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IONA, OR CATHEDRAL INSTITUTIONS.
MANY of our readers may have lately observed, in one of the public journals, as also, in an abbreviated form, in this magazine, an interesting account of an excursion to Iona, made by the newlyappointed Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, accompanied by the Dean and clergy of the united diocese, and many tourists and residents in Oban. The primary synodical visitation of the diocese had previously occurred, when the Bishop delivered a charge to the clergy, over whom, in consequence of the disseverment of the diocese from the See of Moray and Ross, he had recently been appointed to preside. Since this primary visitation and Episcopal expedition to the timehonoured' island of Iona, the Bishop has had several confirmations in his diocese, and within the last few weeks has admitted, by his holy apostolical rite, at Oban, four adult persons as members of the Church, and nearly forty young persons at Ballachulish, in Appin, on the first Sunday of October. On these several occasions nothing could exceed the solemnity and interest which marked the whole of the proceedings, whether we consider the impressive earnestness of the Bishop's manner and address, the quiet and becoming demeanour of the youthful candidates, or the respect manifested by the people in general for their newly-appointed chief pastor, who, by his piety and gentleness, and, we may add, entire devotion to his diocese, and the responsible duties which devolve on him as its head, has already secured, and, we doubt not, will continue to retain, the respect and dutiful allegiance of the pastors and members of his extensive spiritual charge. It is ardently hoped that the paternal view which was taken by the Bishop of his spiritual relation to his flock, in his late confirmation charge at Ballachulish, may be, in like manner, responded to by the whole body of his clergy and people, by a devout care on their part to follow his godly admonitions as dutiful children of their Spiritual Father, and faithful and zealous members of Christ's Holy Church.
The Church at Oban is at present in a condition of at once much interest and anxiety to the Bishop and the members of the Church residing in the town and its neighbourhood. Oban has of late risen into notice as a summer residence for tourists, and as a small seaport, midway between Inverness and Glasgow, at which steamers touch on their passage from the Highland metropolis, Fort-William, &c., through the Caledonian Canal, and from many of the Western Isles and mainland, with which a constant communication in the summer season is maintained. Some years since, the present Bishop of London spent a Sunday in Oban, and performed divine service in the principal hotel, where he resided. He subsequently wrote to the venerable Bishop of Moray, the then Diocesan of Argyll, and, after mentioning his performance of divine service in the diocese, suggested the practicability of forming a congregation at Oban, and offered to contribute to so desirable an object. Owing to this re
commendation, followed by a request on the part of some of the inhabitants, the Bishop of Moray took steps to carry this proposal into effect; but, with the exception of the voluntary services of several clergymen from Oxford during the summer vacation, and latterly, since his elevation, of the present Bishop, who has resided at Oban for several months past, no permanent pastor has been appointed, from the difficulty of procuring sufficient remuneration for a duly qualified clergyman to superintend the congregation which has already been in some measure formed. It is, indeed, a matter of considerable difficulty to secure an adequate maintenance for a permanent clergyman, owing to the brief sojourn of the summer visitors, and the comparative poverty of many of the usual inhabitants; and this, together with the isolation of Oban itself during a large portion of the season, makes this new ecclesiastical station one of considerable difficulty and anxiety to the Bishop and the Church. Still we think-nay, we will not admit a doubt-that the peculiar circumstances of such a charge, forming, as it does, a highly important sphere of usefulness, will have its proper weight in inducing both the permanent and occasional residents of Oban to contribute more liberally than they have hitherto done, first to secure a suitable maintenance for a pastor, and afterwards to erect a proper ecclesiastical building for the worship of God. At present, the congregation are compelled to assemble, like the first members of the Church, in a hired apartment, or 'upper chamber,' which, however fortunate they may have been in procuring as a temporary place of worship, is neither suitable nor sufficiently large for a congregation numbering, during the late season, upwards of one hundred persons, and of which they may at any moment be deprived. We would conclude this account, and may also add an appeal to the Church in general, by reminding our readers that, owing to the recent departure of the Bishop, and a clergyman of the Church of England, who voluntarily and most kindly undertook the duties of this infant congregation during the summer, those services have necessarily ceased, and for many months the voice of prayer and spiritual direction, with the note of praise and the celebration of eucharistic solemnities, will no more be heard for a season, if ever again resumed, unless a little more activity and zeal be shown by those more especially interested, as also by other true-born children of the Church.
