MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — The congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church has recommended the parish split from the national Episcopal Church in the United States and align instead with the more orthodox Anglican Church in North America.
The parish’s move comes after its conservative Diocese of South Carolina urged its congregations in October to consider withdrawing from national church bodies because of the diocese’s on-going disagreement with national church leaders over LGBT clergy and inclusion issues.
Over 900 St. Andrew’s members recommended realignment. Only 58 wanted to remain with the national Episcopal body.
The parish’s rector, Rev. Steve Wood, told The Post and Courier in an email: “The call of every Christian is to stand with and for Christ. The amazing story of a God who loves us and pursues us has been lost by our national leadership which seems to no longer believe the very story entrusted to their care. The Gospel story is that God in Christ reaches out to broken and lost humanity offering real hope for a new life. St. Andrew’s seeks to faithfully and humbly give witness to this glorious hope.”
St. Andrew’s vestry will meet after the holidays to consider its next course of action.
The Diocese of South Carolina covers the eastern and lower portions of the state. Its more liberal sister diocese to the north and west, based in Columbia, elected a moderate bishop this month.