A Brief Parish History
The Parish of the Ascension in Mount Pearl can trace its origins to a service of worship held on October 12, 1952 in a converted garage made available by the late James Billard. This service was conducted by the Rev. Canon A. B. S. Stirling, then Rector of the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin in St. John's.
The congregation grew quickly and on June 17, 1956 the first Church of the Ascension was opened and dedicated on Park Avenue by the Right Reverend J. A. Meaden. The Rev. R. T. Mercer led the congregation in the early years when it was affiliated with the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Parish status was granted by the Diocese of Newfoundland on January 1, 1964 and the Rev. R. T. Mercer was inducted as the first Rector on February 23rd of that year.
Throughout the 1960's and 1970's, the Church of the Ascension continued to grow and on September 24, 1978 the second Church of the Ascension was dedicated on Smallwood Drive by Archbishop Robert L. Seaborn. In August of 1980, the Rev. R.T. Mercer retired and the Rev. Murray G. Randell (later Canon) was appointed Rector on September 1. On May 12, 1983 - Ascension Day - the new Church of the Ascension was consecrated by Bishop Martin Mate.
During the 1980's and 1990's, the Parish of the Ascension flourished and on February 27, 1986, at the Congregational Annual Meeting, a decision was made to sponsor the creation of a second Anglican Church in Mount Pearl. On Sunday, April 13, 1986, the Congregation of the Good Shepherd was formed.
The Rev. Geoff Peddle was appointed Rector by Bishop D.F. Harvey on November 1, 1998 following the retirement of Rev. Canon Randell. In September 1999, The Rev. Frank King joined the Parish as Associate Priest and The Rev. Wayne Parsons joined the Parish Staff as Deacon in the Fall of 2001.
At the Parish Annual Meeting on March 7, 1999, the congregation voted to request permission from the Diocese to move ahead with planning for a new Parish Center. At a special Congregational Meeting held on April 25, 1999, the “Annex Building Fund” was created (later to become the Parish Building Fund) and fund-raising began in earnest. Ground-breaking took place on May 5, 2003. The new Parish Centre was officially opened in September 2003.
In April of 2005, Rev. Peddle left the parish to become the Executive Archdeacon for the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and on May 1, 2005 the Rev. Frank King was appointed Priest-In-Charge of the Parish.
On August 15, 2005 the Rev. David Burrows was appointed Rector by the Rt. Rev'd Cyrus Pitman, Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador. In September of 2005, The Rev. Wayne Parsons left the parish to continue his studies at Queen's College, training for the priesthood.
Rev. King resigned in June of 2007 to become rector of the parish in Harbour Grace and it was not till June of 2008 that Rev. Illife Sheppard became our new associate priest.
The parish ministry team was expanded again in August of 2008 with the appointment of Susan Jane Moore as Coordinator of Youth and Young Families. Susan was with the parish until June 2010.