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  • CHARLES SPURGEON -
    ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE


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    FOR FATHERLESS BOYS, CLAPHAM ROAD 1876-7TRUSTEES.

    C. H.SPURGEON, President

    J. A.SPURGEON,Vice-President

    MRS. A.HILLYARD WILLIAM HIGGS WILLIAM OLNEY WILLIAM C.MURRELL B.WILDON CARR JOSEPH PASSMORE THOMAS R.PHILLIPS WILLIAM MILLS THOMAS H.OLNEY THOMAS GREENWOOD HON.CONSULTING PHYSICIAN HENRY GERVIS, ESQ., M.D.

    HON.CONSULTING SURGEON J. COOPER FORSTER, ESQ., F.R.C.S.

    HON.CONSULTING OPHTHALMIC SURGEON J. C.WORDSWORTH, ESQ., F.R.C.S.E.

    HON.DENTIST W. O.HINCHLIFFE, ESQ.

    MEDICAL OFFICER.

    WILLIAM SOPER, ESQ., M.R.C.S.E., L.S.A.

    SOLICITOR.

    MR.THOMAS C.PAGE.

    MASTER.

    VERNON J.CHARLESWORTH SECRETARY CHARLES BLACKSHAW.

    REPORT 1876-7 THIS Orphanage, originally founded by the self-sacrifice of an esteemed sister in the Lord, is conducted by C. H. Spurgeon, assisted by his brother, and a body of Trustees. It receives destitute Fatherless Boys, without respect to the religion of the parents. The buildings are arranged for the accommodation of Two Hundred and Fifty Children, who are eligible for entrance between the ages of six and ten. Orphans received without putting the mothers to the trouble and expense of canvassing for votes: the Trustees themselves selecting the most needy cases. The family system is carried out, the boys living in separate houses under the care of matrons, and not in one vast building like a workhouse. The great object is to train the boys in the fear of the Lord, hoping that by God’s blessing they may be truly converted before they leave us: at the same time the Institution provides them with an education which fits them to take good positions in the world. The Institution is mainly supported by spontaneous gifts, no Collector being paid, and no Subscriber being waited upon to pay year by year, although a number of donors send as regularly as if they were expected to do so. The Lord alone supplies the needs of the work by means of his people’s generous gifts, but he sometimes tries the faith of those who conduct it. Upwards of £10 per day is wanted to pay for the Board, Lodging, Clothing, and Education of the Boys.

    In presenting the Eighth Report, the President and Committee have to record again their testimony to the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord, by whose gracious help they have been sustained during another year, and by whose bounty the necessities of the Institution have been supplied. “They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness,” suggests at once the duty and the privilege of those who have received, “from the beginning of the year to the end of it,” daily manifestations of his love. That the Institution enjoys the smile of “the Father of the fatherless” is seen in many ways, and the gratitude we feel finds expression in the language of the Psalmist — “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

    I —STATISTICAL.

    The growth of the Institution will be seen in the following table of figures: — Report Date Admission Total Removal Total Removal In Residence 1 From Aug., 1867, to March, 154 154 6 6 2 From April 1870 to March 42 196 7 13 3 From April 1871 to March 38 234 9 22 4 From April 1872 to March 21 255 15 37 5 From April 1873 to March 36 291 38 75 6 From April 1874 to March 63 354 42 117 7 From April 1875 to March 28 382 29 146 8 From April 1876 to March 46 428 52 198 It will be seen that a greater number than usual left during the year, and although at the close of the year the average number of inmates was reduced, there are, at the time of issuing this report, a larger number in residence than at any previous period of our history.

    Of the 52 boys who left, no less than 47 were supplied with situations and received a good start in life; 1 entered the Marine Society’s Training Ship for the sea; 2 were removed by friends whose improved circumstances enabled them to support them; and 2 were dismissed on the re-marriage of their mothers.

    It is gratifying to be able to report that in many instances the employers who have taken boys from the Institution apply for others as vacancies occur in their establishments. In one large house in London no less than boys are now engaged, all of whom are steadily rising in their respective departments.

    II. — DOMESTIC The general conduct of the boys is praiseworthy, and the moral tone prevailing is excellent. Fewer troubles have arisen by the admission of new boys than in any previous year, although many of the new comers had suffered in many ways from the disadvantages and evils incident to orphanage and poverty. Until our new recruits fall in with the general discipline of the Institution they are a source of anxiety, as only a lengthy residence fully reveals the moral taint which they have incurred, and manifests their disposition, which is so difficult to eradicate or control, if bad, and foster and develop if good. An earnest Christian spirit prevails amongst all the workers, who endeavor, in a thousand ways, to compensate as far as possible to the boys the loss of those natural privileges which their bereavement implies.