There was at one period an intention, we believe, to have made Oban the principal seat of the Bishop of the diocese, but several circumstances and obstacles have induced the Bishop to abandon this design, and finally to fix the future residence of himself and his successors in the neighbourhood of Lochgilphead, where a site and most liberal contribution have been presented for a church and episcopal residence by a munificent member of the Church.
The Bishop has employed, we understand, for some weeks past, two eminent ecclesiastical architects from England,-the Messrs
Boucklers, in the island of Iona, in making plans and taking drawings of the ruins of the ancient Cathedral of the Isles as they now exist, with the view of obtaining models for churches and chapels in the diocese of Argyll. These drawings, many of which are very curious, and possess very striking architectural features not ordinarily met with, are intended for publication, and will, in all probability, appear along with a letter-press description, and some account of the island, in the course of the ensuing summer. There is a further design in contemplation of erecting the Diocesan Church at Lochgilphead on the model-of course very much reduced-of the Cathedral at Iona, should this highly-desirable object, connected as it is with so interesting a structure of ancient times, prove of sufficient interest to recommend itself to the charity of the faithful, not only in Scotland, but among our brethren in the South. A better opportunity than the present could scarcely be presented for enlisting the kind offices of members of the Catholic Church, in enabling this interesting diocese to resume the long-disused system of Cathedral Institutions, from which, as from the centre of a system, lesser lights may be diffused for the benefit of an extensive and, by all parties, sadly neglected district. It is further proposed to erect an episcopal residence in connection with this Diocesan Church, and for both objects a subscription has already been commenced; but as we design to make some further suggestions on the subject of Cathedral Institutions in general, as also on the most probable method of obtaining contributions for their erection, in the first instance, and subsequent support, we shall postpone to a future number the consideration of these topics, which we cannot but consider as highly important to the interests and reviving prospects of the Church.
DIOCESE OF GLASGOW.
On Friday, September 22, being the day after the consecration of the newly-elected Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, his Lordship commenced the career of his official duties by consecrating the church dedicated to the Holy Trinity at Helensburgh.
At half-past eleven A.M. the Bishop and his chaplains were met at the door of the church by the managers and trustees, who escorted them to the altar, where the petition for consecration was presented to him. The petition having been read before the congregation by the Rev. A. M'Ewan, and the Bishop having assented to its prayer, then proceeded to the door of the church to receive the clergy who had come from different parts of the diocese to assist at the ceremony, and who, preceded by the Bishop, walked slowly down the nave, chaunting alternately verses of the 26th Psalm. On his return to the altar, the title-deeds of the church were delivered to the Bishop, and the deed of consecration having been afterwards read by the Dean, was signed by his Lordship on the altar.
The daily service was then read by the Rev. Charles Cole of Greenock, the first lesson by the Rev. Archibald Wilson of Maybole, and the second by the Rev. J. F. S. Gordon of St Andrew's, Glasgow. The Epistle was read by the Rev. A. M'Ewan, and the Gospel by the Very Rev. the Dean, chaplains to the Bishop; after which the consecration sermon was preached by the Rev. Francis Garden of St Paul's, Edinburgh, and the services of the day terminated with the celebration of the Holy Communion, which was administered by the Bishop and the Dean.
The following clergymen were present upon this occasion:The Very Rev. the Dean of Glasgow and Galloway; the Very Rev. the Dean of Argyll and the Isles; the Venerable the Archdeacon of Argyll and the Isles; S. E. Major, curate of Witham, Essex; Will. de Burgh, joint incumbent of St Mary's, Glasgow; J. F. S. Gordon, St Andrew's, Glasgow; K. M. Pugh, Paisley; Archibald Wilson, Maybole; Archibald M'Ewan, St Mary's, Dumfries; Charles Cole, St John's, Greenock; Francis Garden, St Paul's, Edinburgh; F. Tomkin, Edinburgh: William Bruce, Dunfermline; H. G. Pirie, Dunoon; F. C. A. Clifford, Cumbrae; Andrew Horsburgh.
