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Episcopal again

Episcopal again

Chris Caskey, in The Union Democrat, reports that Sonora California’s historic “Red Church” is now once again an Episcopal Church:

On Monday, leadership with the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin started moving back into what became known in 2007 as St. James’ Anglican Church.

The church has regained St. James’ Episcopal Church as its name after six years of legal wrangling over the oft-photographed building at Highway 49 and Snell Street.

“We got the keys this morning,” the Rev. Eldon “Andy” Anderson, a priest with the Episcopal diocese overseeing church operations, said Monday. “It’s quite an amazing church.”

The article continues on the back history of the conflict, along with the joyful news that there will be an Episcopal service there this Sunday.

Episcopal Cafe has covered the longstanding struggle to return churches to the Diocese of San Joaquin:

San Joaquin invites departed parishes to discuss returning property (June 2009)

San Joaquin sues self-incorporated parishes (Sept. 2010)

Churches are returning to the Diocese of San Joaquin (June 2013)


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Ronald Caldwell

Thanks Eric of the reminder. Jim’s article is important in tracing the money trails behind the Episcopal dissidents. However, it is at least six years old. If anyone knows of a more recent study, please share.

Eric Bonetti

As we work through the property litigation, it is always illuminating to refer to Jim Naughton’s excellent article on the funding behind the dissident factions. Ahmanson’s alleged actions are utterly appalling, and my ardent hope is that loyal Episcopalians will realize that the recent issues are, in many ways, not of our making.

Jim’s article is at



What a beautiful church—sanctuary. The faithful, patient Episcopalians of this parish have their own, ultimately greater beauty!

I passed through Sonora a couple of summers ago, and may do so again this summer. I will try to make a point of visiting “the Red Church” to thank God, and pray God will grant, in Good Time, reconciliation of all who have worshipped here.

JC Fisher

Ronald Caldwell

Congratulations to the faithful, long-suffering Episcopalians of Sonora who through no fault of their own were forced out of their rightful property in order to remain true to their denomination and made to meet elsewhere for six long years. It should never have happened. Unfortunately the same thing is happening in many places in South Carolina and it may well take six years before those innocent church people are able to return to their rightful properties as they surely will in time. The South Carolina Episcopalians should take heart in the good news from Sonora and soon to be from Bakersfield. Keep the faith.


Good news.

June Butler

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