|February 6th 1875, unknown newspaper cutting|
Re-Opening of Rushden Church.
On Tuesday last, the interesting parish church of Rushden in this county was re-opened after having undergone a restoration, in which good taste and a well informed judgment had been exercised. Northamptonshire is justly proud of her churches, the spires and towers of which enrich the scenery of the Nene valley district, and fill its history with the most sacred associations. And Rushden church forms one of a group of churches in the same neighbourhood, famed for their architectural grace and beautyHigham Ferrers, Raunds, and Stanwick being amongst those which at once spring to the memory. The oldest portions of the church are of the 13th century, the corner of the chancel and the north transept, though in many parts of the church there are appearances of ancient walling, which indicate that in the 13th century the church must have been nearly what it is now. The date of the earlier portions of the work has been fixed by one architectural authority of eminence (Mr. Francis Sharpe), at 1230-50. By far the greater part of the super-structure, however, is now of the 15th century. It possesses some remarkable features. The Church is cruciform in plan, but instead of having the tower at the point of intersection, as is usual with such a plan, the tower is at the west end. The absence of the central tower enabled the construction of the transepts to be effected with great slightness of the piers, so that the presence of transepts would be scarcely noticed, but for the existence of a richly traceried abutment arch spawning the nave, where the west side of a central tower would have formed an abutment for the transept. (There is a similar abutment or strainer arch belonging to the same period, and probably by the same hand, in the beautiful parish church of Finedon). The tower arch at the west end being in a very weak, and indeed in a rather critical condition, the architect has taken a hint from the old abutment arch, and has constructed a similar "strainer" in the tower arch, the character of the abutment arch in the old work being closely followed. The church was in a dangerously dilapidated condition when the work of restoration was resolved upon. The good work was commenced not a moment too soon. It however threatened from the first to be an expensive undertaking; and the difficulties which stood in the way of its accomplishment were many and great. But the well-directed zeal and indomitable perseverance of the Rector, who during his six years' residence at Rushden, has been enabled to do real and substantial work for the church in the parish, supported as he has been with all heartiness and helpfulness by the gentlemen of the parish has seen the main portion of the work brought to a happy and successful conclusion. At the outset it became necessary to take off the entire roofing of the church. The roofs were wholly covered with lead and had been re-covered with the same materials The roofs of the naves and aisles, on the interior, were particularly fine in design, that of the north aisle having an unusual amount of enrichment. The utmost care has been taken to preserve every remnant of the old enrichments, and these have been re-fixed where the insertion of new timbers was found necessary. Some enrichments had disappeared, except a few fragments, such, for instance, as the perforated panelling round the whole of the nave roof, of which only two or three small pieces remained. But these were sufficient to enable the architect to complete the whole in the ancient manner. The transept roofs were of later date than those just mentioned. One of them had a date upon itearly in the 17th century. As far as possible the work of that date has been preserved, but it was necessary to renew the greater part of them in timber and lead. The chancel and chantry roofs were still later, and very poor in design and construction. The north chantry roof was absolutely and dangerously unsafe. It was found necessary to make it wholly new and this has been done with a simple design. The south chantry roof was better in character, and, by collecting together all the old timbers that were too small for other parts of the church, it has been re-made almost wholly in old timber, and after the design upon which it was originally constructed. The chancel roof has been enriched to correspond in some degree with that of the nave. Its previous meanness contrasted most unfavourably with the roof of the nave. The church is particularly rich in oak screen-work. The ancient oak-screens remained to both transepts, to the ends of the chancel and both chantries and to the arch on the outside of the chancel. There were fragments of the screen belonging to the second arch on the north side of the chancel. These fragments have been combined into a perfect screen for that arch, and the screen opposite has been commenced to correspond