HL Deb 20 June 1878 vol 240 cc1875-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


My Lords, it will not take many minutes to explain the purpose and provisions of this Bill, which I now move should be read a second time. The measure is intended to carry into effect certain arrangements in connection with the Cathedral Churches of Exeter and Truro. The former differs from all the other Cathedral Churches, excepting only the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cathedrals connected with the Universities, in this respect—that it has five Canonries in the Chapter instead of four; and the object with which the fifth Canonry was retained will be found defined in the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the year 1855. In that Report, it is stated that the Canonry in question was retained with a view to the foundation of a Chapter to be attached to the Cathedral Church of Cornwall, as soon as Cornwall should have been formed into a separate Diocese. Since that period Cornwall has been separated from the Diocese of Exeter, and constituted into a Diocese by itself. The time, therefore, has arrived for carrying out the original arrangement to which I have referred. In some respects, indeed, the measure has been anticipated. Already the fifth Canonry of which I have spoken has been saddled with the payment of one-third of its income to the Archdeacon of Cornwall. After the first vacancy in the Archdeaconry, the sum to be paid to the holder from the Canonry is not to exceed £200 a-year, so that the transference proposed by the Bill is really a transference of the rest of the one-third and the remaining two-thirds of the income of the Canonry to Truro. Your Lordships will find in the Bill before you the provisions which are considered necessary for giving effect to the objects I have indicated. It will be observed that it is necessary not only to transfer the Canonry; but, inasmuch as there is at present no Dean and Chapter for Truro, which is the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Cornwall, it is also necessary to create machinery for receiving the Canonry so transferred. The Bill proposes, in Clause 2, to transfer the next Canonry which shall fall vacant, other than that which is now held by the Archdeacon of Exeter; and, on such a vacancy occurring, the Archdeacon will enter upon that vacant Canonry, and the Canonry of the income of which he at present receives only two-thirds, with the exception of the residence thereto attached, will be transferred to an endowment fund for the Chapter of Truro. This fund is to be in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and by Clause 3, as soon as it is certified by the Commissioners that there are sufficient means to give an income of £1,000 a-year for the Dean, and £300 per annum for each of four residentiary Canons, it will be competent to Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to create a new Chapter, and to make it in all respects similar to the foundations in the rest of England. Meanwhile, in order that the new Diocese of Truro may not be obliged to wait for its Chapter until the full amount shall have been obtained, a provision—Clause 6 of the Bill—is introduced by which Her Majesty may also by Order in Council, create a residentiary Canonry, or Canonries, in the Cathedral Church of Truro before that time has come; and, by Clause 4, Her Majesty may make statutes for the government and for the duties of such Canonries, both in the Cathedral itself and in the administration of the Diocese. The statutes of Cathedrals, as your Lordships are aware, are not uniform, although there is a general law applicable to all alike. Every Cathedral, has, how-over, to a greater or less extent, statutes of its own; and it is proposed that the Chapter of Truro shall not, in that respect, prove an exception to the general rule. It will have statutes for itself; but those statutes will, as I have indicated, be made by Order in Council—no doubt after due consultation with all parties concerned—and the Order will be submitted to Parliament. The present Archdeacon of Cornwall receives £333 a-year, being one-third of the Canonry. That sum is rather more than is allowed to Archdeacons in the rest of England. As a general rule, the endowment of an Archdeaconry is £200 per annum; and, as the staff of the Cathedral in Cornwall will, for the present, be very poor, it is thought, and is provided by the 10th clause, that the succeeding Archdeacon should be put on the same level as other Archdeacons, and have £200 a-year, and that the remainder of the amount now paid to the occupant of that position should go towards the endowment fund. It is obvious that there must be several parties interested in the matter; and your Lordships will naturally ask in what way those parties have looked at the proposals contained in the Bill. I am glad to say that it has received their approval. The consent of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter has been given to the measure; the Bishop of Truro requested me to introduce it; and I need scarcely add that, by bringing it forward, I have shown that I give my own consent to it. I have only further to remark that I have liberty, I believe, to inform your Lordships that the Bill has the approval of Her Majesty's Government; and, therefore, may be considered to have also the assent of the Crown.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Bishop of Exeter.)

Motion agreed, to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.

House adjourned at half past Five o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.