Congregational practice, but it can be assumed that he did so on 10th October 1897 for he was present at the Church Meeting which followed the evening service, at which he made 'a statement giving a history of his connection with the Church which brought a unanimous call to become its pastor. He regretted very much that he was obliged to decline the call, giving for his reason that the Principal whom he consulted desired him to go in for his degree. The Church Meeting received this information with regret.114 Nonetheless links were maintained between student and church with John Hugh leading Sunday worship (to crowded congregations) and sharing in at least one funeral.15 Eleven months later the deacons sought a 'final reply regarding the pastorate' from John Hugh.16 At a Special Church Meeting after morning worship on 30th October Edwards' reply was read out and the following minute was written: 'While regretting that Mr. Edwards' literary and other work prevents his settling down to ministerial work at the present time, the Deacons are of the opinion that no good purpose will be served by continuing the negotiations but they desire to impress upon the members the duty of earnest prayer to God that he will provide us with a pastor.'17 It is difficult to understand what had been going on in this long drawn-out process. Clearly Edwards had made a deep impression on deacons and congregation for there can be no other explanation for their continuing to seek his agreement. Equally it is hard not to think that Edwards was playing a strange and selfish game. The matter did not end there, for at the Church Meeting of 3rd January 1899 'Br. F. W Cooke introduced the question of Mr J. Hugh Edwards of Aberystwyth and his statement of his readiness to take up a probationary pastorate for six months and sought the feelings of the meeting. Many members spoke in favour of this proposal.'18 At a special Church Meeting on the following Sunday, the following Deacons' resolution was carried unanimously, 'That this church accepts the offer of Mr J. Hugh Edwards to be Probationary Pastor of this Church for a period of six months from the date he enters upon his duties as Pastor. The salary for this period to be an inclusive £ 50.0.0.'19 Yet another special Church Meeting was held a week later when it was pointed out that 'the Church would need an increased income of £ 20 to meet the arrangement made.' (How would it have managed the £ 95 offered earlier?). A letter was read from J. Hugh Edwards (to the Church Secretary?), 'I am naturally extremely gratified to hear that your Church has unanimously agreed to my suggestion of a Temporary Pastorate of six months. I am looking forward with the keenest eagerness and pleasure to taking up my duties among you on the first Sunday in March 1899. I earnestly trust and fervently pray that the step