Jeff Walton–Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Faces Costs of Legal Victory

With continuing Episcopal congregations either ill-prepared to maintain properties or altogether nonexistent, paired with a diocese that is stretched thin financially, there are few options for stewarding church properties awarded by courts. With the diocese indicating that the sale of non-consecrated properties will go to paying off legal costs, the only source of long-term revenue is either to grow the size of the continuing Episcopal parishes or to lease their consecrated property to others.

Having abandoned the practice of church planting, Virginia Episcopalians seem unlikely to grow their financially vulnerable congregations. The Falls Church continuing Episcopal congregation lists only an increase of 10 attendees in the past three years, with few baptisms and confirmations. Diocesan officials may be hoping that a large number of former Episcopalians will stay tethered to the property, thus returning to the Episcopal fold. If only 5 percent of the Anglican congregation remains with the property, it would more than double the attendance at the Episcopal parish.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

5 comments on “Jeff Walton–Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Faces Costs of Legal Victory

  1. A Senior Priest says:


  2. Mark Baddeley says:

    When you can see that, for the most part, your ‘Episcopal Church’ is in its last generation, [i]and[/i] you see that it exists to help forward the progressive cause in society, then these legal cases are both necessary and good. The property will allow the Diocese to continue for a number of years longer before it has to close up shop – providing a place of old Episcopalians, and employment for Episcopalian clergy. It may even allow it to help promote some progressive causes in that time.

    My impression is that most of those leading the charge find the idea that doing this helps sign TEC’s death warrant strange. They have no vision of evangelism or of passing the faith (whatever it is) on to the next generation. They’ve come to terms with TEC’s ‘death’ around about the same time (give or take a decade or two) they die, and can see that changing that would require a denomination being and doing things that would utterly alienate them. In that light, it’s not that they don’t think they’re dying, it’s that they not sure why you think that should motivate them to do anything differently.

  3. sophy0075 says:

    This is why the faux churches also want to steal the foundation monies of the Anglican congregations – to buy themselves a few more months of keeping the lights on. Lacking a unique purpose for its being, TEC and similar mainline Protestant denominations that now espouse the secular humanist relativist philosophy, will continue to lose ground. After all, why should any do-gooder want to get up early on a Sunday morning to hear the same non-God based platitudes (s)he could hear at a Kiwanis, Toastmasters, or other organization’s meeting at a weekday lunch? The only time these faux congregations will see any increase in their pews is on Christmas and Easter, when the “social Christians” go to church because they “should” – and those folks won’t be increasing their Sundays of attendance, because they won’t be hearing anything from the pulpit that will sway them to.

  4. Cennydd13 says:

    Umm, do I hear the death rattles? Well, maybe not just yet, but they sure aren’t very far off! The signs of collapse have begun to appear, with Episcopal walls showing cracks and desperate measures being taken to grab as much as possible while they still have anything left to grab.

    These are desperate acts by desperate people in power.

  5. Statmann says:

    The Dio of VA took its losses in 2002 through 2010 and (to its credit) correctly reported them. Plate & Pledge has been flat but still large. The seven properties now regained are a mixed blessing. Apostles, St Paul, and , and Truro do not have remnants listed by Dio. Ephiphany has ASA of 20 (was 200). St Margaret has ASA of 70 (was 200), Falls Church has ASA of 40 (was 200), and St Stephen has ASA of 35 (was 100). And trust funds regained may also be substantial. BUT, THE DIO IS LOSING THE FUTURE AS (FOR 2002 THROUGH 2010) mARRAIGES DECLINED BY 41.6 PERCENT (702 TO 410) AND INFANT BAPTISMS DECLINED 44.8 PERCENT (FROM 1853 TO 1023). Statmann