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the Church Congress, by quoting its highly esteemed Permanent Secretary.*
“ The first Church Congress was held in King's College Hall, Cambridge, in November, 1861. It was an effort originated by men who felt that the time had come for drawing more closely together the Clergy and faithful laity of the Church of England to consult as to the best measures of Church Defence, and Church extension.
The first meeting was an experiment, but the lines laid down for the making of it have been in their main directions adhered to during succeeding years. And the good results anticipated have been to a considerable extent realised. Gradually, as year after year's Congress has been held, now in the province of Canterbury, and now in that of York, increased support and sympathy has been shown. Not only have the varying schools of thought within the Church been brought into more friendly relations, and have learnt to give more respect to one another's opinions, but the possibility of working together as one in the attainment of the highest good for all has been more and more enforced and encouraged.”
“ . The greatest care has been taken from the beginning to avoid any interference with the authoritative assemblies of the Church, such as her Convocations, Synods, and Conferences; and equally to avoid committing churchmen to hasty decisions, after necessarily limited debates, by formal resolutions on the subject discussed. Nevertheless it is now generally acknowledged that the Church Congress is a most valuable institution for gathering up and disseminating the views and conclusions of leading clergy and laity on most important practical topics, which touch closely the religious welfare of individuals and the Church at large. Whatever doubts and difficulties were felt or expressed in the early days of Congress life, as to the utility or wisdom of such gatherings, may now be considered generally dissipated and satisfactorily overcome. Similar Congresses have since 1861 been established in Scotland, America, India, Australia, and Canada, and, as in England, have been the means of drawing together not only talkers, but many of the most noted workers. Their frank, manly deliberations, and friendly exchanges of thoughts and experiences, their solemn gatherings for Holy Communion and religious services, have done much to give a more real sense of spiritual union in the one Body of Christ, as well as to quicken, expand, and develop wise and beneficial actions according to the original object of Church Congress."
* Mackeson's Church Congress Handbook, 1885, Introduction and Retrospect, ty Archdeacon Emery.
On behalf of the Committee of the Portsmouth Church Congress, I desire to acknowledge, with grateful thanks, the kind services the Readers and Speakers have rendered in the preparation of this volume, by their promptness in revising the reports of their papers and speeches. Without their cordial co-operation it would be impossible to issue the Report at this early date. I desire also to give a word of warm praise to the publishers, Messrs. Bemrose and Sons, who have, for the Fourth Year in succession, published the Report with great expedition and much care. My coadjutor, Mr. C. Basil Cooke, the Official Reporter and subEditor, has again been unremitting in his attention, and most careful in his work, thereby saving me much labour and anxiety.
May God bless this book, and every other endeavour designed for His glory, the extension of His Son's Kingdom, and the confirmation of His people in the Faith.
C. DUNKLEY. St. Mary's Vicarage, Ilolverhampton,
November 26th, 1885.