with it. The ancient oak pulpit, though much more singular than beautiful, has been preserved. It is attributed by some to the Perpendicular period. The architect of the restoration suggests that it is probably of post-Reformation date. Some few ancient oak seats remained in the church, the great body of the pewing being of the meanest and most uninteresting description before the restoration. The ancient oak-seating has been fixed for the most part in the south transept and some of it in the nave and aisles. The remaining portion of the aisles has been seated with oak seating to correspond, but for the lack of funds the nave and north transept have for the present been very wisely filled with chairs. The church has been newly floored throughout. In the western part the old stone flagging has been used. The passages of the nave and aisles are paved with red and black tiles from the Jackfield Works, in Shropshire, introducing a margin of black glazed tiles. In the chancel tiles from the same works are used, but of a richer character, the design growing in richness up to the east end of the church. The whole of the masonry has been cleaned down and the walls plastered throughout. The east window is one of great richness and beauty. It is of six lights, of rather late Perpendicular work, the upper part or tracery being subdivided into two tiers of twelve lights each. The ancient stained glass of a Jesse window remain in a consider¬able part, so that now of the smaller lights about 16 remain filled with the ancient subjects, and the heads of all the large lights with ancient glass. These speak very perfectly of the character and intention of the artist's work when the window was originally made. It was not thought advisable to restore it simply as a Jesse window, but in the principal lights, whilst the original idea has been preserved in the lower part, and in the upper part subjects are introduced. In the centre is an illustration of the Crucifixion, and on the left-hand side are the Annunciation and the Ministrations of Mary and Martha, whilst on the right-hand side are the Women at the Sepulchre and the Ascension. The window has been restored at the expense of Mrs. Walter (the wife of John Walter, Esq., M.P.) The artists employed on the restoration were Messrs. Lavers, Barraud and Westlake, of London, whose work is admitted to have been extremely well performed. Considerable fragments of ancient stained glass remain in the north chantry, all of which have been restored at the expense of a parishioner. The antiquarian, inclined to ecclesiological pessimism, and who may think the art of staining glass if it has not wholly died out, has at least degenerated, will be delighted with the delicacy and tone of the work in the old stained glass of Rushden Church. The restoration of two large windows in the north and south aisles was the special gift of H. W. Currie, Esq., of Rushden House. Before the work of entire restoration was entered upon it was found that the north transept was in a dangerous condition. These walls were effectually underpinned by the by the local tradesmen. It was a very difficult work, but the architect advised means of shoring and carrying the walls while a foundation was carried 8ft. beneath them. Previous to this the end of the north transept was almost ready to tumble down. Perhaps seldom have so many different contractors been employed on the same work as in this instance, and each of them in his own particular department has given the utmost satisfaction. The work commenced with the restoration of the two transepts, which was done by Mr. Foskett, Mr. Woodward, and Mr. Pigott, parishioners or residing in the neighbourhood. These gentlemen have to the last executed sundry works about the building. The chief of these, next to transeptal work, was the re-construction of the belfry floors and the making of a special framework for the security of the bells. The rest of the roofing and nearly the whole of the internal works were executed by Mr. J. J. Fast, of Melton Mowbray, who, with his foreman, Mr. Charity, has bestowed untiring attention upon a very arduous and difficult work. The whole of the lead-work upon the roofs and a large part of the re-glazing of the windows, where stained glass was not concerned, has been executed by Mr. Woodward, of Irchester. The hot-water warming apparatus is by Mr. Moulton, of Bedford; the gas by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Ginns, of Rushden. The richly ornamented standards of the communion rail and the lecternboth from designs by the architectare the work of the Messrs. Hart, of London. The communion rail itself is made from some of the old oak of the roof by Mr. Foskett. The step of the lectern is made of some of the old oak, highly polished, and is excellently made. The lectern, we believe, is the gift of a lady relative of Mrs. Barker, whilst the altar cloth was presented by Mrs. H. W. Currie. Of the ancient chancel seating only three old standards remained. These have been re-used. Their poppy heads being gone new carvings have been affixed, and the rest of the chancel seating has been made to correspond. This work has been done by Mr. Edward Brown, of King's Lynn. The whole of the work has been executed from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr Gordon M. Hills, Diocesan Architect for London. The cost of the restoration thus far has been £4,778. 