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Regarding the article, "Homeless Bishop Seabury parish finds a place," (May 9), I am glad to learn that this congregation has indeed located a place for their worship and Christian education. I am writing to correct the characterization of their departure from the church building on North Road in Groton.
It is the practice of The Episcopal Church, affirmed in courts, that the Church retains the property in its name and each succeeding generation serves as stewards of it. Archdeacon Ron Gauss was aware of this well before he and a majority of the congregation voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join a group under the authority of a bishop from the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
While we wish they could have stayed, and held meetings with them to that end, we respected their choice. As Gauss alludes to in the article, that choice knowingly severed their official relationship to The Episcopal Church, thus to the property.
In good faith, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, who by then had succeeded Bishop Andrew Smith as Diocesan Bishop, met three times with Gauss and lay leaders of the congregation and among other choices he offered them after they had voted to leave The Episcopal Church was an offer to lease the space to them, which they declined.