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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

A Church Constitution

A Church Constitution.

All his days Grey was strongly opposed to the State establishment of religion, and he reckoned it as one of his achievements that he had prevented the creation of State Churches in South Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. None the less, he was always, at least in profession, a staunch churchman, and it was only natural that, with his contriving brain and his passion for building up, he should busy himself with the affairs of the branch of the Church of England in the Colony. According to his own account, repeated by Bishop Selwyn, he was lying on a sickbed at Taranaki in the month of June, page 881852, when he drafted a constitution for the Church. There is no room for doubt about the fact. Selwyn admitted that the first draft of the constitution was prepared by Grey. "I believe I have now in his handwriting," he told the assembled Synod, the document "upon which the Church is founded." And he confessed that Grey had given the Church its "outward framework." Grey constantly claimed the paternity of the ecclesiastical, as he did of the political, constitution. His claim has been disputed, and the historian of the Church does not admit it. Touring the Australasian colonies a few years ago, Bishop Welldon was "shown in Auckland the little chapel in which Selwyn drew up the constitution of the Church of New Zealand,'' and he asserts that that church, "in its charter as in its character, still retains the impression of his mind."