5 OCTOBER 1878, Page 3

There was only one discussion in the Congress tipon the

amount of direct influence which should be allowed to laymen in the Church, but it was noteworthy. Mr. H. Stephenson, of Sheffield, read a paper strongly advocating the establishment of Parish Councils, with direct control over innovations in the conduct of the services, and this view was upheld by every speaker who uttered an Opinion, except Mr. Beresford Hope and the Rev. Mr. Barker, of West Cowes. Mr. Hope held that the Council was only asked for as a spy on the parson—rather a remarkable opinion for a Member of Parliament. Is Mr. Beresford Hope elected as a spy On Government? Mr. Barker's objection was more real,—that the Council would diminish the responsibility of the incumbent to bis bishop and to the law. A suggestion was made that the Council should be voluntary, but it was shown that it would then be nominated by the incumbent, and we may add, gradually become a sort of distilled essence of busybodyism. No one spoke of the grand difficulty of electing such a Council, probably because every one assumed that it would be eleoted by Church members.