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After 1907
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There are people in our church now who were here when Arthur Caulfield was priest. (He married Jean and Arthur Humphries in 1945). They remember him as a quiet, somewhat straight-laced, but good man. Mr. Caulfield was in his thirties when he came, a man still full of energy who had been assistant priest at the Cathedral for four years before coming to Ascension. He had good organizational abilities and, as well, he felt keenly the need for "the growth in the things of the spirit." Like Robert Jefferson, he considered it essential for "all the people in the parish to know each other."

For this reason, he initiated the Ascension branch of The Church Year Fellowship in 1946 (a movement established in the Diocese of Toronto) and introduced a system of "sacrificial giving" to try to do away with having to raise money with bazaars, bake sales and the like. Reminiscent of the fuel boxes of a few years earlier, each member of the Fellowship was to put aside one cent a day over and above his/her regular giving. The priest took the special envelope to the fellowship member every week and, in this way, not only ensured the giving, but also kept in close touch with his parishioners. The Fellowship met once a month, and every year there was a Festival of Light service on the eve of the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the temple (then still called the Purification of St. Mary the Virgin).

In his time, the vestry agreed to buy the two lots north of the church for $3500.00, (and after repeated requests, agreed to fix the rectory's garage doors so that Mr. Caulfield could get his car into the garage).

Earlier, when he'd been at St. Peter's Mission on Merivale Road, Mr. Caulfield had helped set up the Anglican Young Peoples' Association there. Later, he became president of the diocesan Sunday School Association, and he always involved himself in work with young people. (This was a good thing because his introduction to the parish had been to deal with church hall windows that "the boys from St. Patrick's next door had broken, a problem that regularly plagued his years at Ascension). Mr. Caulfield left Ascension in 1950 to be the priest at St. James in Perth.

Richard Crossley was quite different from Arthur Caulfield. Mr. Crossley was an Englishman who had been camp chaplain at Petawawa, as well as priest in Matawa and Chalk River. Both he and his wife Elva are still remembered as being kind and friendly by those in the present congregation who were children when he was here. Those who were adults remember, too, that he was very understanding, a man to whom one could take troubles and be guaranteed a real listener. He was also gifted with a great sense of humour and would startle his congregation with swift, sharp remarks when he found them dozing during his sermons. While there were those in the congregation who felt that he was sometimes not sufficiently aware of the dignity his position demanded, most enjoyed his wit. (One newspaper reporter called one of Mr. Crossley's sermons "pungently expressive.")

Mr. Crossley led the church through the difficult post-second-world-war years. The Depression was over, but Canada was suffering from a staggering war debt, and few people were well off. Ascension's parishioners still sent bales to people inside the country (the diocese still sends bales to the north) and every Christmas, sent a Christmas box to a priest and his family in England where rationing was still very strict.
In 1950, one of the Crossleys' three children, their teen-aged daughter Patricia, became very ill, and her Ottawa doctor wanted to send her to Boston for treatment. It was going to be very expensive. The congregation collected enough money for both the trip and the treatment. Patricia recovered, and the grateful Crossleys gave the church the small window on the north side of the chancel as a thanks offering.

In 1952, the year King George the sixth died, the parish finally decided on a memorial to the two world wars. The memorial was a splendid electric organ, a Wurlitzer with a chimes attachment that could be played through the old bell tower under the memorial spire. (This was when the old railway-engine bell was given to St. Augustine's in Newington).

Three years later, after the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, the church mortgage was finally retired in a joyful ceremony in the church hall. The congregation gathered around Ted Gunderson who held a large plate. The paid-up mortgage agreement was put on the plate. Mrs. Teague (the organist) lit a match and set fire to it - to much applause.

There was a much more solemn ceremony the next spring when the church was consecrated by Bishop Ernest Reed. This took place on the evening of May 9. The petition for consecration was presented to the bishop at the church door by Mr. Crossley and wardens, D.A. Edgar and W. Boland. The bishop accepted it with the words, "Brethren, if this be your desire, and the desire of the parishioners, we will now proceed to the act of consecration." The wardens, rector and bishop, followed by the rest of the congregation, proceeded from there into the church and up the aisle to the chancel as they said the twenty-fourth psalm, The Earth is the Lord's and all that therein is.

Then the bishop proceeded with the service of consecration, saying these words just before the final blessing: "Blessed by Thy Name, O Lord God, for that it pleaseth thee to have thy habitation among the sons of men, and to dwell in the midst of the assembly of the saints upon earth. Bless, we beseech thee, the religious service of this day, and grant that, in this place now set apart to thy service, thy holy name may be worshipped in truth and purity to all generations. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen".

Mr. Crossley served in this church for another six years. (N.B., he finally got Arthur Caulfield's new garage.) Alfred Anderson replaced him in 1961 but died after only four and a half months. Edwin Allsopp, who replaced Mr. Anderson, was here for ten years. All anyone seems to remember about him now is that he was very proper, not much fun and a rather fussy, "little old man."

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