DIOCESE OF BRECHIN.
CATTERLINE.-On Friday, the Feast of St Michael Archangel and All Angels, the newly-erected Church of St Philip the Apostle was opened and consecrated by the Right Reverend the Bishop of Brechin. His Lordship was attended by the Rev. J. Moir of Brechin, registrar of the diocese; the Rev. J. Stevenson, incumbent; and by the Rev. C. T. Erskine, Stonehaven, and D. Greig, deacon at Dundee, as his chaplains. There were present also the Rev. Messrs Cushnie, Montrose; Smith, Muchalls; Irvine, Fasque; Pratt of Cruden; Low of Longmay; and Webster of New Pitsligo, Aberdeen; the Rev. Messrs Glyn and Lane, of the Church of England, in their canonical robes.
The Bishop and the clergy having taken their seats in the chancel, the petition of the congregation, praying his Lordship to consecrate the church to the honour and service of Almighty God, was presented, and, having been read by the Registrar, was assented to by the Bishop. The Bishop and clergy then proceeded down the centre of the nave, which is provided with neat open seats of fir, suitable for kneeling, which were filled with a numerous congregation of nobility, gentry, and peasantry, members of the Church, accommodated without respect of persons,' according to the precept of St James (chap. ii.) The procession having reached the porch at the south-west of the church, returned up the centre to the chancel, chanting Psalm xxiv. The appropriate prayers having been offered by the Bishop, the sentence was published, declaring St Philip's Church, now the Lord's House, to be holy for ever. The incumbent
then said Morning Prayers and the Litany, the Lessons appropriate to the occasion being read by others of the clergy. Psalm lxxxix. having been sung, the Bishop, assisted by his chaplains as Epistler and Gospeller, proceeded with the ante-Communion Service. An able and appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr Pratt from Eph. i. 22,- The Church which is His body,'-the Offertory sentences being thereafter read by the Rev. J. Moir. A liberal collection was made for the erection of a parsonage, and the alms collected were offered on the Holy Table by the Bishop, with the accustomed words from 1 Chron. xxix. The non-communicants having been dismissed, the clergy and a great number of the laity received the Holy Eucharist, according to the Scottish use, from the hands of the Bishop, assisted by the Rev. Registrar, the incumbent, and one of his chaplains.
Evening Prayer was celebrated, at three o'clock, by the Rev. Mr Webster, and a most impressive sermon delivered by the Bishop, from St John i. 38, Rabbi, where dwellest Thou?' The offerings of the congregation being again taken and presented, the services of the day were concluded by the administration by the Bishop of the Apostolic rite of Confirmation to a convert who had recently joined the Church. The whole offertory amounted to £45.
The church, though small and simple, is very beautiful, and admirably adapted to the locality. The chancel is furnished (according to the direction of the Book of Common Prayer, that that part of the church should remain, as in time past,') with stone altar, credence, niche, and sedilia. The pulpit, footstool, and communion-rail, are of fir highly varnished, and presenting a more beautiful appearance than many of the rarer and more expensive woods. The most beautiful object in the church is the font, placed at the entrance; it is of stone from the neighbourhood, being an exact copy of the font of St Macarius's Cathedral, Aberdeen, with the exception of emblems of our Lord's Passion being substituted for others less suitable to the doctrines of the Reformed Catholic Church.
The congregation consists, almost exclusively, of poor, yet active, sober, and industrious fishermen, warmly attached to the Church, and whose forefathers adhered to it under all the vicissitudes through which it has passed in this country.
Hitherto the public ordinances of the Church have been celebrated in a building erected as a watch-house for the coast-guard station, the use of which was granted by the Board of Admiralty. But the unsuitableness of this building for a place of worship, and its inconvenient situation, led to the proposal of providing the congregation with a more appropriate and commodious building. For the accomplishment of this object an appeal was made to the members of the Church and the public generally. This appeal has been so successful, that the incumbent, with the approval of the Bishop, is tempted to extend his views, in the hope that God will enable him to build, not only a church sufficient to accommodate the whole congregation,