    Family worship is conducted twice daily, before the morning and evening meals; by the Head Master and his assistants. The service is occasionally taken by the President, or a member of the Committee, or a visitor to the Institution who may happen to be present. The Word of God is read and expounded, hymns sung, and prayer offered, and the whole of the boys repeat a text selected for the day. A religious service is conducted for the elder boys every Wednesday evening, when addresses are given by ministerial and other friends.

    On the Lord’s-day morning the elder boys attend the service at the Tabernacle; a second detachment is accommodated at the Wynne Road Chapel; and a suitable service is conducted for the rest at the Orphanage, by Messrs. Bartlett and Daniels. Mr. W. J. Evans still superintends the Sunday School in the afternoon, assisted by a large staff of earnest teachers, and Mr. Macgregor presides over the Evening Service, assisted by Mr. C. Carpenter. All these good friends, who labor with commendable zeal to win the children to Christ, have been connected with the Institution from its commencement.

    Some of the boys who give evidence of a change of heart are formed into a “Young Christians’ Band,” which numbers, at the present time, members. During the year several were admitted to the fellowship of the Church at the Tabernacle.

    The annual meeting was held in June to celebrate the President’s birthday, and the annual excursion took place in September when all the boys and the staff were kindly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Richard May, in their grounds at Dulwich.

    During the MidSummer holidays, friends were found to take several of the boys who, but for such generous kindness, would not have been able to leave the Institution. We shall be glad to receive the names of those willing to receive one or two boys for the whole or part of the time between July 25th and August 22nd of the present year.

    The Christmas season was a joyous time, friends from all parts of the country kindly sending all sorts of good things for the boys. Mr. William Harrison sustained the precedent of former years by sending a box of figs for each boy, and was again the medium for conveying 240 new shillings, fresh from the Mint, from a friend who chooses to be known only by two initials, “J.D.” The old boys, as usual, mustered in good force, and were the heroes of the day. Through the kindness of the President all the members of the staff received a useful present, and “Christmas at the Orphanage” will always be a precious memory it the history of all who participate in its festivities.

    During their term of residence in the Institution all the boys are total abstainers, no alcoholic liquors being allowed, except by order of the Medical Officer. A Band of Hope is conducted under the presidency of Mr. A. Dunn, which numbers at the present time 152 members, who are enrolled by their own free will, and with the approval of their friends. The elder boys attend the monthly meetings, and all are present at the lectures which are given from time to time.

    A goodly number of the boys who have left the Institution are engaged in Sunday Schools, and others assist in Evangelistic Services at Mission Stations and in Lodging Houses. “We have no greater joy than to know that our children walk in the truth,” and adorn the doctrines they profess, by devoutness of spirit, consistency of conduct, and earnest Christian labor in the Lord’s vineyard.

    III — EDUCATION The Schools have been efficiently maintained, and the progress of the boys in the subjects of an ordinary English education is alike creditable to both teachers and pupils. The extra subjects are French, Drawing, and Music.

    The French classes are conducted gratuitously by Madame Blim, an accomplished French lady, who devotes two afternoons a week to her classes. Mr. F. G. Ladds (formerly a boy in the Orphanage and now one of the teachers), and Mr. F. Simmonds, one of the masters, have given instruction in vocal music, and Mr. Smith has continued his class for the harmonium.

    Drawing is taught by our own teachers, all of them being qualified to present the boys for examination in connection with the Science and Art Department.

    We presented 186 boys for examination in Freehand, Geometrical and Model Drawing with the following results: — 61 gave satisfactory evidence of having been taught drawing; 78 obtained certificates for proficiency; and 42 secured prizes for excellence. The sum earned was £15 5s. 6d., apart from the value of the prizes. A lower scale of payment has been adopted this year, which considerably reduced the grant. The progress indicated by this report is most encouraging, for, notwithstanding the higher standard of merit adopted, the boys obtained 28 more certificates, and 21 more prizes than last year. Only four boys failed to satisfy the examiners.

    The object being to give a useful rather than an ornamental education, the success achieved by the boys who have passed through the institution fully justifies the methods pursued and the limits prescribed.

    IV. —SANITARY.

    During the past year a wide-spread epidemic prevailed, and although several isolated cases of small-pox occurred in the Institution, we are thankful to report that, with the blessing of God upon the measures which were promptly taken, the disease was arrested without a second individual taking it from another.