16s. 11d., of which £3,301. 6s. had been obtained up to January 21st last, leaving a deficiency of £1,477. 10s. 11d. to be made up. The subscription list includes the names of F. U. Sartoris, Esq., of Rushden Hall, for £300; the Rector (the Rev. John T. Barker) for £300; Mrs. Barker, £200; H. W. Currie, Esq., £100; the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam, £50; Mrs. C. Richardson, £70; C. Richardson, Esq., £45; John Walter, Esq., £50, etc. Of the amount received on behalf of the work £446. 11s. was obtained by a bazaar, concert, and similar means. In addition to the restoration a new organ has been purchased, a special fund raised for the purpose being the result of the exertions of Mrs. Barker. The whole of the pipes of the organ are of spotted metal, and the instrument contains twenty stops. The great Organ contains the following stops: Double Open Diapason, Bourdon bass, Open Diapason, Dulciana, Stop Diapason bass, Stop Diapason treble, Suable Flute, Principal, Mixture (three ranks), and Trumpet (which has not yet been put in, but is prepared for); Swell OrganSalcionel, Stop Diapason bass, Leiblich Gedact, Principal, Oboe, Cornopean; Pedal-Organ (three C's to C.)Grand Open Diapason (16ft.), Couplers, Great Pedals and Swell to Pedals and Swell to Great. The cost at present has been £275, and this will be increased to £295 when the Trumpet has been put in. The Open Diapason and Double Diapason pipes are planted in front, and the Pedal pipes are planted at the end, the wood work being stained and varnished. Messrs. Trustam and Son, of Bedford, are the builders of the organ.
The re-opening services commenced on Tuesday morning by an early celebration of Holy Communion in the restored church at eight o'clock. The morning service was commenced at eleven o'clock. There was a large muster of the clergy of the district, amongst them beingbesides the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, and the Rector of the parish (the Rev. Jno. T. Barker)the Rev. Canon Lindsay (Kettering), the Rev. Canon Collins (Lowick), the Rev. Canon Broughton (Polebrook), the Rev. Wentworth C. Roughton (Harrowden), the Rev. N. F. Lightfoot (Islip), the Rev. R. P. Lightfoot, the Rev. T. W. Owen, and the Rev. H. E. von Sturmer (St. Luke's Wellingborough), the Rev. H. Dale (Wilby), the Hon. and Rev. John Marsham (Barton Seagrave) the Hon. and Rev. Tudor St. John (Kettering), the Rev. F. L. Robinson (Cranford), the Rev. Hy. Stobart (Warkton), the Rev. E. Templeman (Higham Ferrers), the Rev. G. W. Paul (Finedon), the Rev. Dr. Mansfleld (Stanwick), the Rev. W. Rudge (Higham Ferrers), the Rev. H. D. Hilton (Orlingbury), the Rev. R. O. Watson (Covington), the Rev. F. B. Newman, and the Rev. T. W. Harris (Burton Latimer), the Rev. J. Geldart (Poddington), the Rev. John Smith (Irchester), the Rev. W. Blick (Riseley), the Rev. W. Taylor (Newton Bromswold), the Rev. L. Puxley (Great Catworth), the Rev. W. Monk (Wymington), the Rev. T. Howes, etc. The Bishop, and clergy, and the choir met in the new Vestry-hall, which adjoins the churchyard, and from thence proceeded to the church. The hymn "The Church's one foundation" (320 H. A. and M.) was sung as a processional. The prayers were sung by the Hon. and Rev. J. Marsham. The first lesson was read by the Rev. H. Dale, R.D., and the second by the Rev. F. L. Robinson. The anthem was taken from the last four verses of the 24th Psalm"Who is the King of Glory?"to Handel's magnificent strains. The hymn before the sermon was "Christ is made the sure foundation" (244 H. A. and M.)The sermon was preached by the Bishop of the Diocese, who spoke from the words "In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." The right rev. prelate dwelt upon the necessity of cultivating the Christian life in its twofold aspectthe Divine life in the Church as a corporate body, and the Divine life in the members of the Church as individuals, and eloquently pointed out the dangers which arose from extremes of thought and feeling in either. At the close an offertory was made and this produced £132. 18s. At half-past one o'clock
A Public Luncheon
