Episcopal services resume at Tejon St. property on Palm Sunday

Update, 5pm: The Gazette reports,

A judge on Wednesday ordered the Anglican parish that’s been meeting at Grace Church, 631 N. Tejon St., to vacate the building by April 3 at 5 p.m., setting the stage for the exiled Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal parish to hold its first service in the gothic church on Palm Sunday.

The Rev. Alan Crippen II of the Anglican church said Wednesday the parish plans to abide by the judge’s ruling to vacate the property by April 3. The Anglican vestry is seeking another building in which to hold their Palm Sunday service on April 5.

Judge Larry Schwartz also ordered the Anglican parish priest, Donald Armstrong, to vacate the rectory, where he lives on Electra Drive in the Skyline Way area, by May 8. This revised the original order issued on Tuesday, which stated that Armstrong would have to vacate by April 1.


As we first reported yesterday the judge in the property trial of Grace and St. Stephen’s in Colorado has awarded the parish property to the continuing Episcopal parish. That parish has now issued a statement: the 4th District Court has ruled in their favor in a court fight over their historic property at 601 N. Tejon St. An Anglican congregation led by Donald Armstrong took over the church property in March 2007. For nearly 2 years since then the Episcopal congregation has continued their vibrant ministry, meeting for worship, study and fellowship at First Christian Church. (Disciples of Christ) nearby at Platte and Cascade. Upon hearing the news, the Episcopal parish’s priest, the Rev. Martin Pearsall said, “Wow! I did not expect the decision to come so quickly. There is so much to do, but we are thankful that the uncertainty is over and that we can return to our historic facility. There are no winners here. We just hope to rebuild the congregation and strengthen our ties to the downtown community.”

Grace Episcopal parishioners who have belonged to the church for decades look forward to returning to the Tejon St. property and rejoining their many friends there. The first Episcopal services in two years at the majestic church on N. Tejon St. will be held on Palm Sunday, April 5….

Read it all. You may want to monitor the parish website for further developments.

But as the Colorado Springs Gazette says, “the legal wrangling isn’t over”:

Both sides will be back in Judge Larry Schwartz’s courtroom today to argue when Grace Church & St. Stephen’s should be off the premises. Gregory Walta, attorney for Grace Church & St. Stephen’s, filed a motion Tuesday asking that the church be given until at least April 7, plus additional days, if needed, to get off the property. Martin Nussbaum, attorney for the diocese, wants the church out by April 1, a date that Schwartz initially OK’d.

Nussbaum also is asking that the congregation exiled from the $17-million Tejon Street property, Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal, be allowed to hire a security team to patrol the property to avoid theft. “We don’t want a wholesale looting of the building,” said Lynn L. Olney, senior warden of Grace Episcopal.

Walta said Tuesday he plans to appeal Schwartz’s decision.

Read it all, a rewrite of an article we linked to yesterday.

It seems the CANA congregation changed its mind. From the ENS report: “The Rev. Alan R. Crippen II, a CANA priest and spokesperson for the disaffiliated Grace and St. Stephen’s congregation, said the group intends to abide by the judge’s order to leave the building by April 1.”

The Gazette provides a helpful timeline.

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