18 JUNE 1898, Page 13


[TO THE EDITOR Or THE "SPECTATOR."J STR,—I trust that the practical suggestions made in your article in the Spectator of June 11th will arrest the attention of all who are endeavouring to face the problem of clerical poverty. As you point out, the uncertainty of income is a greater hardship to the parochial clergy than even the gradual diminution. It may be of interest to you to know that a scheme based upon the same principles was put before the Lichfield Diocesan Conference last year. The main difficulty, which appeared to be the guarantee of the net incomes, is met by your suggestion that the surplus of the present Ecclesiastical Commissioners might be drawn upon for the purpose. Even if that could not be conceded, it would be possible to make a proportionate division of the net proceeds in each diocese, and thus spread any diminution of income over a large area, and avoid the possibility of any one incum- bent having to bear a sudden heavy fall in his official income,.