In the 1960s, St. Andrew’s purchased the property where our church stands from the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee with its own money. St. Andrew’s also chose to have a relationship with the diocese. Because it is an Anglo-Catholic church, though, the relationship was never intended to be the same as other Episcopal churches. The diocese and its bishop at the time, John Vander Horst, not only knew this, they encouraged St. Andrew’s and its rector, Edwin Conly, to grow their unique church.
In exchange for the purchase price, Bishop Vander Horst gave us a warranty deed. The deed conveyed the property to St. Andrew’s free and clear, with no trust in favor of the diocese. The diocese also asked St. Andrew’s to formalize the parties’ special relationship through modified language in its corporate charter.
But the story does not end there. When St. Andrew’s arrived at the property, it found a dilapidated mansion and other poorly maintained buildings. St. Andrew’s parishioners built a new church building, later razed the mansion and built a new parish hall. Over the years, St. Andrew’s alone has paid to maintain its buildings and operate its church.
I am very pleased that this excellent and clear article was written and is out there in the media.
What Bishop Bauerschmidt and the Diocese are doing is wrong. The Diocese is a conservative diocese — and that’s great. I’d be honored to worship in many of its parishes.
But engaging in legalized theft of someone’s property is immoral and sinful.
Stealing a congregation’s property is wrong.
But, Sarah, TEC doesn’t think so, do they? As a bishop, Bauerschmitt indirectly speaks for the whole Church, even though he doesn’t claim to.
RE: “TEC doesn’t think so.”
The current leadership of TEC doesn’t, nope.
Vast hordes of laypeople — and even many clergy — disagree with them.