Diocese nears settlement with Bristol parish

An article in the Hartford Courant reports that leadership of Trinity Church in Bristol Connecticut and the Diocese of Connecticut are beginning to approach a settlement in a property dispute that resulted when the leadership of parish voted to leave the diocesan structures.

From the article:

‘Lawyers for a Bristol congregation, which defected from the Episcopal Church to join a more conservative Anglican group last year, and the Connecticut Diocese are negotiating an end to litigation over the church property, according to church sources.

Members of the Trinity Church parish and its pastor, the Rev. Donald Helmandollar, probably will vacate the property once the diocese’s lawsuit against Trinity is dismissed, the sources said.

Neither Helmandollar nor Connecticut Episcopal Bishop Andrew Smith would discuss the negotiations, citing the sensitive nature of the relationship between Trinity and the diocese.

The question of who keeps the church building and all the property once a congregation votes to leave the Episcopal Church is one that has preoccupied church officials on both the state and national level in recent years.”

The article points out that this settlement may only effect this parish. The other congregations which voted to leave are using different strategies and creating alliances with other conservative groups within the Anglican Communion.

Read the rest here.

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