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The Rev. F. Barnes's Work Among Emigrants.

From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’- 10th June 1880

Among the many branches of the work conducted by the Rev. Francis Barnes, the Vicar of Trinity Church, in his parish, not the least important is that carried on with the emigrants at the Emigration Depot. For the past 28 years Mr. Barnes has held the appointment of hen. chaplain to the emigrants at Plymouth, and there have been many instances of his useful labours among them. During the time the emigrants are at the depot waiting for their vessel Mr. Barnes holds a religious service in the luggage-room, and invariable gets a large and attentive number of hearers. In the twenty-eight years he has been chaplain he has preached to no fewer than 153,365 adults, the majority of whom have gone to Australia and New Zealand. As the result of his appeal to the town to aid him in his work, he has received gifts of tracts and books, and has distributed about two millions and a-half packages of them. Last year he gave 111,380 tracts to 9,365 emigrants; baptised 160 persons, half of whom were adults, and administered the Sacrament to 134. Last evening Mr. Barnes held one of these interesting services at the depot, where there are between four and five hundred emigrants, awaiting the sailing of the ‘Peterborough’ for Sydney. Considerably over a hundred adults attended, and Mr. Barnes’s address was listened to with rapt attention. He exhorted his hearers not to neglect religious services on the voyage to Australia, pointing out that the officers of the ship would give every facility for carrying on God’s work. He mentioned that there were a number of Catholics’ going out in the ‘Peterborough’, and he hoped that those passengers who were Protestants would dwell in harmony with them. He was confident that the Catholics would set them a good example, for they were always regular in their religious duties, and he appealed to them not to interfere with their services. The only way he thought, to prevent any clashing would be to hold their devotions at the same time as the Catholics. He did not think they would be content with one service a week only, and if they were disposed provision would be afforded them to hold two a day. He concluded by urging them to avoid gambling, idleness, and drunkenness upon their arrival at Australia, because these evils had been the ruin of thousands. After the service several men volunteered to form themselves into a committee to carry on the religious work thus inaugurated during the voyage, whilst others expressed their willingness to conduct a Sunday School on board. Later in the evening Mr. Barnes baptised several children. There are 131 single females among the passengers, in charge of Mrs. Kent (the matron), who will make her eighteenth voyage to Sydney. The ‘Peterborough’ will sail to-day, weather permitting.

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