The history of the social services of the Anglican church in Canterbury
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In writing this thesis, I have been prompted to show the influence of the Anglican Church in Canterbury on what are commonly known as social services. The promoters of the Canterbury settlement in 1850 has intended to keep it a purely church settlement, and for that reason they stressed the share that the Church must be expected to take in social welfare work. Discussing the question of benevolent institutions, the Committee of the Canterbury Association affirmed “that a direct connection between the Church and those institutions which most command popular sympathy, must tend greatly to extend her influence and preserve her in that commanding position, which is aimed at as one of the prominent features of the plan.” Although the plans for an exclusively Church Settlement went awry, the Anglican Church played a major part in the colony’s development and its social services. It is the aim of this thesis to show just what that part was. My first problem was to fix the limits of my work – not a very simple task, for social services cover an extraordinarily wide field. I finally confined myself to the subjects covered in the “Good Samaritan”, a booklet published in 1940, defining Church of England social services in New Zealand. This meant omitting all reference to schools, except so far as they were bound up with the history of other institutions discussed. Though the Maori Girls’ school in Canterbury is an important social service, it would be better placed under the heading of education, which required a complete thesis in itself. The next step was the method of procedure and the arrangement of the work. A preliminary survey showed that they subject did not lend itself to chronological treatment. Each chapter therefore deals with a special type of social work e.g. homes for children, rescue work among woman, hostels, etc. Though this tends to make each chapter a fairly watertight compartment, it was unavoidable. I have included, however, a general survey chapter, in the desire to give some continuity and cohesion to the whole. Lack of material, the loss of very vital records in some cases, has caused considerable embarrassment and delay. For the early orphanage work, the “Diocesan Reports”, the “Church Quarterly” and the Standing Commission minutes provided invaluable material, while for St. Saviour’s Homes, I am indebted to the Secretary and his assistant, who put all available material at my disposal. Although some annual reports are missing, I have been able to fill in the gaps with the “St. Saviour’s Monthly News”, a small pamphlet, which recorded the month-to-month activities of the Homes.