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Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion


1978 1978

Wales and the Congregational Fund Board : \'A beauty-spot of ecclesiastical history\' /

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annually reminds one how regrettable it is that these hundreds of
application forms that must have reached the Board from Wales
alone do not seem to have been preserved. By the kindness of the
Rev. Ralph Calder, the Secretary of the Congregational Fund
Board I have perused two of these printed forms and in view of
the questions they asked concerning the membership of the church
and number of services held, the population of the town or village
where the church was situated, the amount of the minister's salary
and income, and so on, one realises that a valuable source of
information concerning Independent Churches and ministers in
Wales over a number of years has been lost.
It is at this juncture, when discussing ministers in Wales helped
by the Board that a reference should, I feel, be made to William
Fuller, a Banker of Lombard Street, London. Already in this
paper we have mentioned the words Fuller's Donation' more
than once. No assessment of our debt as a denomination to the
Congregational Fund Board would be complete without paying a
tribute to this truly remarkable man who is reputed to have shared
out in his lifetime £ 60,00080 to various charities an enormous
sum of money. Like Thomas Jones of Chester81 he made much
money and seems to have spent it all on the task of furthering
religion. He was a member of Three Cranes Church, Thames
Street, of which Samuel Pike82 was minister. Pike was excluded
from the Pinners' Hall Lecture because of two sermons he preached
there. It became obvious that he was leaning heavily towards
Sandemanianism and contentions ran high in his church. William
Fuller, who was a prominent member of Pike's church was the
leader of the opposition to the minister, and published anonym-
ously a pamphlet entitled Reflections on an Epistolary Corres-
pondence designed to sink the reputation of Mr. Pike The
result was that Fuller left with others and went to Little St. Helen's
Meeting House. Pike ended up a Sandemanian.84 Fuller was clearly
an enlightened champion of the Calvinist faith and an evangelical,
filled with a desire to do everything in his power to further religious
societies that existed for the purpose of propagating the Gospel,
and ever ready to give a lending hand to the needy and distressed.
He was a very active member of the Board, at one time serving
with his minister Samuel Pike as a Messenger. He was a subscriber
80 See Kenneth W. Wadsworth, Yorkshire United Independent College
(1954), 57.
81 For Thomas Jones see article by Dr. Tudur Jones in Y Cofiadur 1958,
82 D.N.B.
83 Wilson, vol. ii, 93, et seq.
84 See R. T. Jenkins, Yng Nghysgod Trefecca (Caemarfon 1968), 50.
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