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August 03, 2010


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Johannah Turner

That building is magnificent, a treasure. It was irresponsible to abandon it for the use you described. Canon 1222 ยง1 says: "If a church cannot in any way be used for divine worship and there is no possibility of its being restored, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for some secular BUT NOT UNBECOMING purpose." [emphasis added] That may not apply after the building has been sold, I don't know. I examined the photos. As far as I'm concerned it's all part of the D&F of WC.

In 2006 The Times (UK) reported that over the five previous years, 2000 churches, sold by cash-strapped ecclesiastical authorities, had been remodeled into private homes, and that church-to-home conversions were even more popular than barn conversions.

In the "nothing new under the sun" department, the following--published in 1876.


What is called a "deconsecration" service was held in Alhallows Church, Bread street, recently, by order of the Bishop of London, preliminary to the removal of the edifice. This church is one of a large number in the city which were rebuilt after the fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren, and its history is noteworthy from the fact that its Rector in 1555, Rev. Lawrence Saunders, was burned at Coventry for preaching in defense of the doctrines of the Reformation, and that Milton was baptized here in December, 1608. There was a crowded congregation at the service, the Lord Mayor and Sheriff's attending in state, accompanied by one or two aldermen and common councilmen. Bishop Claughton preached the sermon, choosing for a text St. Luke ix. 59: "Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God."

While the bishop was ascending the pulpit an elderly person in the aisle near the door called out in a loud tone, "I protest against this service in God's name," but had scarcely finished the sentence ere one of the guardians of the peace appeared on the scene and promptly escorted him to the street.

--The New York Times, November 3, 1876

Bob Conner


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This blog is by Bob (Robert C.) Conner, a longtime journalist and author of the 2018 novel "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant" published by Square Circle Press, and a 2013 biography "General Gordon Granger" published by Casemate. He is currently writing a biography of the Kansas abolitionist Col. James Montgomery. His Civil War blog can be found at robertcconnerauthor.blogspot.com
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