24 APRIL 1915, Page 16


(To sea EDITOR en EIPSOM01:9 Sin,—Those of on who deeply value what we may still call the spacious character of our English Church—that die. tinctive glory which, alas I she seems ready to abed so lightly —must have read with peculiar interest the Spectator's tribute in ire issue of April 10th to the Bishop of Norwich's pamphlet. The significance of this fearless pronouncement rests no little on the fact that it compels attention at a time when wholesale schemes of further increase are so freely discussed and lightly undertaken. Perhaps it even forms a guarantee—added to the lessons of some recent divisions—that the empirical treat- ment of dioceses will at last be abandoned. For whatever be the true doctrine of the charisma of Bishops, those who wisely realize the importance of the historic Episcopate should be slow to submit it to the strain of indefinite multiplication. Titles no doubt of themselves have some importance upon the popular mind, but their importance is apt to vary in inverse ratio to their numbers—as upon a somewhat historic occasion the Peers were prompt to realize. But while England has perhaps no great desire to rival Australia in the frequency of her Archbishops, there are practical objections to such increases of a more profound character. The prospect of an endless vista of "little ring fences" called "dioceses," each somewhat a law unto itself, is at least disturbing; and the prospect of some of the doings of the somewhat numerous missionary Episcopate being repeated by our home diocesans points an unmistakable warning.—I am, Sir, As.,