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mittee judged it desirable to introduce into the book of rules directions for that branch of instruction, that it might be adopted in any case where the time and inclinations of the scholars and qualifications of the village teachers would permit, and they have procured engraved slates, to form in such case a part of the supply in aid of the school. This supply has however been confined to those instances, (hitherto comparatively few, where circumstances have given reason to believe that writing might be attempted with good effect.
Your committee now proceed to communicate the state of each village school, in the same order in which they were reported last year.
The school at the West Woodlands has increased last annual meeting, having now six teachers ar scholars. The school in the East Woodlands ha be consisting at present of twenty-eight scholars, who has resident teacher, to which circumstance the dimisation of aumber is in a great measure to be ascribed. At Leighton there are at present four teachers and twenty-four scholars; writing has been lately introduced there with a flattering prospect of suc cess; the diminished number of this school arises partly from the establishment of schools unconnected with the Union in some neighbouring villages, and your committee would here remind the friends of this institution, that when particular schools are lessened, or even discontinued from such a cause, it is not to be regarded as matter of discouragement, but on the contrary is among the proofs of beneficial tendency, in a design which has been thus instrumental to awake the general spirit of education through the districts which its influence has reached. The school at Ridge consists of forty-nine scholars, with four teachers; considerable progress has been made by the children, who are very attentive; a small reduction in number has taken place in this school, but here also it may be attributed to the establishment of others. At Brixton Deverill the number of teachers is three, of children nineteen; they have in general made great progress, and many of the scholars, who had scarcely a knowledge of letters at the commencement of the school, have particularly distinguished themselves, by committing to memory various chapters of the Holy Scriptures. Monkton Deverill and Kingston Deverill have together thirty-eight scholars; their number is rather increasing, and they are very desirous of learning; but the interest of these schools suffers from deficiency of resident teachers, and the difficulty of procuring superintendents from Frome to visit schools at so considerable a distance, (upwards of ten miles.) The visits of some friends to the institution, particularly of such as might exercise the most influence, is much desired in these and other schools. The Crockerton school consists of forty-nine scholars and seven teachers, being increased since the last report. The schools at Witham Friary
and Upton Noble have been suspended for want of resident teachers, it is hoped they will ere long be renewed. The committee have great satisfaction in reporting the prosperous state of a new school at Gare Hill, consisting of fifty-seven scholars; viz. thirty-nine children and eighteen adults. The latter are anxious to learn, very attentive, have made considerable progress, and are about to commence writing. The children are also very regular and diligent, and a most remarkable and pleasing difference has been observed since the establishment of the school in the morals and habits of the inhabitants. The new school at Freckle Street consists of eighteen children, and with the last mentioned, is at present wholly conducted by the valuable labours of superintendents from Frome. The school at Cranmore contains forty children and four teachers; the school at Awkridge thirty-eight children and five teachers; the school at Kilmington is at present superintended and conducted by the clergyman of that village. At Lullington a small school is assisted by the Union, consisting of two teachers and fourteen children; their number has been lessened by the establishment of another school in the place. A school at West Camel, near Ilchester, established by the persevering zeal and diligence of the clerk of the parish has received a supply of books from your committee, who have considered that such aid may be essentially useful to schools, situated beyond the bounds of their personal superintendence, and are no way inconsistent with the designs of the society, when the existence and usefulness of such schools are properly attested. The school at West Camel, (which is thirty miles from Frome,) is stated to consist of forty scholars with two teachers.
The following recapitulation will give the society a view of the present extent of village instruction, to which its labours have either given rise or afforded assistance.
No. of resident teachers.
The Sunday Schools in the town of Frome, connected with the Union, but not deriving any assistance from its funds at present, consist of the following numbers,
The following books have been issued by the Depositary to the village schools since the last annual meeting.
Watts's Divine Songs.
Part of these books have been given and part sold at reduced prices.
STROUD SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
HAVING had the pleasure of being present at the last quarterly meeting of the Stroud Sunday School Union on Monday the 8th of January, and of witnessing the cheerful acquiescence of its members to carry into effect some proposed arrangements for ex tending the blessings of sabbath instruction into surrounding villages; I could not deny myself the gratification of sending you the particulars of the success which has since attended their exertions in the Union. After the reports from the different Schools had been presented and read by the chairman, the Rev. Mr. Hawkins, (through whose persevering and disinterested la bours in the formerly unenlightened village of Eastcombs, near 300 children are now taught every Sabbath,) communicated the result of his inquiries, in company with two other friends, into the state of several villages in a circle of about ten miles; from which it appeared that but few of the poor in those villages could read, that as a natural consequence thereof, the Sabbath was generally profaned, and when the churches were open comparatively few at tended. Happily the prejudices of the higher circles against the instruction of the poor had prepared the minds of these poor people and made them anxious for instruction. Considering that instruction would not make them less useful as servants, or less
capable of discharging the duties of relative and social life.Their anxiety for the establishment of Sunday Schools induced Mr. H. to promise the villagers to represent their situation to the committee and members of the Stroud Union, and if it met their approval and co-operation, to send them assistance as early as possible.
