The annual meeting of members of the Church of England in this parish was held as usual on
Easter Tuesday, in the schoolroom. The Rev. the Incumbent in the chair. The churchwardens' accounts were laid
on the table duly signed, showing receipts from pew-rents, offertory collections, parochial council fund,
cemetery fees, &c., £ 254 9s. 7d. Expenditure: Organist, sexton, repairs to parsonage, church, and school
buildings, building account, stipend fund, &c.,
£ 254 6s 5d. Leaving a balance in hand of 3s 2d. The
churchwardens also reported having raised a special fund called the cemetery improvement fund, towards
which they had received upwards of £ 60, and had expended
£ 18; also, in connection with the cemetery, that
they were about having it enlarged, newly fenced, gravelled paths formed, trees planted, gates erected, &c.,
according to a plan exhibited, at a total cost approaching
£ 100; that the Government had granted
£ 50 towards repairing the road to the cemetery, but that they had hoped for more liberal assistance in
consequence of the road being in its present almost impassable condition, through the railway embankment damming
up the water - a matter which had received the prompt attention of our parliamentary representative, Mr W.
C. Browne. Special attention by the churchwardens was drawn to a list of pew-rents in arrears, and an
urgent appeal made that the defaulters would pay up, otherwise some of the worst cases must be made an
example of by being placed in the hands of a solicitor for recovery. On the motion of the chairman the accounts
and verbal report were adopted unanimously. The election of churchwardens then took place, Mr Wm.
Kingston to represent the incumbent, Mr C. J. S. McDouall the trustee, and Mr A.A. Dangar being elected on behalf
of the parishioners. It having been notified to the meeting that Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Cragg had resigned
their offices as teachers of the church schools, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: - This
meeting learns with deep regret that Mr. and Mrs E. B. Cragg have resigned their important offices of teachers of
the Church of England school in this parish on their leaving the colony for the mother country; that the
meeting considers the best thanks of the parishioners are due to Mr. and Mrs. Cragg for the faithful and highly
successful discharge of their duties during a ten year's period of office, and that this resolution be handed
to them after being signed on behalf of the meeting, by the Reverend the chairman. The secretary then read
the report of the Parochial Council, from which it appeared that a highly satisfactory state of all secular
matters had been brought about in the parish; that the very beautiful and costly improvements to the church
grounds had been carried out at the sole expense of J. W. Dangar, Esq, Neotsfield; that all claims on the
Parochial Fund had been duly provided for, and a balance shown as per treasurer's book, which balance it was
intended should be contributed towards the Cemetery Improvements Fund. A total sum of 240 had been raised
during the past year. After a vote of thanks was passed to the retiring churchwardens and councillors, the
meeting proceeded to elect members of council for the ensuing year, when the following gentlemen were
returned; Messrs. W. J. Dangar, Percy Waddy, A. J. Gould, E Dixon, O. R. Upjohn, Geo. Broomfield, Wm. Ash,
and Richard Dawes. Before the meeting was closed in the usual manner by the reverend Chairman, it was
decided that all church accounts for the past year should be printed and circulated amongst the parishioners.
The proceedings at the meeting were characterised by much kindly feeling, and it was pleasant to see the
various classes of society working so harmoniously together.
Singleton, April 21 1862.
The Incumbent, Rev. Blackwood (1851-1876) kept very few church records and much history of
the church was not recorded. We are grateful to the files of the Maitland mercury for the reports sent to them
- this is the only record. "Notethe improvements to Whittingham Cemetery".
(Mr C.S.J McDouall should have been Mr J.C.S McDouall)