From the Daily Pilot:
The Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees asked more than 100 parishioners gathered at St. James the Great Episcopal Church on Sunday morning what the walls of their longtime church might say if they could speak.
Voorhees wrote to the parish last week, acknowledging the end of a legal battle to keep the building and its land from being sold by the diocese.
It is with great sadness that I write this last pastoral letter. As you may have heard, the temporary restraining order the SaveSaintJamesTheGreat.org association filed this week was denied in court yesterday. There, I learned we were part of another land purchase, where St. James the Great’s proceeds are intended to complete another transaction. We were apparently a pawn in the bishop’s game of thrones all along. …
This Sunday will be our last service and I hope you will all attend to show each other the love and support you have all so richly shown me these last 19 months. After the service, the Evaluation Team will be sharing their thoughts at the coffee hour.
Peace and love to all of you. My prayers are with you always.
A letter on the Save St James website offers a picture of last Sunday’s worship, expected to be the last offered in the building.
photos via www.savestjamesthegreat.org
However, all had not been quite resolved by Sunday, according to the Daily Pilot.
Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles announced in May that the church building and two nearby parking lots were being sold for about $15 million to Legacy Partners Residential, which plans to build 22 high-end townhomes on the site. The sale, which was expected to be finalized Friday, did not close, according to St. James staff.
Robert Williams, spokesman for the diocese, said the sale is still underway. “The due-diligence process on the sale is proceeding,” he wrote in an email.
The delay centers around a restriction on the land placed on the deed by its former owner, which had stipulated that the site remain a church. The diocese contends that the restriction was removed by negotiation in 1985.
“Griffith’s assertions that the use restriction has not been released and remains enforceable has created a cloud on the bishop’s title to the property and has jeopardized and interfered with the bishop’s sale on the property,” lawyers for the bishop wrote in court filings.
The bishop is asking the court to confirm his right to sell the property and for the court to levy monetary damages against the Griffith Co., according to court papers.
According to the Save St James the Great website, diocesan officials have changed the locks and sent the staff home.
An earlier report on this story can be found here.
Posted by Rosalind Hughes