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In the diocese of Llandaff, the number of ecclesiastical districts constituting separate benefices is :Monmouth
235 In the archdeaconry of Monmouth there are twelve benefices, each consisting of two parishes, and seven endowed chapelries, which have no ecclesiastical districts.
The dioceses of St. Asaph and Bangor consist of the following parochial benefices :ST. ASAPH.
BANGOR. Carnarvonshire . 3 Anglesey
39 Denbighshire 53 Carnarvonshire.
49 Flintshire. 30 Denbighshire
15 Merionethshire. 14 | Merionethshire .
18 Montgomeryshire 37 Montgomeryshire
7 Shropshire 12
128 149 We believe that it is proposed to alter the boundaries of the several dioceses, by placing the whole of Glamorganshire under the government of the Bishop of Llandaff; of Denbighshire, under the Bishop of St. Asaph; and of Merionethshire, under the Bishop of Bangor. Some of these arrangements are about to be carried into effect. But, even then, the extent of episcopal jurisdiction will not be equal either in area or population.
Such is the distribution of episcopal superintendence in Wales. The general complaint of churchmen is, that the bishops are over-worked, and that the clergy are under-paid. Considering that these complaints have reference to Wales, we think they are both groundless. The bishops themselves do not seem over-burdened with work, or they would avail themselves of those sources of assistance which the law has placed at their disposal. The Archdeacons are called oculi episcopi,
eyes of the bishops; but, in Wales, the bishops seem to be able to go on without much aid from them. The Archdeacon of Merioneth resides at Ruthin, in the county of Denbigh, at a distance of some thirty miles from the district assigned to his care. The Archdeacon of Glamorgan resides at Llanvapley, in the county of Monmouth, and, we are informed by Sir Thomas Philips, that “the venerable Archdeacons of Brecon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, and St. David's, do not exercise within their archdeaconries full or equal jurisdiction with other functionaries of the same order.” What obstacles there may be in the way of the latter two, we know not; but we believe that the Archdeacon of Brecon is prevented by the infirmities of age from discharging the duties of his office. Until within the last three years, the Archdeacon of Cardigan resided at Edinburgh, as rector of the celebrated High School of that place. Even now, we believe, he does not reside within his archdeaconry. If, then, the bishops have actually more work than they can perform, it is reasonable to suppose that they would avail themselves of the services of the archdeacons.
Again, there are the deans, four in number, who receive an annual salary of 7001. each. The bishops of Wales, it is well known, have been, until very lately, ignorant of the language of their flocks. We believe that two of the present occupants of the bench have some knowledge of Welsh, But as to the deans, we have already mentioned that only one of them can write a sermon, or the names of the days of the week, in Welsh, without the aid of a lexicon. This, again, does not show that the ecclesiastical dignitaries of Wales are overworked.
Still further, it does not appear that the clergy are so miserably paid as to render their services inefficient. At all events, there is a class of persons in Wales who are much worse paid, and yet they succeed in gathering and keeping together large congregations. Let us first see what was the amount of money received twenty years ago by the clergy. The following table contains the revenues of the ecclesiastical benefices in Wales, on an average of three years ending on the 31st of Dec. 1831, as set forth in the first Report of the Commissioners to inquire into the condition of the Established Church, published in 1835:
NORTH WALES-ST. ASAPH DIOCESE, Nett Income of Bishopric .
£6,301 Ditto Deanery
1,185 Ditto Thirteen Prebendaries
1,355 Average Annual Income of each Parochial Benefice.
271 In this diocese there were only 28 benefices at the time under £100 a year. Glebe-houses fit for residence 90; Unfit, 13; no residence, 29.
