Diocese of TN sues to reclaim church

The Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee has filed a lawsuit to reclaim St. Andrew’s in Nashville according to The Tennessean:

The Rev. James Guill, rector of St. Andrew’s, says his congregation left the Episcopal Church and joined a breakaway Anglican diocese based in Quincy, Ill. They claim to have taken the deed to their property with them…

The bishop disagrees. He says that St. Andrew’s is still an Episcopal church. Guill and church members can vacate the building and join any group they want, said Bauerschmidt, as long as they leave the church keys by the door when they go.

“Parishes don’t have the option to leave the diocese,” Bauerschmidt said. “People can do whatever they want. But a parish doesn’t have that option.”

For the past three years, the two sides have been at a standstill, with neither willing to budge. The congregation of St. Andrew’s continued to worship in the building, while the diocese waited for a change of heart on the part of Guill’s congregation. That ended Friday, when the diocese filed suit against St. Andrew’s to reclaim the property.

Bishop Bauerschmidt is one of the Communion Partner Bishops who support the Windsor report and the proposed Anglican Covenant.

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