Title: The Baptist 1876, 342
Date: 2 June 1876
OUR COUNTY ASSOCIATIONS, ETC.
ESSEX BAPTIST UNION
The annual meetings of this association were held at Eld-lane Chapel, Colchester, on Tuesday, May 23. There was a good attendance of pastors and delegates, who met at 10.30 a.m. for the transaction of business, under the presidency of Mr. J. Tritton. From the report of the committee presented by the secretary, it appeared that a new chapel and school had been built at Great Lampford at a cost of £850, towards which upwards of £750 had been raised. New school and class-rooms had been built at Halstead, the cost of which had been £600, towards which £400 had been paid, Improvements had been carried out in the chapel at Thaxted, and the whole amount required (£200) had been contributed. The chapel at Ashdon had been reseated, and in this case also, the expense (£300) had been fully met. These material improvements in church edifices had been accompanied by increasing spiritual prosperity in the churches; 130 persons had been added to their fellowship, and in spite of the increasing difficulties with which the village churches had to contend, not one of them reported a decrease in membership. The unions had been able, whilst acting on the principles of the Pastor's Income Augmentation Society, to render some little help to three of the churches which could not comply with the conditions of that society. A conference of Sunday-school teachers had been held at Colchester, and an autumnal conference of pastors and delegates of the churches had been held at Halstead, both of which had been successful, Special evangelistic services had been held in several of the churches. Four pastors had removed during the year, but two of the vacant places had been filled up. Mr. J. Tritton was e-elected treasurer, and the Rev. E. Spurrier as secretary; the Revs. J. Davis, S. Hawkes, A. Rollason, and Messrs. J. R. Cowell, F. W. Warmington, and J. Pluck were chosen as the committee. Copies of the rules, etc., of the annuity fund having been circulated, the following resolution was proposed by Mr. Cowell, seconded by Mr. Warmington, and carried unanimously: -
"That this meeting rejoices in the successful establishment of the Baptist Union Pastors' Retiring Fund, and commends the scheme to the sympathy and liberal support of the members of the churches."
The committee was also requested to consider in what way the matter could most effectually be brought before the churches. The Rev. J. Bigwood gave an interesting account of the work of the Baptist Home and Irish Mission, suggesting that the home mission work of the Union might be better done by co-operation with the society, but especially asking the help of the churches in support of the Irish Mission. The suggestions of the Foreign Missionary Society, that at the services of the next Lord's Day, special reference should be made to the present condition of the mission, and that meetings for prayer should be held on Monday, the 28th, were considered, and met with unanimous approval. Arrangements were made for a conference of Sunday- school teachers at Braintree, in July, and for an autumnal conference of the Union at Rayleigh. In the afternoon a public service was held, at which the letters from the churches were read, after which the Rev. A. Rollason gave an address on "The Condition of our Churches and Sunday-schools," in which he expressed the conviction that much more satisfactory progress was being made than the paragraph in the BAPTIST had seemed to indicate, especially when the difficulties with which the Essex churches had to contend were taken into account; but urged to greater liberality and energy in Christ's service. A discussion followed, in which Bros. Spurrier, Bright, and P. Cowell took part. In the evening a public meeting was held. Mr. J. R. Cowell took the chair, and addresses were given by the Rev. R. Layzell, on "The Special Difficulties of our Village Churches"; the Rev. J. Bigwood, on "The Spiritual Compensations for the Difficulties of our Position"; and the Rev. J. Davis, on "Confidence in God and Consecration to God as the means by which our difficulties may be overcome."
J Pluck is almost certainly James Pluck PL339, (b. 1840 Saffron Walden, d. 1922 Colchester) who can be found in Tree 12 - the Colchester branch.