It is almost unnecessary for me to add, that the meeting were of one heart and mind in determining that their cries for help should be attended to immediately; and after unanimously thanking Mr. H. and friends for their benevolent inquiries, made arrangements for a regular supply of teachers from their body.
Encouraged by their ready co-operation, Mr. H.'s friends opened a school at Colesbourn on the following Lord's day week; first Sabbath they had 44; second, 55; third, 66; the parents of the children appear particularly thankful. A respectable clothier here offered his services as a teacher; the clergyman has endeavoured to persuade the person, in whose house the school meets, to dismiss the children; it has been without success. The inhabitants having expressed great anxiety to hear the Gospel preached to them, Mr. H. has licensed a barn for the purpose, and their attention is delightful.
At Winstone, through which place the teachers passed on their way to Colesbourn, the inhabitants having repeatedly requested for a Sunday School, the friends at Stroud have complied with their wishes, and last Lord's day a school was opened, 60 children enrolled, and 100 expected.
At Miserdine the poor were equally anxious, and another Sunday School has been established, though at the distance of nearly a mile; the opinion of a person of influence having prevented the teachers getting accommodation in the village. A considerable number of children are expected in addition.
I have the satisfaction of adding, that from the reports from the different schools in the Union, the number of children which by the last report consisted of 3635, and 453 teachers, remains pretty nearly the same, though the unfavourable time of the year might reasonably have allowed a deduction, and also of expressing my opinion, that through the benevolent exertions of the Rev. Mr. Hawkins and the Rev. J. Burder, their truly active secretary, aided by the zeal and love of the teachers, whose concern for the best interests of the rising generation is of no common kind; all the surrounding villages will, ere long, have to rejoice that the darkness has passed away for ever, and that the true light has not only dawned, but shines, with brilliant lustre; and of there being at least an addition of 600 children to the above stated number of those who, in early life, are taught to sing the praises of the Redeemer, many of whom, we hope, will be the joy, crown, and rejoicing of those, who are labouring in this honourable employ. I am, &c.
Bath, March 15, 1816.
F. E. T.
EXTRACT from the FIRST ANNUAL REPORT of the COMMITTEE of the
TONBRIDGE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
A PUBLIC meeting was held at Lady Huntingdon's chapel last year, when it was stated on unquestionable authority, that these useful institutions were but as yet in their infancy, and that in some neighbouring villages the light of Sunday Schools had not yet arisen; and it appearing the best means of remedying those difficulties, which had hitherto impeded their establishment, would be the formation of a Sunday School Union, it was then concluded.
Impressed with the importance of the objects proposed, your committee accepted the appointment, and cheerfully undertook to use their best exertions, and without detaining their friends any longer, they hasten to communicate the result of their labours, and hope ere long their Sunday School system, which has but just risen above the horizon, will shine yet more and more, till in their respective neighbourhoods the means of reli. gious knowledge shall be generally diffused, and mental ignorance completely chased away. Since the formation of this Union a Sunday School has been opened at
Southborough, under the friendly superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Gough, assisted by several friends, by whose persevering exertions, aided by the funds of the Union, ninety-six children are under tuition.
Groombridge. A school was opened by Mr. Cooke, and consists of seventy-six children and four adults; it is now under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Adams, whose indefatigable attention merits the warmest commendation.
Matfield. A short time since a school was opened under the care of the Rev. Messrs. Russell and Gladwish: the prospect of usefulness is truly cheering; one hundred and twenty-four chil dren having been already admitted with every prospect of an increase; the readiness and pleasure which the teachers manifest in attending to the moral and spiritual improvement of the chil dren is truly gratifying.
Rotherfield. Another school has been opened, and which, in point of members, has far exceeded the expectations of the Rev. Mr. Hatterel, Mr. Babington, and friends, who have kindly undertaken to attend to their instruction, consisting already of one hundred and thirty children, with the probability of an increase. [The committee regret the Sunday School in the church is not in so flourishing a state as formerly, but hope a friendly rivalry will excite the managers of each school to fresh exertions in a neighbourhood rather populous ]
Yalding. A few weeks since a school was opened, and has every prospect of realizing the best wishes of the friends of youth; the parents and children attending at its commencement