was served in the National School-room, when the commodious room was completely filled. F. U. Sartoris, Esq., presided, and was supported by the Bishop, Mr. Walter, M.P., Capt. Arkwright, Mr. Currie, Mr. R. Orlebar, etc.On the withdrawal of the cloth, the CHAIRMAN gave "The health of Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the rest of the Royal Family," which was loyally honoured.The CHAIRMAN next asked the company to drink to the well-being of the Church of England, and he accompanied with that toast the name of the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. (Prolonged cheers) The large concourse of people that gathered within the walls of their church that morning, and the presence of the large and influential body of clergymen who kindly offered their assistance that day betokened that in this part of the country at least, and he hoped in every other part, the Church of England retained its hold on the affections of the people of England. (Loud cheers)The BISHOP, who on rising to respond, was warmly cheered, said he trusted that they all felt this was not an occasion merely for festivity and mutual compliment and good wishes, but that it was an occasion on which they gathered together partly to strengthen one another and partly to rejoice in the growing strength of that Church of England of which they were all members, and in which he trusted they felt a daily growing attachment and devotion. (Cheers) He did not think the toast of the well-being of the Church of England could be given anywhere where it could be better illustrated, and where the secret of the life and strength of the Church and the hold it retained over the masses than in the recent history of that parish. Six years agohe hoped he hurt no feelings and violated no confidence in saying what was positively notorious this parish was a black spot in the diocesewithout a parsonage worthy of the name, without schools, with its ancient and beautiful church in a state of deplorable and dangerous decay, of that material and physical decay typical as it almost always was of a corresponding decay and decadence in the spiritual and moral interests of the parish. Rushden was at a very low ebb indeed when Mr. Barker came there. (Hear, hear.) Well, in those six years he had seen a parsonage built, schools built, the church restored, and a corresponding restoration in the life of the parish over which Mr. Barker was pastor. (Loud cheers.) That showed what he had always held to be the wonderful power that the pastor of an English parish still possessed for good as he might also possess for evil. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) He did not know any position in the world in which a man had the same marvellous power for good as a right-minded, active, able pastor of a large English parish. (Cheers.) He saw in what had taken place in that parish a tolerably fair answer to certain statements that were made recently by a very eminent statesman in the town of Birmingham. (Laughter and cheers) He entertained the greatest respect and a feeling of personal kindliness for that very eminent man, for whom, however, Englishmen might differ from him, there was a kindly feeling throughout the country. (Cheers, and a voice "No") Nevertheless, that statesman, in a speech hardly worthy of his reputation, and scarcely worthy of the great crisis, the national crisis in which he delivered it, was pleased to say there was no such thing in our Church as promotion by merit, and that all promotion that came in our Church came from interest and importunity. That was a startling charge, a very sweeping one, to bring against the patrons in the Church, public and private. From the most eminent person in the realm to the most obscure patron all were supposed to be so entirely un-conscientious, so entirely indifferent to the great solemn trust of their patronage that they never appointed nor would appoint any person to the cure of souls except for the base motive of interest, or the scarcely less worthy motive of freeing themselves from importunity. It amounted to this that from the time of the Reformation until now the one halcyon moment of pure patronage in the Church of England consisted in the brief, the too brief period, in which the right hon. gentleman himself was an ecclesiastical patron and held the seals of the Duchy of Lancaster. (Laughter and cheers.) Well of course one might make more than one answer to the assertion, but it struck him that a sweeping assertion of that kind ought to be supported by some measure of proof. He turned to the proof brought by the right hon. gentleman and found to his amazement that he first said the late Prime Minister was, as everyone acknowledged him to be, an eminently religious man. It struck him as a very strange thing to say of that eminently religious man that he never once did his duty as a man and only thought of importunity and interest. (Laughter.) Then he heard him say, and he recognised the right hon. gentleman’s candour in saying it, that the Church of England was blessed with a large number of excellent ministers. Strange to say, that importunity and interest, and nothing but importunity and interest produced this large number of excellent ministers. (Laughter and cheers.)
