In August of that year, Canon Proctor arrived at Dawson Creek (the former townsite) and at that time the only Anglican Church in the area was St. Paul’s in Kilkerran. He was responsible during the 13 years of service in the district for the erection of seven churches and three church halls. St. Martin’s Church, Rolla was the third Anglican Church to be built under his guidance and was built during 1931.
Prior to the building of St. Martin’s, Canon Proctor held regular church services at Rolla in the home of Mrs. Clive Braden and in Bill Haenel’s Pool Hall, as well as the Pioneer Hall. The Rolla Women’s Auxiliary was organized early in 1930 and the following news item appeared in the May 6, 1930 issue of the Peace River Block News:
“The Rolla W. A. of the Anglican Church held a very successful bazaar two weeks ago. The bazaar was opened by Mrs. Proctor and was carried on by Mesdames C. Cornock, G. Hiffernan, L. Braden, L. Lewis, D. L. Barker, and Miss K. Simms. A good crowd was in attendance and the proceeds went towards the building fund for the new church.”
As Canon Proctor’s work within the district became more exacting, it was decided by the Bishop and the Diocesan Council that they would appoint a minister to serve the Parish of Rolla. With this in mind, the diocese purchased the residence of C. S. Kitchen for the first Anglican rectory at Rolla. The property became available when the Kitchen family moved the printing plant to Dawson Creek in March 1932. Rev. R. Durnford arrived in the fall of 1932 and moved into the rectory.
The following news item, with regard to the Women’s Auxiliary, appeared in the July 22, 1936 issue of the Peace River Block News:
“Monday, July 20, 1936 was the day set for the 6th annual Deanery W. A. which was held at St. Martin’s Anglican Church, Rolla. As early as 7:30 a.m. trucks and cars were beginning to load up with members to attend the Deanery gathering. At 12 noon some 67 members had gathered at St. Martin’s for service.
“The church and hall were prettily decorated with flowers including a beautiful Tea Rose from Mrs. Shepherd’s garden.
“The Deanery commenced with a celebration of Holy Communion, The Rural Dean, Canon Proctor was the celebrant, assisted by the rector, the Rev. Roy Durnford.”
“The Rural Dean gave a fitting sermon on Dorcas from the 9th Chapter of Acts and showed how the W. A. had tried to follow up her good work.”
The Rev. Durnford served Rolla and area for nearly four years. It was in 1936 that he preached his farewell sermons throughout Canon Proctor’s field. About December 1st he left for a visit to England, returning to Canada at a later date. At the outbreak of war he enlisted as a Chaplain with a Canadian regiment. While serving overseas he married, and at the end of hostilities he returned to Vancouver where he resided until his passing. His wife still resides at Vancouver and their daughter is married and lives at Nelson, B. C.
The next Anglican minister in the Rolla Parish was C. C. Roycroft of Bristol, England. On August 23, 1937, he was ordained a deacon by the Rt. Rev. G. A. Rix, Bishop of Caledonia. Rev. Roycroft served only a short time and left for a new posting early in 1938.
Following Rev. Roycroft was the Rev. G. Parrott of Emmanuel College, Saskatoon. On June 1, 1938 he was licensed as a Deacon to Rolla and district. In 1939 he left the diocese for Calgary.
The Rev. Andrew Scott was appointed in charge of the Rolla parish on June 1, 1939. He was inducted on July 26, 1939 by the Bishop of Caledonia and Canon Proctor. He remained as minister of Rolla and area until April 1941 when he left for the diocese of Saskatchewan.
During the next few years the attendance at St. Martin’s, Rolla gradually declined. The last marriage recorded at the church was June 29, 1939 performed by Canon Proctor. The last baptism recorded was July 21, 1940 performed by Rev. A. W. Scott. There was a baptismal service held on Sept. 25, 1942 by Canon Proctor but there was no record of who was baptized.