Bp. Seabury Goes Low Church

Adapted from an update by the Diocese of Connecticut

What has been Bishop Seabury Episcopal Church is the new home of Stedfast Baptist Church, an independent Baptist congregation founded in 1992.

The Diocese of Connecticut had maintained a parish presence on the site since 1966, when the congregation relocated there from its former home at Fort Street in Groton.

The congregation that worshiped at the Groton church is now Bishop Seabury Anglican Church, which meets in nearby Gales Ferry Landing and is part of the Anglican Church in North America. It lost a prolonged legal dispute with the diocese in an effort to remain in the Groton building.

For the last 18 months lay and ordained leaders from the diocesan office and from Episcopal parishes in Gales Ferry, New London, Niantic, Norwich, Poquetanuck, Stonington, Mystic, and Yantic have discussed the future of the building. In a community-wide meeting in January, representatives of the neighborhood, social service agencies, other faith communities, and municipal offices all shared their hopes and dreams, needs and aspirations for Groton.

After that meeting the meeting Episcopal leaders decided to sell the building to another Christian community and use the proceeds to support a new missionary program of the diocese.

“I am delighted that the building formerly known as Bishop Seabury Church will continue to be a house of prayer for sisters and brothers in Christ,” said the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut. “And I am particularly excited that the resources freed up by the sale of the building will help to underwrite a new missionary program through the Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.

“After all, Bishop Samuel Seabury, the first bishop in the Episcopal Church, was a pioneering missionary in these parts in the early years of American independence. I can think of no better use of the money coming from the sale of the church that bears his name than to support new missionaries in Connecticut today.”

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