|Wellingborough & Kettering News, December 10th, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins
LOCAL PREACHERS' AID SOCIETYOn Sunday last two sermons were preached in the Independent Wesleyan Chapel, by Mr. Benson, of Tring, on behalf of this society. A public meeting was held on Monday evening, presided over by the Rev. Mr. Bromage, of Wellingborough. The Chairman said that the institution known by the name of the Wesleyan Methodist Local Preachers' Aid Association would not have become what it is now if it had not been for the local preachers themselves. He was pleased to think that his audience did not belong to those who would make a difference between the paid and unpaid preachers, as he thought whether a man preached every Sunday or not, so long as he did the Master's work, he was worthy of their sympathy; and this institution was to enable them to close a life that had been spent in the service of the Master and of the church in some degree of comfort. He did not know of a more deserving institution in connection with Methodism, and he wished it God speed.Mr. Benson said that it was a Mutual Aid Institution, and a man before he is entitled to benefit from it must pay to the funds. Every local preacher up to the age of 35 years would by paying an entrance fee of 10s. and 3s. per quarter be entitled to 8s. per week in sickness, and £8 at death. From 35 to 55 years of age he would have to pay an over age contribution of 1s. per year. No other society, he said, gave the amount this society did for the sum paid in, but yet the fund paid itself, and it was not for the Benefit Fund that they came to beg, but it was for those on the Annuity Fund, or those that the society took up over 70 years of age, and allowed them an annuity of from 3s. to 7s. per week. In many of the sick clubs, when the members got old, no young members joined, and the club went down, but they had a funded capital of £12,000. Some might say, why not spend the £12,000? but if they did, where, he asked, was the amount they now received in interest to be made up. Last year they paid to members as sick pay, £1,116 3s. 8d.; and as annuities, £1,723 Us. 6d. The financial position was steadily improving. He urged that the whole body of preachers, local and circuit, were one, as the members of the body were one.Mr. Rose then made a very able appeal on behalf of the Association. He said there was no trickery in the local preachers, as their lives were ever before the public, and he urged them to give to the support of the 178 aged brothers who had given their energies to the church, and thus help those who but for what they received from this Association would have to end their days in the Union.Mr. Maddon, ex-president of the Association, said when he was elected president he resolved to visit the whole of the annuitants, and he, with Mr. Benson, had gone from Newcastle to Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hants, &c., to advocate the cause of the old men, and everywhere they bore their own expenses; as did the committee at their monthly meetings. In a very racy speech he pleaded the cause, and resumed his seat amid much applause. The meeting was closed in the usual way.