Bishop Wallis visits St Matthew's, 1895

Bishop Frederic Wallis

THE BISHOP OF WELLINGTON:  BISHOP AND MRS WALLIS AT MASTERTON

Last evening St Matthew's Schoolroom was crowded with members of the Church of England, residing in this district met together for the purpose of welcoming Bishop [Frederic] Wallis and Mrs Wallis, on their first visit to this district. The schoolroom was prettily decorated and the platform comfortably furnished, the whole presenting a very pleasant contrast to the cold wet weather outside the building. The reception accorded them was a cordial one, and appeared to be most thoroughly appreciated.

The Rev. A. C. Yorke, Vicar of St. Matthew's, in introducing the Bishop said all wished His Lordship a hearty welcome, and referred to the warm welcome he personally had received when arriving at Masterton, as a guarantee of what his people would extend to their Bishop. He also reminded the Bishop, that at his own College, he had entered through the Gate of Humility, to the first Court; passed through the Gate of Virtue, into the second; and so out through the Gate of Honour, to the Senate House, where His Lordship had received his Doctor's Degree. He (Mrs Yorke) remembered the time when the Gate of Humility existed as a very humble erection, upon the foundations of which the authorities had erected a most palatial Court. Still they had preserved the Gate of Humility, and as His Lordship came to them in all the dignity of a Bishop's office, they were sure he had entered upon it through the Gate of Humility; they were confident he would pass through the Gate of Virtue, and could certainly promise him a hearty welcome at the Gate of Honor. Again welcoming His Lordship, Mr Yorke sat down amidst applause.

Bishop Wallis, who was warmly received, thanked Mr Yorke for his pleasant welcome and kindly allusion to his old College. Mr Yorke's remakrs were really more kind than they knew, because their Vicar had forgotten to say that the Gate of Humility was kept locked, and had been termed by some the Gate of Pride. (Laughter). He had hoped to have visited Masterton earlier, and when on the other coast he had looked at the hills, and wondered many times what was on the other side of them. He had now found out, and was much pleased with what he saw. He thanked them for their hearty reception of Mrs Wallis and himself, and felt that the welcome extended was indeed sincere. It was cheering to find such energy and vigour in church matters as he found existed at Masterton, and he hoped they would still progress. Before long he hoped to again visit Masterton and see more of the people of St Matthew's. Referring to the question of religion in schools His Lordship said it was not for him to say how, but the admission of simple Bible lessons in their schools would have to come. At present this was the one flaw in New Zealand's splendid educational system, and they were quite willing to meet their dissenting brethern fairly on this ground, without trying to urge the admission of Church teaching. He was pleased at the action of the School Committee in permitting Mr Yorke to teach in the School after School hours, and had read the papers bearing on this matter--when dealt with by the Committee--with much interest. He was of the opinion that the Church in New Zealand was even better governed tha in England, as laymen had votes and took an active part in the election of representatives to Synod, and in controlling other matters. It was for this reason that enrolment papers had been circulated for members of the Church to sign; not, as some supposed, for the purpose of taking a Church census. He again thanked all present, and Mr Yorke for their kind reception, and assured all of Mrs Wallis' real regret that illness prevented her being present. He assured them that this regret was sincere and not merely a conventional one. However, Mrs Wallis would be glad to see any who might like to call on her at the Vicarage tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

Bishop Wallis sat down amidst applause, and the Rev. A. C. Yorke then called for three cheers for the Bishop and one for Mrs Wallis; which were heartily given.

His Lordship then left the platform and exchanged a few kindly words with all present. During the evening, at intervals, refreshments were handed round, and vocal items contributed by Messrs Meadows, D. R. Robinson, and R. Langton. The ladies presiding over the refreshment tables were the Mesdames Chennells, R. Brown, D. R. Robinson, S. F. Beard, and Pinkerton, and the Misses Keeling, Mason and Purser. The decorating and arrangement of the room was chiefly managed by the Sunday School boys under the direction of Messrs R. Brown and Robinson, others also lending valuable aid. Ample provisions were provided for the social by the ladies of the congregation, and before the gathering of last evening broke up, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded all helpers, on the motion of the Rev. A. C. Yorke.

 

Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume XVI, Issue 5028, 17 May 1895, Page 3