Stranger still, he found it stated that the great reason why we had no promotion by merit in the Church of England was this, that the right hon. gentleman knew of 700 curates who had applied to a Lord Chancellor of his acquaintance for promotion. He should have thought that simply proved what we all regretted, that there were more men in the Church of England who wanted benefices than there were benefices for them to have. That was a fact we all regretted, and he should be very happy to receive from the right hon. gentleman a contribution for the endowment of a benefice in his diocese to supply one of those 700 curates. (Laughter) It was not right to assume that because 700 men were applying for promotion, and were disappointed that they were the most meritorious men in the Church. Disappointed men were not always the best judges of their own merits. And at any rate it showed this that importunity and interest did not get those 700 men livings, and it certainly did not show that the Lord Chancellor, whom he referred to, did not honestly select from them the best men he could find. He was bound to testify this. He had had to deal with the appointments of three Lord Chancellors in succession, and he had been struck with the conscientious care and the anxious inquiry made with respect to the merits of the men they appointed, so far as he (the Bishop) knew anything of their appointment. He ventured to say with great respect to the right hon. and eminent gentleman who made the statement that, making all allowance for human infirmities and the varieties of patronage in the Church of England, so far from its being an institution where there was no promotion by merit, it compared with any other service, the army or navy for instance; it was an institution in which there was as much promotion by merit as at least in any other service. (Cheers.) At all events when they had done away with public and private patronage, as the right hon. gentleman wished, what was he going to put in its place. The only substitute he knew of would be the popular election of ministers. It did strike him that on the whole importunity and interest had a great deal to do with popular election. (Laughter and cheers.) He ventured to think that if the living of Rushden had been open to popular election at the time the Lord Chancellor made choice of Mr. Barker, that there would have been some importunity and some interest probably brought to bear on the disposal of that living. But he was quite certain of this that if the parishioners, after six years, had to confirm his election, he would have a tolerably unanimous vote. (Loud cheers.) The well-being of the Church was a subject which had very greatly exercised the minds, not only of Churchmen, who naturally had a strong interest in it, but of a great many of our Nonconformist brethren and those outside our Church, who were kind enough to take a vivid interest in our well-being, and who gave us a great deal of divergent and contradictory advice at the present moment as to how we may best secure that well-being. It had happened to him during the past week to take part in an assemblage of Bishops at Lambeth, about which there had been a good deal of searching of hearts in the dioceses. He was not going to say a word about that, but a number of excellent persons in the Church, before he went there, sent him a great number of memorials and addresses, and expressions of opinions of all kinds, as to the well-being of the Church of England. Some gentlemen declared that if certain things were not done with respect to certain vexed questions it was all up with the Church of England, and that, at any rate, they would leave it; whilst other gentlemen, perhaps of exactly opposite opinions, alleged that if certain other things were not done they would leave the Church of England. If he accepted the opinions of these gentlemen, the well-being of the Church of England was in a very critical and dangerous position. He was very far from under-rating the evils of which these persons spoke, and very far from under-rating the gravity of the present crisis in the Church of England, and the serious dangers we were in from, to use the words of the Prayer Book, our unhappy divisions. But he must say that when he came down from deliberation in those high places about the future of the Church of England, and its well-being in regard to those vexed questions, when he came down into his own diocese, and to a parish like this, and met a great gathering of clergy of divergent opinions, as he knew there were, joining heartily in such a service as they had had that day, and when he remembered that each of those clergy represented a parish in which there was a quiet, steady, earnest, daily work for God going on, for the most part amongst a united people, guided and helped by an earnest pastor, and when he saw the fruit these things were producing, and knew that the like was going on in other dioceses, he believed we were nearer the secret of the strength and well-being of the Church of England as we saw the work of faithful pastors in country or town