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of the outer, and later, portions of the building. Originally this door was in the outside wall, and supposed to have been used for purposes of communication by the river, as it is on what is called the river side of the building; but it is a considerable distance from the river, and it would have required a great stretch of imagination to believe that the water ever came near it at all.
After we had seen all that time would permit us to see, we went to Sayes Court. Looking at the long two-storied brick building, with its red roof, its even row of windows, and its central hall-door, it seemed very difficult to realize all that had happened there so long ago. Alas for the transient glory of all earthly things! Perhaps had John Evelyn's servant seen Sayes Court in after years, when it became the parish workhouse, and afterward the Emigrant Depôt, he might not have thought the old dwelling any better off than when it was in the hands of the
right nasty' Russians. The spot was pointed out where once grew the mulberry tree said to have been planted by Peter the Great.
Then we must see what we could of St. Luke's Mission District, which seemed to skirt the dockyard for some distance, and to extend a considerable length. Standing on the bridge which crosses the Grand Surrey Canal, we could look right and left upon the rows of cottages and buildings which are included in the boundary line of St. Luke's. On our way to the little temporary church we passed a small black wooden shed. There,' said the Missionary, 'I had my first congregation in St. Luke's. "Is it possible! we exclaimed; “is that the shed ? For it seemed, looking at it there, as if we three might have filled it, and not had too much room to stand upright in it. Yes, that was the shed which had been, but was now no longer, at the Missionary's disposal. On the high-road we passed the garden-ground which a large board indicated as the ‘Site for St. Luke's Church and Parsonage.'
Presently we reached the neat little building over the entrance to which is written, ‘St. Luke's Temporary Church.' The front entrance is in the high-road; the back, by which we entered, is approached through a gravel path extending for some distance along the line of one of the gardens, with which the neighbourhood abounds. The owner of the garden, who attends St. Luke's, had made that path for the convenience of himself and family, and “We are able to take advantage of it,' said the Missionary, "and now I will get the key and let you in.' And he left us for a few moments to sit down and rest on the little wooden bench outside the Church.
Deptford and its surroundings all looked very bright on that summer's afternoon, with the river sparkling in the sunshine, and the blue sky overhead; but it might look very different, we felt, on a winter's night, when the road would be all mud, and the gravel path unlit save by a lamp hung at the corner.
The interior of the little Mission Church was far smaller than anything we had expected to see, and yet it holds between two hundred and three VOL. 6.
hundred persons. This is partly due to the very deep gallery, which extends a long way into the body of the church. Certainly space had been economized to the utmost; a red curtain stretched between the posts which support the pulpit forms an enclosure which does duty as a vestry! The tiny communion table, neatly railed in, is placed against the wall beside the pulpit. Close to the desk stands the harmonium ; and then there were the neatly made wooden seats to be looked at, which the workmen themselves had added, and which with their folding flaps, were placed in every available space which could possibly afford additional accommodation. Having been a Baptist chapel previously, the building is pewed throughout with small high pews, which render it quite unavailable for use during the week for schools or classes. As it is, the Bishop of London's Fund have paid £244 for the chapel, with repairs and fencing, and guarantee for four years the annual ground rent of £5.
'I think,' said the Missionary as we left the church, 'I feel as much as anything else, the want of a room in which I could hold classes and meet my people, and perhaps have some attempt at a school. I have been endeavouring to organize an association of Church helpers. When I had been here about six months, I spoke to the people about it, and said I should be glad to receive the names of any who would volunteer their help. Only two offered themselves; so I resolved to try again, for I thought if I could get together about a dozen we might really do something in the district. I spoke to them again about it this spring, after Whitsuntide, and this time twenty volunteers came forward.'
• And in what way do they help you ?'
“They visit in the district, distribute tracts, invite others to the services, and make known to me at once any cases of sickness. I feel that to be of great importance, for it gives me an entrance at once into any house where there is illness.'
And how are all the expenses of the Services maintained ?' "The amount contributed in the boxes at the church door is sufficient for all our expenses, and to leave a small balance over towards the Church Building Fund.'
‘And how much is usually contributed this way ?'
"Taking one Sunday with another, it is generally about a pound each week. I have never had occasion to say very much to the people about it. When the Church was first opened, I told them that the boxes were placed there to receive their weekly offerings towards the expenses of the Church, and that I should look to them, and trust that they would do their duty in assisting to maintain the services. I have had every reason to be satisfied with the result, and have seldom spoken of it since. They are willing to do all in their power, not only in supporting the little mission church, but, as far as they can, in contributing towards the erection of the permanent Church.'
* But here are the wood-cutting establishments, would you like to look in?' We were now opposite a long low building, very few feet in width, but which echoed with the sounds of industry. We paused for a few moments by the open window of the long shed in which the work was going on.
The wood is all sent to Deptford in pieces three feet long, so that no duty has to be paid for it. At one end of the shed a man was sawing these blocks of wood across into the short lengths which are used for fire-wood. These pieces were chopped into the required thickness by a young woman, who gave the downward strokes with a small hatchet, with a rapidity which seemed to threaten instant destruction to her fingers. The pieces thus scattered upon the ground were picked up by a little girl, whose duty seemed to be to lay them straight, or rather to shake them straight, and thus gathered up in her hands, to throw them to another girl, who tied them up into the bundles with which we, or more properly our housemaids, are so familiar.
The timber comes chiefly from the river Dramman and the neighbourhood of Christiana in Norway.
At the establishment of the Messrs. Wells in the Black Horse Fields, which is the centre of the Mission district, there are upwards of three hundred persons regularly employed. This includes nien, women, and children.
