St. Andrew’s church leaving its Vestal home

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost six months after withdrawing from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, members of St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Vestal will leave their buildings on Mirador Road this week and share facilities with a Baptist congregation on Front Street.

After the congregation's vestry voted in June to leave the Episcopal Church, leaders faced the prospect of a long and costly legal battle with the diocese over the local parish's buildings, which include a church, community center and rectory.

"We said all along that we would not go to court for our buildings," said the Rev. Anthony Seel, pastor of St. Andrew's Anglican Church. "We do not believe that Christians ought to be suing Christians. The diocese had already sued St. Andrew's in Syracuse (which also withdrew), and we decided we weren't going to get involved in a court battle."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes

9 Comments
Posted November 28, 2007 at 5:12 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Shame on the Bishop of Central New York for not being Christian in his treatment of orthodox Anglicans within his diocese.

The parish in Vestal leaves the field of dispute ‘in honor.  The bishop retains the properties of that departing parish in a manner that ‘speaks little of honor.’

“Honor” in this context means, to me, that the Vestal parish chose not to ‘sully’ the Body of Christ’ with a lawsuit. 

Does the Bishop of Central New York read the same bible as the departing members of the parish in Vestal?

November 28, 9:39 pm | [comment link]
2. Albany* wrote:

130—down from 180 after 2003—is a very decent size congregation in that area to lose. I wonder what Central New York’s average parish size is these days.

November 28, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
3. Ad Orientem wrote:

Albany,
I am a native of the Binghamton area which includes Vestal.  While I can not speak about St. Andrews I will comment on nearby Christ Church.  My sister was married there and my niece (and God daughter) was baptized there.  (This was before I converted to Orthodoxy.)  During this period I attended services with my mother and sister a few times. 

To say that Christ Church was one of the more beautiful churches I have been in would be more than fair.  It is a very historic church that FDR once worshiped in among others.  Today it is probably what passes for high church in the central New York area, which doesn’t say very much.  When I attended serviced we were usually the youngest people there with most of the congregants appearing to be well past retirement age.  The overall attendance was never more than twenty on any Sunday I can remember. 

Every time i was there I kept thinking that such a church building would be packed to the rafters if they handed it over to a Traditionalist Roman Catholic (or maybe Western Rite Orthodox) parish.  It was really so depressing.  Although at the time I was still floundering around in the Roman Church (my sister is a convert to TEC), even then I knew that there were huge problems.  I have no clue how the church is being kept open with its attendance.

November 29, 12:06 am | [comment link]
4. Katherine wrote:

May God bless this parish and its rector and family, now without a rectory to live in.

November 29, 1:48 am | [comment link]
5. Statmann wrote:

Interesting diocese. I guess, if my first name were Gladstone, even as a bishop I might settle for a nickname, but Skip?!? But I digress. From 1996 through 2002 the diocese lost about 11 percent of its membership while Plate & Pledge increased by about 17 percent, which just about covered inflation. From 2002 through 2006 the diocese lost about 17 percent of its membership while Plate & Pledge increased by about 10 percent which did not cover inflation. As for only two groups leaving the diocese, this is to be expected with about 70 percent of its parishes having Plate & Pledge budgets of less than $100,000. The two groups that did depart had Plate & Pledge budgets over $100,000. Hence, they have a chance of success.  Statmann

November 29, 3:02 am | [comment link]
6. Id rather not say wrote:

As someone who once worshiped in St Andrews and had high school friends there (and knew the rector back in the 70s), I am very sad to hear this—but God bless the congregation, which has shown the courage of its convictions.

I could say a lot about Skip Adams, but will refrain . . .

November 29, 10:27 am | [comment link]
7. wildfire wrote:

“Skip” is a common nickname for someone with the numeral III after his name.  It could have been worse; he could have been called “Tertius.”  Rom. 16:22.

November 29, 11:27 am | [comment link]
8. TonyinCNY wrote:

FYI, Christ Church, once a cardinal parish of the diocese has been in merger talks with Trinity Memorial, also in Binghamton and also once a cardinal parish of the diocese.  My read is that Binghamton is just not big enough to support two liberal pecusa parishes even with their liturgical differences.

November 29, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
9. MJD_NV wrote:

May God bless you & your flock, Fr. Tony.

November 30, 11:51 am | [comment link]
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