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Papers Relating to The Established Church in Ireland


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Papers Relating to The Established Church in Ireland

Date of Article: 29/07/1807
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302 " ECCL- ESTASTICAT, REPORTS, in I SO' 7, [ Clonfert 5c GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: ( Containing ANSWERS to QUERY I. Sed. 6; Queries III. V. VI. VIE k VI1L;— all other - Queries being anfwered in the Columns, Query L } AS long as the particles which conftitute the Benefices of this Diocefe yield fuch Sed. 6. ) fcanty profits, and fo few comforts as they do at prefent to the refpedive Incumbents, I do not conceive that any Diffolution of Unions, or other Diftribution of Parifiies, would be expe- dient ; except perhaps in the fingle inllanee of BEAGH, which is at too great a diftance from Ardra- ham, to which it is united, for the Parifhioners to attend the Church there, or even for the Incum- bent refiding in the Pariih of Ardraham to difcharge the occafional Duties at Beagh. Thefe two Parifhes are moreover divided by the intervention of the Parilh of Kiltarton, a particle of the Union ofKIL- M AC- DUAGH ; and the Parilhioners. of Beagh attend Divine Service at Gon, where the Church of Kilmacduagh ( lands, and are rated in parochial ceffes by the Churchwardens of Gort, as of that Parilh. I think a portion of Kiltcrton, adjacent to Ardraham, fhoulJ be exchanged for Beagh ; or 3 perpetual Curacy eftablifhed at Beagh.— The Union of KILCOLCAN, comprehending eleven Pa- rilhes, is fupportsble only by the confideration that, multitudinous as it is, one hundred and twenty pounds annually is the extent of needy fupport which it fupp'ies to the Incumbent— LEITRIM is a Parifh fufiicient as to local extent and population to ftand by itfelf; but under its prefent circum fiances, and under its long- inherited difpolitions towards the Church in refped to Parochial Dues, it cannot be feparated from Lichmolafly, to which it has been long united, and leave a competent provifion for the Incumbent of Lichmolaffy and Balinakill, who ought to refide in or near the Town of Portumna ; and where indeed the Earl of Clanricarde, the chief landlord, has expreffed to me a zealous defire to promote the building of a Glebe Houfe, and promifed an accommodation, as far as twelve acres, towards the accomplifhment of it.— Many new arrangements of Parillies, highly advan- tageous and conducive to the Eilablilhment of the Proteftatit Church, might obvioully be made in the Diocefe of Clonfert, were the Government to extend to it the fame policy under which it has been pleafed at different periods to regulate, I believe, every other Diocefe in Ireland: namely, to enable the Bifhop, by granting him a Compenfation, to reilore the Quarta Pars ( or ceitain portions of Tythe due out of different Parifhe;), or rather grant them ( all Tytnes being originally the pro- perty of the Diocefan) to the officiating Parochial Incumbents. Of fuch a meafure, the firft refult would be to rdeafe the Diocefan from the necefiity of employing a Tythe- Prodor; or, as it happens in fome cafes, where the Incumbent wifhes to become tenant to the Sjarta Pars, from trafficking v.- ith one of his Clergy for a property not unimportant to either. In the hands of the Incum- bent, thefe portions would individually ir. creafe much in value : their d: fparcition would lay a reafon- able foundation for the diflblution of feveral of the prefent Unions: new Churches and additional Incumbents might follow; a competency would be tftablifhed for general Refidence, and a fingle Manfe Houfe would no longer remain the opprobrium of the Union of two not incor. fiderable Sees. In the inflances of three Benefices, viz. Clonfert, Donanaughta, and Kiltormer, I have the bed: authority to afiert that thefe three Benefices would afford equal, if not fuperior Incomes to fix Clergymen: and three additional Churches might be built in fituations not remote from any Church, if the refpedive native Tythcs of each Parifn were relir. quifhed by the Diocefan, and con- ferred upon the Incumbent. In refped to the Parifh of Cionfert, upon any diffolution of the Union, I conceive it might be advifable to conftitute it part of the Corps of ths Deanery of Cionfert, which Dignitary is at prefent without cure of fouls, in order to induce the Dean to refide at Clonfert; v. here, from the felitude of the fituation, and uncivilization of the lower orders of people, fuch an affo- civ. ion to the Rcliilence of the Ordinary might prove very beneficial to the caufe of Religion and Morality. It is obvious that, in many cafes, by conjdidating the Unions which are now Epifcopal, a competent provifion might be obtained for the ftrudure of Glebe Honfes j but is it not a Qjeftion of fotne difficulty, whether it would be prudent and political to render fuch exrer. five Unions per- petual, and preclude the commenfurate provifion for an increafed Population, and an improved ftate of the Protelhnt Religion, at a future period, in this Diocefe?