Anglican church assumes central role in new diocese
August 13, 2011
When members of St. Bartholomew’s Church in the Town of Tonawanda decided in 2008 to leave the Episcopal Church, they didn’t know for sure where they fit in the larger structure of Anglicanism.
Less than three years later, the parish has become a pivotal congregation within the Anglican Church in North America, a rival to the Episcopal Church that grew from a rift between theological conservatives and liberal Episcopalians over Bible interpretation and the ordination of a gay bishop.
This week, the congregation served as host for a conference of the International Diocese, the new diocese to which it belongs as part of the Anglican Church in North America.
Friday, Bishop Bill Atwood dedicated St. Bartholomew as the diocese’s pro-cathedral, giving the church special significance as the site of the bishop’s chair.
Atwood cited the church’s role as a stabilizing force in organizing the new diocese, which includes congregations in Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, as well as New York State.
“The people here are magnificent,” Atwood said. “It’s a resource place with great people.” the rest