Statement of the Right Reverend Henry I Louttit, Ninth Bishop of Georgia concerning the recent announcement by the present leadership of Christ Church (Episcopal), Savannah of their intention to leave the Episcopal Church:
I have just been informed that the rector and wardens of Christ Church, Savannah have voted to leave the Episcopal Church. It is important to clarify the ecclesiastical structure of our denomination. Parishes in our church are not separate congregations but are integral and constituent parts of a diocese and of the larger church. Should some individuals in a parish decide they can no longer be Episcopalians, that in no way changes the fact that Christ Church is and will remain a parish of the Episcopal Church in this diocese and will continue to occupy its present facilities.
Even though some parishioners of Christ Church have chosen to leave the Episcopal Church, I will work with those who remain to ensure that they will have newly empowered leaders, vestry members and clergy to lead them and carry forward the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church at Christ Church, Savannah. To that end the continuing members of the Parish of Christ Church will meet in St. Paul the Apostle Episcopal Church, 34th & Abercorn, at 5 p.m. Sunday October 7 for the liturgy of Holy Communion and for a time of fellowship.
No matter what path any individual or any group may choose, Christ Church in its present facilities will carry on its portion of the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church here in Savannah and in the broader community and world. Should some decide that they can no longer take part in that mission and ministry, we will wish them well. However, we will continue to do God’s work at Christ Church, a parish of the Diocese of Georgia in the Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church has weathered many storms over the last two hundred years and we will weather the present one as well. Please know that I want no one at Christ Church or elsewhere in this diocese to leave this part of God’s church that we call the Episcopal Church. But also know that should anyone choose to leave us, the doors of the Episcopal Church in this diocese will remain open for their return.