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WITHIN OUR MEMORY
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.
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 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.
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."