October 14, 2007- Savannah, GA. By a decisive margin of 87% the congregation of historic Christ Church voted overwhelmingly to affirm the vestry’s September 30, 2007 decision to place itself under the pastoral care of The Rt. Reverend John Guernsey, Rector of All Saint’s Church in Woodbridge, VA and a bishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion’s province of Uganda, Africa. The action followed a prolonged process of disciplined prayer and discernment.
“It saddens us that The Episcopal Church (TEC) has chosen to walk apart from the rest of the Communion. We have been an Anglican parish since the founding of the Colony of Georgia, and it is important to us that we continue to participate as members in good standing with the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion,” said Steve Dantin, Senior Warden.
TEC, the U.S. “branch” or province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, received a final call from the Anglican Communion to return to orthodox Christianity and to signify the same by taking certain actions no later than September 30, 2007. TEC failed to comply, and thus it abandoned the communion previously existing between TEC (including the Diocese of Georgia) and Christ Church. Therefore, Christ Church appealed to Bishop Guernsey and Archbishop Orombi for their pastoral care and oversight, which has been granted.
“This has been a long and arduous journey,” said Dantin. “It was gratifying to see the large number of parishioners participate in this process. Our congregation has spoken clearly.”
Along with 33 other Anglican congregations in the U.S., Christ Church is under the authority of Archbishop Henry Orombi of the Province of Uganda, which has a membership of 9.5 million people. Christ Church is one of over 1,000 congregations representing more than 200,000 U.S. Anglicans and 1,200 clergy who are associates of the Anglican Communion Network, an ecclesial, Anglican body in the U.S. Christ Church is also an affiliate of the American Anglican Council, an advocacy group for Anglican orthodoxy in the United States.
“We look forward to working to build a biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism in North America,” said The Reverend Marc Robertson, Rector of Christ Church. “In the meantime nothing is changing at Christ Church. Our location, mission, ministry, education and worship services are continuing as usual.”
Founded in 1733 with the establishment of the Georgia colony, Christ Church is the Mother Church of Georgia and the oldest continuous Christian congregation in the state. Christ Church predates the establishment of The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Diocese of Georgia. Early rectors include British evangelists John Wesley and George Whitefield. Located on its original site on historic Johnson Square in downtown Savannah, Christ Church continues as an active and thriving congregation.