Friday, October 14, 2011

A Cathedral Closes...

Now this is something that does not often take place -- a Cathedral Church, the home of the Bishop, closing.  The Church is the Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint John located in Wilmington, Delaware.  Dated September 30, 2011, the leadership of the congregation issued a letter announcing the closing and expressing regret that the declining congregation, finances, and resources of this cathedral church left them with no other option. So much for the house of God that DuPont buiilt.

Delaware is not the only diocese of the Episcopal Church to face financial problems.  What with the setting up of an Anglican Church in North America as an option for Episcopalians disenchanted with the direction of the Episcopal Church leadership and tired of being in the news for this radical stand or another, this may not be the last cathedral to face problems.  In addition, Rome's decision to set up an Anglican Ordinariate will only siphon off more from the already foundering good ship Episcopal Church USA.

Sad though, they have a choir school which faces an uncertain future and a decent enough building.  Perhaps some non-denominational group will buy it up and turn it into a coffee house ministry.... So sad... but not exactly surprising.  Read it all here.


Anonymous said...

"Declining membership and an inability to attract new members and pledges in sufficient numbers has added to the financial uncertainty."

In denial to the end.

The leaders drove away the faithful by preaching a false gospel.

Rev. Luke T. Zimmerman said...

Though disagreeing with the ECUSA's doctrinal teachings, I'm sad to see this church close. It's in a neighborhood that had demographic change and lost wealth. (The cathedral church is at the intersection of US 202 - Concord Ave & US 13 - N Market St.)

With the closure, this will be another urban neighborhood that loses a landmark. More importantly, it loses a place where Christ's Gospel could be proclaimed in word and deed. I would hope that some group like ACNA or NALC might be able to purchase the site, but with the ECUSA's current stance on property disposal, that is unlikely.

Travel a mile southeast on Vandever Ave, and you will pass through a working-class neighborhood and to a warehouse district that houses an Orphan Grain Train shipping site.