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On a licence or faculty to hold the office of lecturer, reader, or chaplain, church clerk, parish clerk, or sexton, IOS.
But no duty is payable for appointment to any
spiritual office to which no emolument is attached; nor is any duty payable on the appointment of a stipendiary curate.
On a copy or extract of any register of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, or burials, a stamp duty of one penny [by Inland Revenue stamp only].
On a marriage licence, if an ordinary licence, 10s. ; if a special licence, £5.
On a licence for authorizing any matter relating to a consecrated building or ground, or anything to be constructed, set up, or taken down, or altered therein, or removed therefrom, the duty is 10s. But a licence to use a temporary or other building for service is exempt.
The above are duties payable to the Crown. As to payments to registrars and other officials, vide FEES.
The Stamp Act, 1870, imposed a duty, rising from £1, according to an ad valorem scale, on admission to a benefice. But this having been repealed by stat. 40 & 41 Vict. cap. 13, no duty is now payable on presentation, nomination, or institution.
The statutes relating to the observance of Sunday, which are very numerous, are noted in Phill. Eccl. Law.
The opening of places of "public entertainment or amusement on Sunday" was prohibited under heavy penalties by 21 Geo. 3, cap. 49. Halls or places may, however, be opened for sacred music, and for lectures and addresses, "neutral, but not profane "-mental improvement and not gain being the object of the
promoters. (Baxter v. Langley, L. Rep. 4 C. P. 21.) In the Brighton Aquarium Case (L Rep. 10 Q. B. 306; and 10 Excheq. 291), the opening of that place of amusement on Sunday was held unlawful within stat. 21 Geo. 3, cap. 49; but an Act was passed, 38 & 39 Vict. cap. 80, enabling the Crown to remit the penalties imposed by the earlier statute.
Surveyor: vide DILAPIDATIONS: REPAIRS.
Tares and Rates.
Incumbents are liable to poor-rates and other rates and taxes in respect of their glebes, tithe, rent-charges, and other regular income; but not in respect of surplice-fees. The assessment of benefices is a matter of difficulty, which, together, with the whole subject of rates and taxes in ecclesiastical property, is fully explained in Phill. Eccl. Law.
The only exemption to be noted is that clergymen proceeding on duty are not liable to tolls.
The statutes relating to tithes and their commutation are enumerated in Cripps, and Phill. Eccl. Law, where this once important branch of law is fully considered. It is there stated that the principle of these Acts (which may be said to constitute one enactment) is to substitute a corn-rent, payable in money and [nearly] permanent in quantity, for all tithes, however payable, such rent-charge being paid half-yearly, 1st July and 1st January. Effectual remedies are provided for its recovery; and the amount is liable to a small fluctuation, as the price of corn is declared to vary on taking the averages.
Where an advowson is vested in trustees, they must all join in the nomination of a clerk; and this should be done at a meeting, of which ample notice should be given to all the trustees. If they cannot agree the right will lapse to the Bishop. If trustees merely hold under a will or other instrument for the benefit of another, the cestui que trust has the right of nominating, and the trustees must present his nominee; and in this they are under the control of the Court of Chancery.
Where an advowson is in the hands of ratepayers, or any other numerous class," or in trustees for them, it may be sold under the provisions of stat. 19 & 20 Vict. cap. 50; and other Acts facilitate the sale of advowsons by municipal corporations.
A new board of three, entitled "Church Trustees," is first mentioned in the Act of 1868, abolishing compulsory church-rates. The intention is to encourage private benefactions, by appointing fit persons to take charge of them. This board (which may be formed in any parish) will consist of the incumbent (chairman) and two other members, one appointed by the Bishop and the other by the patron of the living. They form a corporation, with powers of holding property; and they are directed to account annually to the vestry. (31 & 32 Vict. cap. 109.)
in the mode of conducting divine service is aimed at by the law, as being most desirable (per Sir J. Nicholl in Newberry v. Godwin, 1 Phill. Eccl. R. 282).
As to the Acts of Uniformity, and the recent amending Act by which power is given to shorten some of the services, vide SERVICE.
This word is sometimes used to signify the special garments now or formerly used in the administration of Holy Communion; and sometimes more extensively as including all ecclesiastical articles of dress. The surplice is the vestment now sanctioned by law for all ministrations, excepting that in cathedrals and collegiate churches the cope should be used during Holy Communion. (Can. 24.)
In the case of Mr. Purchas the Judicial Committee P. C. held, reversing the judgment of the Court of Arches, that the chasuble, alb, and tunicle were unlawful. At the passing of the Ornaments Rubric (in 1661), the chasuble, alb, and tunicle had (according to this judgment) disappeared for over sixty years, and could not be brought back even by the much-questioned and obscure, because referential, words of that rubric. Therefore those vestments were declared illegal. This point was reopened in the case of Mr. Ridsdale, and elaborately argued, but with the same result. There seems no chance of any other decision being arrived at.
It is difficult to find any authority for the stole or scarf; and still more difficult to justify the black preaching gown, which, as it cannot be worn with the surplice, seems directly to contravene the directions of Can. 24.
Bands and cassocks also seem to require authority. The biretta having been carried in the hand, and not worn on the head, it escaped condemnation in the case of Mr. Purchas. The Dean of Arches in that case declared that stoles of any kind or colour whatsoever were unlawful. Can. 58 sanctions the wearing by a graduate of his proper academical hood at all times of reading divine service and administering the sacraments.
Originally the portion of the church used as a receptacle for the vestments, "a vestry" has come to mean the meeting of the parishioners for parochial purposes. As these meetings were sometimes turbulent, an Act was passed in 1850 (13 & 14 Vict. cap. 57) under which, in large parishes, a vestry room may be provided apart from the church or chapel. Vestry meetings are regulated by the statutes 58 Geo. 3, cap. 69, and 59 Geo. 3, cap. 85; it is sufficient to give here a very brief account of them.
Cans. 89 and 90, provide for the election of churchwardens. This should be on some day in Easter week, and after three clear days' notice to be published on Sunday during or immediately after service, and to be affixed in writing or print at the "principal door of the church. Therefore, if it be resolved to hold the vestry on Easter Monday the notice ought to be affixed at the door on Palm Sunday. Stat. 1 Vict. cap. 45, directs that such notices, in writing and signed by the incumbent, curate, or churchwarden, shall be affixed on or near to the principal doors, this being in lieu of the ancient mode of publication viva voce. But as church-rates are now voluntary the law of vestries is almost obsolete. (Blunt, 298.)
The incumbent is entitled to take the chair at every such meeting; and in his absence the curate. In the absence of both, the meeting will choose a chairman. Minutes of proceedings ought to be kept in a minute book, to be signed by the chairman, and by such parishioners as may wish to sign the same. An adjournment cannot be ordered by the chairman only, against the wish of the meeting.
The law relating to vestry meetings will be found in the 'Churchwarden's Guide,' 9th ed., chap. I; also in Phill. Eccl. Law, p. 1873, et seq. As to the conduct of these and other meetings with regard to resolutions, amendments, voting, etc., the following may be consulted-'The Law of Public Meetings' (E. Wilson), and 'The Chairman's Handbook' (Knight & Co.).