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IN reporting the Proceedings of the Society during its Twenty-eighth Year, the Committee desire to acknowledge with gratitude the good hand of God upon them, and the various indications of His blessing which have been vouchsafed to their labours.
FUNDS. The Committee regret to state, that there has been a defalcation in the Income of the Society during the past year; while its Expenditure has, during the same period, been largely augmented. SUB-COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE FUNDS.
It having been found, on auditing the Accounts for the half year ending on the 30th of September, that the deficiency amounted to several thousand pounds, a Sub-Committee was formed, for the purpose both of investigating the causes of that deficiency, and of ascertaining whether any diminution of expenditure could be safely and advantageously effected. The Sub-Committee thus appointed were of opinion that various causes had operated to produce the deficiency; but that it was to be chiefly ascribed to the want of adequate means of visiting existing Associations, and forming new ones.
Official Visitors of Associations.
The Sub-Committee therefore recommended, that the plan of engaging yearly Four Clergymen for a period of three months each should be abandoned; and that Two Clergymen should be engaged, to be nominated “Official Visitors of Associations,” who should devote their whole time to the objects of the Society, employing at least six months in each year in visiting and forming Associations. To each of the Visitors a salary of 300l. per annum has been assigned. In prosecution of this plan, the Rev. Frederick Leicester has been appointed one of the Official Visitors; but although applications have been made in many different quarters, the Committee have not yet been able to meet with a second individual of suitable qualifications to undertake that office.
The proceedings of the Sub-Committee having brought under their consideration the circumstances connected with the Society's Publications, they recommended the printing a Monthly Paper; containing, in addition to the Home Proceedings of the Society and a more detailed acknowledgment of Contributions, Extracts from the Correspondence of the Missionaries; for the purpose of more widely diffusing Missionary Intelligence, and in the hope of exciting an enlarged interest in the great object of the Society's labours. This recommendation was adopted by the Committee; and the First Number, under the title of the “Church Missionary Monthly Paper,” was published in January last, being intended principally for contributors of not less than twelve shillings a year. These arrangements, and some others recommended by the Sub-Committee with a view to retrieve the Funds of the Society, were communicated in two Circulars to the Associations *.
Eacamination of the Expenditure.
The Sub-Committee also entered into a full and minute examination of the whole Expenditure of the Society; having held thirteen meetings in the prosecution of this inquiry, and of the other branches of the reference to them. In the result, it appeared to the Sub-Committee that no very considerable saving of expense would be the immediate consequence of their labours; as they were of opinion, that the General Expenditure was satisfactorily conducted, and did not admit of any material retrenchment, without relinquishing some of those objects of usefulness which the Society has hitherto prosecuted. They however recommended various arrangements with reference to the different heads of Expenditure; which the Committee hope may eventually lead to some reduction in those branches of it wherein reduction can be effected consistently with the interests of the Society.
The state of the Society's Finances induced the Committee, at the suggestion of the Funds' Sub
Committee, not to make the usual Grant to Bishop's College, Calcutta.
IN COME AND EXPEND ITU. R. E.
Though the appeal to the Public on the defalcation in the Funds, which was circulated for several months previously to the 31st of March, was kindly and liberally answered in many quarters, yet, at the close of the year, the actual deficiency in the Receipts amounted to the sum of 1835l. 19s. 8d.: the Gross Amount on account of the General Fund, for the year ending March 31, being 43,260l. 4s. 4d. The excess of Expenditure for General Purposes during the same period amounted to 9557l. 13s. 2d.; exclusive of 2525l. advanced out of the General Fund toward the completion of the Institution Buildings: the Total Expenditure in the year being 52,817l. 17s.6d., including the sum of 1730l. 6s. 11d. for Missionary Registers and Quarterly Papers supplied to the Associations. The Receipts, during the year, on account of the Institution Building Fund have amounted to the sum of 564l. 19s. 6d. Without entering into the particulars which form the excess in the Foreign Expenditure, the Committee deem it requisite to state, that it falls principally under the following heads:—the purchase of Premises for the Mission at Calcutta; the erection of Buildings in the Missions; the increasing number of Missionaries; and the return home of Missionaries and their families. Though a considerable portion of this excess arises out of occasional charges; yet, on a full examination of the subject, the Committee are constrained to state, that the operations of the Society cannot be continued on their present scale without an increase of the permanent income of the Society. They have, therefore, found themselves compelled to fix a limit to the expenses of the Missions; and to prohibit any enlargement of their operations, under the existing circumstances of the Society. Before the Committee take leave of this subject, they would particularly call the attention of the Society to the consideration of those circumstances which affect the proceedings of a Missionary Institu