§ The Report of the Amendments to this Bill was received.
Clause 2, page 1, line 12, after 'consent,' insert 'of the heritors, if any, and.'"—(Lord Tweedmouth.)
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
My Lords, I have an Amendment to this Bill that I desire to ask your Lordships' acceptance of. The object of the Bill is one with which I am entirely in harmony. It is to enable churches and manses to be removed from places where they have ceased to be of use to other parts of the same locality where they are more required; but, in making the provisions for the change of site, it seems to me that one class of persons—the heritors, or the land-holders of the parish—have been somewhat forgotten. In the 5th clause of this Bill the 93 liability of heritors is carefully reserved, whereas in the preceding clauses, with regard to the removal of the churches or manses, no reference whatever is made to the heritors. The object of my Amendment is to secure that, when it is proposed that churches and manses should be removed under the Bill, the heritors of the parish should be consulted in the matter, and their consent obtained.
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
I have no hesitation in accepting this Amendment. The Bill will really not come into operation in any town or borough in which heritors are likely to have an interest in the church. I believe that in most cases the churches affected will be churches which are vested in the magistrates and the town councils. The Amendment suggested by the noble Lord was the subject of some discussion in the Standing Committee, and, after full consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the words suggested to be added, if they do not do any good in those cases to which we think the Bill will apply, cannot do any harm. Therefore, I am willing to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.