Seven-year Covenant Succeeds
  • Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Adapted from a report by the Diocese of Olympia

The Diocese of Olympia and two Anglican churches that left the Episcopal Church in 2004 have reached an amicable settlement that returns all property to the diocese and allows all parties to continue their ministries.

St. Charles Anglican Church, Poulsbo, and Grace by the Sea, Oak Harbor, placed themselves under the authority of the Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti of Recife, Brazil, after leaving the Episcopal Church.

In December 2006, the diocese and the two churches signed a covenant that provided for seven-and-a-half years in which no action would be taken regarding property. The agreement also provided time for the worldwide Anglican Communion to address its divisions on sexuality.

The two Anglican parishes appeared as amici curiae in a failed petition to the U.S. Supreme Court [PDF] regarding the property of other congregations, but otherwise the parties avoided court involvement.

During the period of the covenant, St. Charles Church remained in a building that now returns to the Diocese of Olympia. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and Grace by the Sea Church shared property at 555 SE Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor. St. Stephen’s will remain there.

St. Charles Anglican now worships in a community building at 19351 8th Ave. NE, Suite 205, in Poulsbo. The Archdiocese of Seattle has welcomed Grace by the Sea for worship at its linked parishes of St. Mary’s Church, Coupeville, and St. Augustine’s Church, Oak Harbor.

June 30 marked the end of the covenant — and a peaceful resolution of these property disputes.

Image: A pastoral moment at St. Charles in 2012, via Flickr.

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