and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on the latter point, and the church still remained unconsecrated.
THE BISHOP OF CHESTER
briefly vindicated his share in the matter. It was necessary that the consent of the patrons of the parish should be obtained to the vesting of the patronage of the new church in trustees. He had written to the patrons to procure that consent, but up to the present moment had received no answer, and according to his invariable rule he had declined to act in the matter. He believed that the trustees, however, might have carried out their object through the instrumentality of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who were empowered by Act of Parliament to give notice to the patrons, and after a certain time to act. As the petition appeared to convey the impression that the building of new churches in the diocese of Chester did not receive encouragement from the quarter from which it might be expected, he might be permitted to say in justice to himself that since his appointment to the diocese he had consecrated seventy-eight new churches, and ten more were now in preparation for consecration. He mentioned these facts not out of personal vanity, but in justice to the zeal of the diocese over which he had the honour to preside.
§ THE EARL OF CHICHESTER
felt it necessary to add only a very few words with regard to the proceeding of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, whom on that occasion he represented. He could say that no unnecessary delay had occurred in the matter. In consequence of the existence of a local Act it had been found necessary to take the opinion of counsel as to the course which should be recommended. The Acts relating to the building of churches were of themselves sufficiently complicated in their provisions; but the difficulties were greatly increased when 862 they came in contact with local Acts. It was therefore necessary to proceed with the greatest care and caution. He had every reason to believe that no further avoidable delay would take place.
§ THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY
said, he was daily receiving letters complaining of the complicated state of the Church Building Acts. The obstructions were, in fact, so great that many persons willing to increase the number of sacred edifices were deterred from doing so by the difficulties thrown in their way by the state of the law. He begged to suggest to the noble Earl who represented the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that they should set to work and simplify the Acts relating to this subject.