Skip to comments.Virginia Episcopal parish, diocese reach accord
Posted on 11/12/2006 7:29:46 AM PST by sionnsar
An Episcopal congregation in Woodbridge has become the first to strike a deal with the Diocese of Virginia about how it plans to leave the Episcopal Church.
All Saints Episcopal Church is one of seven Episcopal churches in Northern Virginia that are considering leaving the diocese because of the Episcopal Churchs decision in 2003 to consecrate a homosexual bishop.
The leaders of All Saints, a 500-member congregation, announced Thursday they will cede the churchs property to the diocese, which will pay the remaining $188,000 mortgage.
Then, All Saints will rent the property from the diocese for $1 a year for five years while it builds a new 800-seat church on a $2.7-million piece of property it bought in 2001. The site is on 28 acres near the Potomac Mills shopping mall in Prince William County.
This is very, very encouraging for us, said the Rev. John Guernsey, rector of All Saints. It helps us move forward.
Although Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee has said that he will sue any church trying to leave his diocese, this agreement releases All Saints from further legal obligations.
Read it all.
This sounds like a pretty good deal. I wonder what compelled the bishop to agree to such an amicable solution?
It might also be as a precedent for the churches sitting on historic properties...? I really have no idea.
I think the clue can be found in the earlier story on the subject:
"The congregation carries about $2.6 million in debt on the property."
The bishop probably figured the option was to have the congregation walk away and leave him with a $2.6 million dollar debt.
Instead, the bishop just has a $188,000 debt and has 5 years to market the property, which he can probably flip for a nice profit, even factoring in the carrying costs.
I attend Church of the Apostles in Fairfax. We are one of the Northern Virginia churches that will be voting on a departure from the Diocese of Virginia and TEC.
I guess we have to begin preparing for the lawsuits.
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