Ending a decades-long dispute, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and Christ Church Accokeek have agreed to a purchase agreement. Christ Church Accokeek has joined the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church of North America. ACNA is a breakaway group not recognized by the Anglican Communion.
Bishop Mariann Budde of the Diocese of Washington announced the sale in a public statement:
After a lengthy process of prayerful discernment, respectful conversation, and engagement with the Presiding Bishop’s Office and the Standing Committee, the leadership of the Diocese of Washington, working together with the leadership of Christ Church Accokeek, has decided to sell the property of Christ Church Accokeek to a new corporate entity that is not in union with the Diocese. We have reached this decision in a spirit of friendship.
The leadership and congregation of Christ Church feel it best to pursue their ministry outside of The Episcopal Church. While the leaders of the Diocese of Washington regret that decision, we honor it and have worked with Christ Church leaders toward mutually agreeable terms for the Diocese and The Episcopal Church to sell their interests in the real and personal property of Christ Church Accokeek. The terms of the agreement were finalized on April 2, 2021. Further, we intend to take formal action at the next regular meeting of the Diocesan Convention to recognize that Christ Church Accokeek is no longer a parish in union with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
In 2012, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s predecessor, former Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori told NPR,
“I’ve had two principles throughout…. One, that the church receive a reasonable approximation of fair market value for assets that are disposed of; and, second, that we not be in the business of setting up competitors that want to either destroy or replace the Episcopal Church.”