parishes than as we read the anxious and almost despairing prophecies of the very same pastors when they put their hands to memorials and addresses. (Cheers.) He believed the great secret of the well-being of the Church of England was honest, hard, successful parochial work. (Cheers.) And though he was very far from under-rating the danger that might arise from excess of zeal or extravagance on one side or the other, and though he fully recognised the fact that the Church of England, as an institution governed by law, if it was to pass into a state of lawlessness must cease to exist, yet he as distinctly said there was a greater danger to the Church of England even than occasional acts of lawlessness on the part of certain of its excitable clergy, namely, a state of easy, quiet, do-nothingness in a pastor. (Cheers.) The real danger of the Church of England was not from her extreme men, though he said there was a danger there, but from the drones(laughter and cheers)from men who set before their parishioners day after day, and year after year, a prominent and abiding example of all that the Church ought not to be, men who show the very worst side of an endowed system in that it allows men to neglect the duties which they are bound in conscience to perform. (Cheers.) And he must say that in these days of Church reformon paperand in these days of excited manifestoes, while he repeated he did not undervalue the dangers those manifestoes dealt with, he was quite certain that those who signed them would do a great deal to avert those dangers if they would quietly, steadily, earnestly, and honestly do their own work from day to day in their own parishes. (Cheers.) The Church of, England would perish on that day, and not a day before it, when the nation was convinced that she was either grossly misusing or negligently and indolently refusing to use those vast powers and advantages which God in His Providence had given her for the benefit of the whole nation. (Cheers.) If every parish in England was as well worked, and exhibited as much harmony between pastor and people as he was glad to know there was in Rushden he should have very little fear but that in God's good Providence we should encounter and safely deal with those evils and dangers of which men's minds were so full at the present moment. (Cheers.) His lordship then proceeded to give in eulogistic terms the health of the Rector and the Restoration Committee coupling the toast with the name of Mr. Barker. (Loud cheers.)
The Rev. J. T. BARKER in responding touched on some of the difficulties with which Church Restorers had to contend, but gladly recognised the great interest which had been taken in the work. They had endeavoured to give back to the old building some of its ancient beauty and stability; and they wished to witness more distinctly than ever to the truth that there was a Father in Heaven. They wanted to hand down to their children the forms, rites,ritual if they pleasedof the Church of England in tact, not severed rudely and ignorantly from the catholic Church of bygone ages, not subject to the caprices of the present, to the self will of priests or people. They wanted to hand them down as they had received them from the reformers, those theological giants of the 16th centuryto hand down a living church which was capable of a healthy development, of a legitimate and healthy growth, capable of adapting its ritual and forms to the necessities of the 19th century as thoroughly as they were adapted to the time of Queen Elizabeth. When they were asked if it was in harmony with the spirit of the age, they urged that if it was in harmony with the wants of the human heart, as they believed it was, it was in harmony with the spirit of the age. He had been asked to propose "The Subscribers to the Restoration Fund," but since that would be drinking their own health he ventured to change it to "The Visitors" and to couple with the toast the name of John Walter, Esq., M.P., for Berkshire. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. WALTER, M.P., who was warmly received, said he was most grateful to them for the kind reception they had given him as a stranger, almost a stranger to that parish, though not by any means, he was happy to say, a stranger to their excellent rector and his most exemplary curate, Mrs. Barker. (Laughter and cheers.) They might depend upon it there was no curate that any minister of an English parish could have who could do him half so good service in his parish as a devoted and zealous wife. (Cheers.) With reference to the fortunes of the Church of England he said if it had ever occurred to Churchmen in this day to breathe the prayer which Robert Burns breathed about a century ago
"O wad some power the giftie gie us