— Would it be corred to expend upon the eredion of a Glebe Houfe, a fuin adequate to the prefent profits of the whole of the Union, and afterwards fubjed a Succeffor, who might peffefs enly a component part of the Union, to the payment ot a fuli propoaicn of it ?— This, 1 believe, would be the confequence, as the Law now is, until four fucceffive Incumbent* fhould have paid off the original charge of the Koufe; or, in the cafe of Ivilmacduagh.] TOR P R O V I N C E OF C O N N A U G H T . ,363 of borrowing the money from the Board of Firft Fruits, until the intereft Ihould have liquidated the principal of the Debt. — If the Bilhop fliould refign the Tythes, how could he be remune- rated ? This is a Queftion I will not prefume to anfwer. It is well known, that, in the North of Ireland, in the time of James I„ the Bifr. ops were compenfated for refigning their Tvthes by Grants of Land : in other inftances, by the Union of Sees: in ethers, by the confolidation of Bcnef. ccs with Sees. Query III.— THE Board of Firft Fruits can augment fuch Livings by pur chafing Glebe Lands and impropriate Tythes out of the produce of the Firft Fruits and Twentieth Parts granted by Queen Anne, and by aflifting the Incumbents of them with Money for the Erection of Glebe Houfes ; but the Fund is fmall, and unequal to the enfe& ual Augmentation of fuch Livings. There is alfo another Fund arifing from a charitable Bequeft of the late Dottor Boulter, Primate of Ireland, and veiled in the Board of Firft Fruits by A£ t of Parliament; out of which Fund the Board of Firft Fruits is enabled to augment Livings under £. 100. per annum, by adding fo much Salary yearly to the In- cumbents of fuch Livings as will make their annual Income 100. There is at prefent no other mode of improving fuch fmall Livings; but thefe Funds may be increafed by the Bounty of the King in Parliament, fo as to make fuch fmall Livings capable of affording to the refident Incum- bents thereof the means of Comfort, in cafes where the Funds already mentioned are infufncieRt. Query V.— IT is apprehended by the Bilhops of Ireland that the prefent Canon Law, as hitherto cxercifed here, is fulficient to remedy the evil of Non- Refidence ; but, at prefent, the execution of Canon Law, in cafes of Non- Refidence, has been obftrufted by Appeals: and there is a cafe now depending before certain Commiffioners of Review, appointed by His Majefty, which, if it fhall be decided in favour of Ecclefiaftical Authorily exercifed in that cafe, will eltablilh fuch a Precedent in the cafe of Non- Refidence as, it is hoped, will fuperfede the neceflity of recommending to the Legilla- ture to make any other provifion for the purpofe of inforcing Refidence in Ireland. But, if the Decifion in that Cafe Ihould be otherwife, it may become advilable to apply to the Legiflature to enaft fome Law for enforcing the Refidence of the Clergy in Ireland. Query VI.— WE apprehend that the Laws already in being eftablifh the belt mode of applying fuch Funds as are now applicable, to the purpofe of building and repairing Churches or Glebe Houfes, and improving Glebes. Query VII.— THE Laws now in being, we apprehend, are fufticient to prevent Unions, perpetual • or Epifcopal, from being improperly made, and to preferve Churches or Glebe Houfes from dila- pidations, when duly enforced. But I cannot but obferve, that in fome fituations, the enforcement of the Law refpe& ing dilapidated Churches, efpecially where two Churches are in the fame Union, is a matter of great difficulty, and fcarcely fuperable, without inducing conlequences fubverfive of the great objects of Religious Worlhip. Query VIII.— WE are of opinion that the due execution of the now exifting Laws, with the fmall Alterations which we have fuggefted ( if found neceffary on the contingency already mentioned), and fuch Grants as His Majefty and the Parliament may, in their Bounty, make for augmenting the Incomes of Poor Livings, purchafing Glebe Houfes, and affifting the building of Churches and Glebe Houfes, will be fufficient for the prefent improvement, protection, and fupport of the Efta » blilhed Church in Ireland. CHRIST* Clonfcrt
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