Association for Promoting a Reform in the Ecclesiastical Provision for the Parish of Manchester

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains records created by the Association of Members of the Established Church for Promoting a Reform in the Ecclesiastical Provision for the Parish of Manchester, which was formed in 1847 and dissolved in 1850. The records include minute books, memorandum books, and printed items concerning the Manchester Rectory Division Bill.

Administrative / Biographical History

Records created by the Association of Members of the Established Church for Promoting a Reform in the Ecclesiastical Provision for the Parish of Manchester. The Association was formed on 12 March 1847 and dissolved on 24 November 1850. It consisted of lay members of the Church of England. The objects of the Association were to "disseminate information amongst Parishioners on the subject of the Ecclesiastical Arrangements of the Parish, and to procure an appropriation of its funds more in accordance with the wants of the Parish and the labours and duties of the Working Clergy; and, as far as can be ascertained, in accordance with the original Parochial Constitution." The Association was under the direction of a President, four Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, and a Committee of thirty Members, who were all members of the Church of England. Members of the Association were required to pay an annual subscription of "One Guinea and upwards", and donations could be made by Members or "parties favourable to its objectives". The presence of five Members of the Committee was necessary for the transaction of business. The annual meeting of the Members of the Association was held in March, when, according to the Rules of the Association, "the proceedings of the foregoing year shall be reported, the accounts presented, and a Treasurer and other Officers chosen."

The Association was concerned with the plurality and non-residence of canons and the misuse of parochial funds. A number of documents in the collection refer to Rev. Canon Parkinson, who accepted the Presidency of St. Bees in Cumbria with the incumbency of that parish, in addition to his role as Rector of Manchester. In 1849 William Medcalfe, chairman of the finance committee, stated that the aims of the Association were threefold: "To secure the whole of the Revenues of the Cathedral and Parish Church of Manchester for the Pastoral purposes to which the Association are advised they unquestionably belong ... To sub-divide the Parish into separate and independent Parishes ... To obtain such management and distribution of the Church Property, as shall secure to the Parish the full benefit it is capable of yielding, having due regard to existing rights" (MCRA/6/8). The aims of the Association were contained within the Manchester Rectory Division Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons in February 1850. The Association was dissolved once its aims were achieved when the Act of Parliament was obtained.

Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into 7 series to reflect the original order as closely as possible:

  • minute books
  • account book
  • subscription books
  • memorandum books
  • receipt books
  • index books
  • printed items and notebooks

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection. Viewing is by prior appointment. Please contact archivist@chethams.org.uk.