they certainly would have no right to complain that their prayer had not been listened to. The Bishop had most fully exhibited to them the portrait, very distorted, indeed, as it was, but still a portrait which it had pleased a distinguished statesman to draw of the Church of England as seen in the mirror in, which he looked at it. It was an old saying that it was perfectly lawful in all contests to take a lesson from one's enemy, and though he did not wish to apply that term at all to the gentleman in question, still we might depend upon it there was good to be gained by looking at the worst view which people outside the Church took of us as regarded those things which they considered scandals or abuses in the administration of our system. He did not refer now to the question of patronage, because he believed on the whole, taking human nature as it was, it would be impossible to devise a system more free from objections than that which prevails in this country. (Hear, hear.) The great object of all patronage was that it should be invested in the hands of the greatest number of persons who were chiefly interested in its being well administered, and those were most likely to exercise patronage well who were most likely to suffer from it if they exercised it ill. It had been his fortune in life to witness almost the beginning of the great work of Church restoration which had taken place in this country. It had been too much the fashion to attribute it, indeed, it was so attributed by Mr. Gladstone in his speech in Parliament, to a particular party in the Church, and it was said to have had its date from what was called the Oxford Tractarian movement. He believed that was an entire misconstruction of the state of the case; and that it might be more justly attributed to the great religious awakening in England which took place in the beginning of the present century, and the latter part of the last century. When after a long period of religious dullness a great religious awakening took place, as did undoubtedly take place at that period, that feeling would necessarily manifest itself in the promotion of such works as Church accommodation and Church architecture, as the deadness of the former period might have rendered necessary. It was to that feeling although it was no doubt greatly fostered and developed by the Oxford movementhe attributed originally the great development of Church building in this country. But there was always a danger of running to extremes in this matter, and the great danger we had to guard against in the present day seemed to be that of attaching undue importance to these external developments; and they might depend upon it that if that feeling were to increase to a much greater extent there would be a danger of corresponding reaction in the opposite direction, and we might lose and forfeit much of those undoubted advantages which we have gained during the course of the last half century. (Hear, hear.) He trusted that the good sense and good feeling of the people of this country, to which, after all, we must look to steer us safely through these difficulties, would see where to draw the line between too much ritual and ecclesiastical development on the one side and too little on the other. If that be the case he was quite satisfied that the Church had enough inherent virtue and stability to resist the attacks of all her external enemies. (Cheers.)
Mr. H. W. CURRIE, in giving "The Architect," eulogised the manner in which Mr. Gordon Hills had designed and superintended the carrying out of the work. In speaking of the progress of the work he rejoiced that the old pews had been swept away. "No more loose boxes," he said, "we want them for our hunters, not for the Church." (Laughter and cheers.) He hoped that those gentlemen in the county who had so much money that they scarcely knew what to do with it would come forward and subscribe to the completion of the work. (Cheers.)
Mr. GORDON HILLS, the architect, in responding, gave great credit to the contractors engaged in the work, and acknowledged the great assistance he had received from the Rector, who had acted as a sort of clerk to the works. (Cheers.)
Mr. H. BAGNALL having congratulated Rushden on the good work that had been, and was still being done in the parish, and having replied forcibly to such attacks on the Church as that made by Mr. Bright the other day, gave the health of "The Chairman," Mr. Sartoris. (Cheers.) He refrained from saying anything in praise of Mr. Sartoris in his presence because he knew such a course would only annoy him. He, therefore simply gave the health of their Chairman, Mr. Sartoris. (Loud cheers.)
The CHAIRMAN, who was cordially received on rising, briefly responded to the toast, and described how, in spite of difficulties and disappointed hopes, the work had been a source of pleasure to the Restoration Committee. In conclusion he proposed the health of Mrs. Barker, and the ladies who had in so many ways assisted the Restoration Committee in the work. (Cheers.) No one who did not live in the place could realise the trouble, the energy, and the self-denial which Mrs. Barker had devoted to the work. (Loud cheers.)
The RECTOR having briefly responded on behalf of the ladies, the luncheon proceedings terminated.
Later in the day there was a parochial tea-meeting, and at seven o'clock there was evening service, when the sermon was preached by the Rev. Canon Broughton.