Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Episcopal cathedral shoe drops

It is the year 2012, do you know where your local Episcopal cathedral is? Are you sure that there still is one?

Veteran religion-beat pro Richard C. Dujardin at The Providence Journal had a short, but important, story the other day about a church closing that — if what I am hearing is correct — represents a bit of a trend in the hard-hit liberal Protestant economies of the Northeast and Midwest. What we have here is a story that needs a few more facts on the ground and in the pews.

The basic question: Is there an official list somewhere of the Episcopal Church cathedrals that are being closed and/or sold? Does anyone have a website up with folks placing bets attempting to predict which of these lovely sanctuaries will be the first to be turned into condos? A really spectacular bed and breakfast? Here is the opening of this timely report:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John — which began as King’s Church in 1722 and is the Diocese of Rhode Island’s fourth oldest church — is shutting down, with a final service set for April 22.

Parishioners of the cathedral church, the seat of Bishop Geralyn Wolf, learned the news on Sunday from the Right Rev. David Joslin, the cathedral’s interim dean, and Deacon Barbara May-Stock, during the parish’s annual meeting on North Main Street.
Parishioner Marjorie Beach says many were in tears when advised that because of declining numbers of pledging families and the cost of salaries and benefits, the parish could no longer continue — at least for now. The church closed temporarily once before — during the American Revolution.
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