    No death has occurred in the Institution for three years, a fact which, while it calls for special thanksgiving to God, may be accepted as an evidence of the sound sanitary condition of the Institution. The visit of Dr. Mouat, from the Local Government Board, who is engaged on an inquiry into the various systems adopted for the maintenance and education of the children of the poor, elicited the following report, which is of the most encouraging nature: — “I have today visited for the second time the Stockwell Orphanage, and examined into the system of training and education pursued in it, with special reference to an inquiry in which I am now engaged, regarding the pauper schools throughout the country. In many important particulars this institution is well in advance of most kindred establishments which I have yet seen. The plan of feeding and clothing in particular is excellent, and the instruction of the class rooms is conducted with intelligence and life. The boys look healthy and happy, and I shall only be too glad if I succeed in transplanting some of the advantages of this place to the pauper schools in which they are much needed. I have seldom enjoyed a visit to any school more thoroughly than that of which I am now leaving this most imperfect record. (Signed) F. J. MOUAT, M.D. Formerly Secretary to the Council of Education, Bengal.”

    There has been no falling off in the funds; donors sending as regularly as though they were pledged annual subscribers. Gifts in kind have been as numerous and varied as in former years. The young ladies of Miss Dransfield’s educational establishment, the Ladies’ Working Association, of the Wynne Road Chapel, and the Juvenile Dorcas Society in connection with New Cross Chapel, have sent their usual supply of shirts, thereby saving the Institution a considerable sum. Miss Winslow has enlisted the co-operation of her pupils in knitting woolen comforters for the boys during the winter months. It would be impossible to enumerate all the presents sent by generous friends, and which are duly acknowledged every month in the Sword and Trowel; they are all received with gratitude, and we take this opportunity of repeating our thanks. It is a cause of grief to us when friends do not receive a prompt acknowledgment of their gifts, but in almost all instances where this has occurred, the donor has failed to send name and address with the present. We are too grateful for any help, however small, to risk giving pain or offense to those who remember us, and we respectfully request to be informed of the transmission of presents at the time, and their receipt shall be duly acknowledged. As the work is carried on in dependence upon God, and as His blessing evidently rests upon it, we are confident the mean will be forthcoming as the need arises.

    The work is of the Lord, and therefore the Lord’s people should help us in it. Will it need much pleading? If so, we cannot use it, as we shrink from marring the willinghood which is the charm of such a service. No collector shall ever draw a commission from us for dogging unwilling subscribers, nor will we press and squeeze niggard gifts from reluctant hands. God will see to his own work, and though we do not use the method of sitting still and waiting without action, but rather stir up the minds of the Lord’s stewards by way of remembrance, yet we are sure that he who feeds the ravens will give his children bread.

    Subscriptions large or small, will be gratefully received by C.H. SPURGEON, Nightingale Lane, Clapham, London, S.W. Gifts of Food, Clothes, Books, Toys, and other useful articles, are always welcome, and should be directed toMR.CHARLESWORTH, Head Master, the Orphanage, Stockwell, London.

    VI — MODE OF ADMISSION Applications for the admission of children should be addressed in writing to the Secretary, and full particulars given. If the case appears eligible, a form of application is sent, the questions on which must be answered by the applicant, and the form returned as soon as possible. The slightest untruthfulness will necessitate the immediate rejection of the case. After the case is entered on the list of candidates, the Trustees, as soon as convenient, appoint a visitor to make personal inquiries into it. Should these be satisfactory, the child appears before the committee and the doctor, and, if duly elected, enters the Institution as soon as there is room.

    As the number of most necessitous candidates is largely in excess of our accommodation there is no difficulty in supplying vacancies as they occur.

    The Trustees, therefore, issue forms of application very sparingly, as they consider it unwise to encourage hopes which are not likely to be realized.

    Friends, who are only acquainted with the case in which they are specially interested, must not be surprised at its rejection by the Trustees, if it is proved by them to be less necessitous than others. The election of children not being determined by subscribers’ votes, the Trustees endeavor to maintain the strictest impartiality while considering the claims of the various applicants, and the greatest need has the loudest voice with them.

    In every case certificates of the marriage of the parents, the death of the father, and the birth of the child will be required. The cases of illegitimate children are not within the scope of the Institution.

    Applicants are requested not to call upon the Trustees privately, as they are bound not to attend to them otherwise, than officially. Cases will be considered on their own merits, and they will derive no advantage from personal solicitation.MR.SPURGEON cannot personally see any applicants, and should not be written to. All letters on this business should be addressed to the Secretary,MR.CHARLES BLACKSHAW, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, London, S.E.

    The Orphanage is open for the inspection of the public on the afternoons of Tuesday and Thursday in each week. At other times an order is necessary, which can be obtained ofMR.SPURGEON, or any of the Trustees. All letters requiring an answer must contain a stamped envelope.

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