The breakaway group at Christ Church, Savannah, GA, will return possession of the church to the Episcopal diocese and its local congregation at noon December 12th.
A number of news outlets have covered the story. Savannah Morning News reports:
The agreement, reached in accordance with a Nov. 21 state Supreme Court ruling, will transfer the property to the Diocese of Georgia and Christ Church Episcopal, the Rev. Frank Logue said.
“Christ Church Episcopal will hold its first service in its historic home on Johnson Square on Sunday, Dec. 18 with two services,” Logue said.
Christ Church Episcopal left the church property four years ago in a flap with the breakaway group who remained after a dispute over the affirmation of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.
Chatham County Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf and a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled with the Episopal Church group in litigation.
On Nov. 21, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled with the two earlier courts and held the local church and its property belonged to the Episcopal Church and not local congregation.
“Despite the lawsuit, the departing congregation has been very gracious about this and we want to be as well,” Logue said.The breakaway congregation at Christ Church on Johnson Square will return the church to the Episcopal diocese and its local congregation at noon Dec. 12, a diocese spokesman said Thursday.
The Rev. Marc Robertson said his congregation has agreed to hold its final Sunday service Dec. 11 at Christ Church, a sanctuary built in 1840. The church traces its roots to the state’s founding in 1733 and has long been known as the “Mother Church of Georgia.”
“We will transfer keys to the other party by noon on the following day,” said Robertson, whose congregation has promised an orderly swap with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. He said another local church has agreed to let the group share its building for worship services….
…The breakaway group’s board chairman, David Reeves, said its leaders voted earlier this week not to ask the court to reconsider its 6-1 ruling.