BANGOR DIOCESE. Nett Income of Bishopric
£4,464 Ditto Deanery
858 Ditto Other Ňembers of Chapter
2127 Average Annual Income of each Parochial Benefice
252 Benefices under £100 a year, 39. Glebe-houses fit for residence, 61 ; Unfit, 6; no residence, 56.
SOUTH WALES-LLANDAFF DIOCESE. Nett Income of Bishopric
£924 Ditto Members of the Chapter
690 Average Annual Income of each Parochial Benefice
177 Benefices under £100 a year, 108.
Glebe-houses fit for residence, 66; Unfit, 36; no residence, 90. It has been often mentioned in public that this diocese is proverbially poor, as it contains 64 benefices under 1001., 35 under 751., 8 under 501., and 1 under 101. a year. This last scapegoat of a benefice must be St. Thomas Over Monow: a small curacy adjoining the town of Monmouth. Its annual value is stated in the aforesaid report to be 51. We find, however, from the Clergy List for 1850, that the present annual value is 801. There is, therefore, no such pity-seeking and foreign-aid-imploring-benefice in the diocese of Llandaff.
ST. DAVID'S DIOCESE. Nett Income of Bishopric
£1,897 Ditto, other Members of Chapter and Vicars' choral
2,183 Averagé Annual Income of each Parochial Benefice
137 Benefices under £100 a year, 165.
Glebe houses fit for residencé, 110; Unfit, 78; no residence, 219. It appears from the Report that there were in this diocese in 1831, 167 benefices under 1001., 86 under 751., 11 under 501., and 1 under 101. a year. The last
miserable benefice was Coedcenlas, valued at 2l. per annum. In the Clergy List for 1850, the value is stated to be 201. Our readers, however, must not suppose that the incumbents of Coedcenlas and St. Thomas Over Monow have died of starvation. The incumbents are the same in 1850 as they were in 1830. The worthy curate of St. Thomas is surrogate in the town of Monmouth; and his more apostolic brother, at Coedcenlas, is curate at Amroth, and rector of Cronwere in the county of Pembroke. The latter benefice is valued at 1001. nett per annum,
with a glebe house. It appears from the tables, of which we have given an abstract, that in North Wales the average annual value of the benefices, and the proportion of glebe houses fit for residence, are nearly as large as they are in England, where the average value is 300l. In South Wales, the average annual value of benefices in the diocese of Llandaff is 1771.; the proportion of glebe-houses is one to three benefices. In St. David's, the average nett income is 1371., and the proportion of glebe-houses one in four. It must be remembered, however, that twenty years have elapsed since the data on which the foregoing tables are formed were collected. All changes that have taken place since that period have been for the better.
Discouraging, then, as the returns appear, it must be remembered that if the property available for parochial benefices had been equally divided, the result would have been an average annual income of 2091. for each benefice. Now, surely, this would be no contemptible income in a country like Wales, where living is not expensive. The fault would, therefore, seem to exist not in the actual amount expended on the Establishment, but in the mode of its distribution. The Church being under State control, finds herself unable to appropriate her resources in the best and wisest manner. Layimpropriators have taken some from her, English colleges and ecclesiastical corporations have taken more, and her own dignitaries are elevated to a respectable distance above the working clergy; but, after all, she has a goodly portion of silver and gold remaining, which, unhappily, she is deprived of appropriating among
worthy men as their need and labours require. She has entered into a compact with the State, and whatever is written in the bond she must perform, except the rendering of a moral equivalent for the pecuniary consideration she receives. In this the State is not very particular.
PATRONAGE AND ITS ABUSE.
We may now advance to consider the state of patronage in the Church Establishment in Wales. It will be seen from the following statements that the episcopal and ecclesiastical patronage are extensive.
The Bishop of St. Asaph has the patronage of the deanery, all the prebends, canonries in the cathedral of St. Asaph, and 119 benefices.
The Bishop of Bangor has the patronage of the deanery, chancellorship, treasurership, and precentorship, the prebends of Penymynydd and Llanfairdyffrynclwyd, the first, second, and third canonries in the cathedral, archdeaconry of Merioneth, and eighty-seven benefices.
The Bishop of St. David's is patron of the four archdeaconries (the archdeaconry of St. David's has the prebend of Meidrym annexed to it), the precentorship, the chancellorship, the treasurership, the prebends, except the first cursal-prebend, the precentorship of the collegiate church at Brecon, the chancellorship of the same church, and 114 benefices.
The Bishop of Llandaff has the patronage of the deanery, chancellorship, the archdeaconries of Monmouth and Llandaff, all the prebends, and about twenty benefices.
The Dean and Chapter of St. David's, with the sub