The establishment sends out on an average 300,000 bundles of firewood each week.
After seeing the wood-cutting establishment, we went back again to 47, Florence Road, to enjoy the comfortable tea which the Missionary's wife had so kindly provided for us before returning home by train. And then we bade them good night, with many thanks for the time which had been so freely given up to us on that long pleasant afternoon, and wishing, oh so earnestly, that it might be in our power to say anything that would awaken in the readers of The Monthly Packet an interest in this St. Luke's over the water, and that they would, of their own free will, send their gifts both great and small, which, however insufficient they may be to build a church, are not insufficient to give a lift towards it, and if they fail to accomplish the work, are none the less able to cheer and encourage the worker.
One thing was plainly evident from all that we saw during that day's visit to Deptford ; namely, that however willing they may be, the people of St. Luke's cannot do very much towards building their own church. They may, and we trust they will, continue to give their regular subscriptions yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, or whatever way it may be; but, with very few exceptions, the gifts given by the parishioners of St. Luke's will always be small gifts ; the little offerings of working people, precious, indeed, in His sight Who will not let a cup of cold water lose its reward, but small when compared with the work to be done.
Can we not, in His Name, and for His sake, Whose work it is, raise a hand to help them !
CONVALESCENT HOME FOR GENTLEWOMEN.
In the March number of The Monthly Packet was this query :
* Among the many Convalescent Homes now established in England is there one in the north where ladies of limited means might be admitted ?'
I hope the time is very near when an affirmative answer may be given to that question. Some ladies are earnestly endeavouring to establish such a Home at Scarborough, and would gratefully receive any donations, however small, towards furthering their object. Perhaps some readers of this
themselves have derived much pleasure and benefit from a few weeks sojourn by the sea side, will give a helping hand; so that some of those who, from the narrowness of their means, were unable to afford the change of air and scene they so greatly required, may next year be able also to enjoy it. Let those who have whilst there been surrounded by relations and friends all sharing the same pleasures, imagine to themselves the lot of some friendless governess whose health is her only capital, and who can with difficulty afford the smallest sum which will take her to the sea side; think of the solitary arrival, the uncomfortable lodging necessarily of the cheapest description, the dreary look out, probably into a small street, the horse-hair sofa, the bad cooking, the constant struggle to make the little hoard last out. And there are those who cannot come at all, who long in vain for the fresh sea-breezes which, their doctor tells them, might do so much to bring back their failing strength. A comfortably airy house with a good seaview, presided over by a lady, whose labour of love it would be to make the Home a happy one, and to give a warm welcome to all new comers ; pleasant sitting-rooms to be shared in common; cozy little bed-rooms, each with its arm-chair, so that quiet and solitude can be had when wished for. Such is the ideal which my friends are trying to turn into a reality. The gratuitous medical services of an eminent resident practitioner have been kindly promised. Each inmate would be called upon to contribute a small weekly payment during her stay, and this would prevent the feeling of entire dependence on the charity of others, which to many is so irksome. Any contributions, small or great, will be thankfully received by
Miss FRANCES LEGARD,
BRIDLINGTON; or by
Miss GERTRUDE NEVILE,
Dear S. W.,
Can you help us? You know something of our work, and the sort of life we lead in our present small and miserable abode. The room in which we have our meals is immediately over a monster ash-pit, and we have the fullest experience of all the evils connected with bad drainage on a ground floor.
Doctors and all sorts of people have told us we ought to move away, but we have determined to live among the poor and close to the church, and so far God has mercifully protected and blessed us. Now He has suddenly given us a hope both of extending our own borders and enlarging our sphere of work.
About £1000 has come unasked and simultaneously from four different donors, for the erection of a new Home for ourselves, and an infirmary for our sick poor. We have secured a long lease of a piece of land adjoining the site of our new schools; and as our building will be of the plainest kind, we shall begin to build as soon as we have raised £2000; the whole building will cost £4000, and will contain all that is necessary for at least twelve sisters, with an infirmary for sick poor under the same roof. Gifts for the poor to the value of about £1000 a year pass through our hands, and we are so cramped for space that we are in one sense often like to the rich man who had not where to stow his goods. In the new house we shall have room for all our operationskitchens, dinner-rooms for convalescents, shop for books, &c., lavatories, work-rooms, &c., as well as something like peace and quietness for ourselves. The house will adjoin the new schools, which will be under our care. While other Sisterhoods are asking for such great things, All Saints' for £50,000, St. Margaret's for £25,000, we feel that we may hope soon to raise our little £4000, if you and other kind friends who know something of us will kindly help us. We want to raise our simple house without leaving our sick and poor to go begging ourselves.
ST. LUKE'S, MILE END. Dear Mr. Editor,
I send you the account of an East London Cottagers' Flower Show, which was printed for the district, and I believe its insertion in The Monthly Packet will interest many of your readers.
Tenders have been sent in for St. Luke's Church, £5,320 for whole, of this £3,050 for nave.
This is the tender of Messrs. Carter, of Holloway. We have more money paid and promised than £3,050, but it is not all applicable to part of the church. So we want £500 still for the nave. In October we shall have a meeting, and I have good hopes some arrangement may be come to.
The Third Annual Exhibition of the Bow Common Cottagers' Flower Show was held in St. Paul's Schools on Friday, August 28th; and if the excessive drought and forwardness of the season told upon the more aspiring exhibitions of the neighbourhood, it was felt in an increased degree by the cottagers in the cultivation of their