20 FEBRUARY 1886, Page 3

The Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury on Wednesday

adopted a report declaring that the reforms most immediately needed in the Charch were five, viz. :—(1), The con- cession of more power to the Bishops to reject disqualified pre- sentees to livings ; (2), a better method of punishing criminous clerks ; (3), a reduction in the anomalies now marking the distribution of emoluments in the Church ; (4), increased power to be granted to Convocation, and that body to be enlarged by more proctors of the clergy ; (5), the assign- ment to the faithful laity of a more definite status in the Church. The first three reforms will be generally accepted by opinion, though there will be a serious argument whether the pay of the clergy should be more equalised, or whether some systematic plan of promotion could not be produced. The fourth proposal is inept, it being useless to ask for more clerical representatives till the way of electing them is improved ; and the fifth is a hesi- tating suggestion. Indeed, the Committee of Convocation admit that they do not yet know what the laity want, and we fancy there is some suspicion that they want a great deal too much. There will be sharp controversy about this point yet, the clerical and lay views as to the rights of the latter not being in harmony ; but the first question of all to be settled is,—Who are the laity P Till that is decided, the representation of them is a mere phrase.