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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

St. David's moving to Canonsburg

By Terri T. Johnson
South Hills Almanac staff writer

The congregation of St. David's Anglican Church in Peters Township will hand over the church property to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, relocate to the former St. Genevieve Roman Catholic Church in Canonsburg and be known by another name, The Anglican Parish of Christ the Redeemer, all by the end of May.

The Rev. David Wilson, rector of St. David's, said unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a settlement with the Episcopal Diocese since a 2010 court order stating the property is owned by the Episcopal Diocese, resulted in the move. St. David's was one of several Episcopal parishes to leave the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in October of 2008. The move was centered primarily on differences in ideology.

"Since the ruling of 2010, the congregation has continued to pay for a sizable mortgage on the property," Wilson said. "We have invested millions of dollars paying for a facility and countless hours maintaining a facility that the courts have ruled belongs to others."

The last service in the current building will be May 20.

The congregation has leased the former St. Genevieve Roman Catholic Church, 120 E. College St., Canonsburg, and the first service is planned for 10 a.m. May 27. The St. Genevieve site is temporary.

Parishioner David Ball said the intention is for part of the parish to eventually return to another site in Peters Township. A second part of the parish will remain and establish an Anglican church in Canonsburg.
The congregation voted unanimously March 25 to hand over the property and to relocate to St. Genevieve's.

"It's been an awful lot of turmoil," Ball said March 27. "Unfortunately, that's the way the court ruled, whether we agree or not. We've been through a grieving process and we're at the end, and the decision was made to move on."

Ball said at the parish meeting there were memories and tears and sadness.

"But at the end, it turned into a joyful thing. It's done. It's over and now we can move on," Ball said.

St. David's opened its door in Peters Township in 1954 with the current building constructed in 2001. There are 250 members with an average Sunday attendance of 140.

Wilson said he was assured by the Episcopal Diocese that organizations using the St. David's building, including the preschool, will not be affected by the property transfer.


  1. Just a word of encouragement to you all on making the move. It must be very sad and liberating at the same time.

  2. Hi Jim

    Thanks for the word of encouragement. You are right sad but liberating. We are moving on knowing we are doing the right thing As Christ has led us.

    I'll pass this on, especially to the folks, who were part of your good ministry here.

  3. David, I was very saddened to read this news. On the Episcopal side of things, we know nothing about "negotiations" except that we are told to believe that things are on hold, so that no drastic decisions will be made. I just can't understand this. I fear for your congregation, losing your new building, (and tremendous investment) and obviously the Episcopal Diocese, who now owe ten thousand bucks/month on a facility not in use, from what I understand. And obviously the negative spin will be at work in both directions. May God bless you in your new endeavor. I can (at least) appreciate the tremendous jump in faith for your congregation. Godspeed.