THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH
Although unable to hold office or vote in the earliest years, the women of Christ Church have played a vital role, sharing both talents and time, as they raised money for the care and maintenance of the church. They held bazaars and lunches at the Walton House (a local hotel). Later two groups of women were responsible for raising money. The afternoon group was responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the rectory, and St. Hilda’s Guild was responsible for the parish hall and the expenses of and supplying teachers for the Sunday School. One of the primary responsibilities of the women since the earliest days is that of the members of the altar guild. They prepare the church and sanctuary for every service, care for all items after the service; washing, ironing and repairing the linens and hangings, polishing silver and brass, and ensuring that the church is clean and tidy. In 1926, women were given the right to vote at church meetings and for electing its officers. After a change in diocesan canons, Sue Grant was elected to serve as the first woman on the vestry of Christ Church in 1971. In 1973 the Reverend Richmond Hutchins asked Tory Carpenter to serve as the first female acolyte at Christ Church. This was done at the suggestion of Marg Hammond who had recently attended an Episcopal church service in Florida where she had seen girl acolytes service at the altar. In 1988, Shirley Carpenter was elected to be the first woman warden. Other firsts include the first woman rector at Christ Church, Kathleen Adams-Shepherd, who came to Clayton in 1987, and later, when she was appointed Dean of the North Country District, was the first woman district dean in the Diocese of Central New York.
THE CHILDREN OF THE CHURCH
Sunday School has been a vital program with varying numbers of children participating. During the years of organization, large numbers of both children and adults were baptized and confirmed. There have been children and young people involved as choristers, acolytes, and young people’s organizations. They raised funds to purchase both the altar cross and the processional cross and helped buy the 1908 organ. Their many teachers over the years have helped them produce Christmas pageants from the very simple to more professional. The church has supported boy and girl scout troops, summer educational programs by the Thousand Islands Art Center, and has shared vacations bible school programs with the other three churches in the community for many summers. We are proud to recognize John LeClaire, who received his God and Country scouting award at Christ Church under the direction of the rector, Richmond Hutchins. For several years in the mid 1900’s, the local school cooperated with a released time class, allowing children to attend religious classes at their respective church.