Wednesday, September 26, 2018


The Episcopal Church diocese announced yesterday that it is inviting two representatives from each of the 29 returning parishes to be guests at the upcoming diocesan convention. The meeting will be at Church of the Holy Communion, in Charleston, on November 16 and 17. If more than two people from each parish wish to attend, the extras are invited to register as visitors. Find the diocesan announcement of this here .

The people of the 29 parishes are also invited to attend the pre-convention deanery meetings:  6 October at St. Mark's of Port Royal, 10 October at Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston, and 14 October at Church of the Messiah in Myrtle Beach.

Members of the 29 returning parishes who wish to attend the convention should contact Fr. Coyne at:


On August 2, 2017, the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered that 29 of the 36 parishes in question remain under trust control of the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. This, in effect, returns the 29 to the authority of the Episcopal Church bishop. Last November, the SCSC remitted their Aug. 2 order to the circuit court for enactment. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case thus ending any appeal of the August 2 decision. Circuit court Judge Edgar Dickson is now handling the SCSC decision and in all likelihood will proceed with enforcement of the decision at a hearing late next month. It is just a matter of time before the Episcopal Church bishop regains physical control of the 29 properties. Bishop Adams has promised there will be no break in church services. On the very first Sunday after the handover of the keys, there will be Episcopal Church clergy in every one of the 29 to continue regular church services.

Which local churches are among the 29? Here is my UNOFFICIAL list as I read the August 2 SCSC decision:

BEAUFORT - St. Helena's


BLUFFTON - Church of the Cross

CHARLESTON - St Andrew's (Old St. Andrew's)

CHARLESTON - Church of the Good Shepherd

CHARLESTON - St. Luke and St. Paul

CHARLESTON - Holy Trinity

CHARLESTON - St. Michael's

CHARLESTON - St. Philip's

CHERAW - St. David's

EDISTO - Trinity Church


FLORENCE - All Saints

HARTSVILLE - St. Bartholomew's

HILTON HEAD - St. Luke's

JAMES ISLAND (Charleston) - St. James

JOHNS ISLAND - Church of Our Saviour


MOUNT PLEASANT - Christ Church

MYRTLE BEACH - Trinity Church

ORANGEBURG - Church of the Redeemer

PINOPOLIS - Trinity Church

STATEBURG - Church of the Holy Cross

SULLIVANS ISLAND - Church of the Holy Cross


SUMTER - Church of the Holy Comforter

SURFSIDE - Church of the Resurrection


YONGES ISLAND - Christ/St. Paul's

These parishes are the ones now invited to send representatives to the diocesan convention.

To clarify, the SCSC also listed 7 parishes that were not under trust control of the Episcopal Church and the Church diocese. The parishes NOT ordered to return to TEC:

1-CONWAY - St. Paul's

2-DARLINGTON - St. Matthew's

3-FLORENCE - St. John's

4-GEORGETOWN - Prince George Winyah

5-MOUNT PLEASANT - St. Andrew's

6-PAWLEYS ISLAND - Christ the King

7-SUMMERTON - St. Matthias

As of the SCSC decision, the independent Lawrence "diocese" now has six parishes. St. Andrew's of Mt. Pleasant is in another diocese.

This leaves numerous other local churches, not on the two lists, that are now under the independent diocese. As I understand it, their eventual legal placements will be determined on an individual basis.

Thus, under the state supreme court decision, the Episcopal Church and its local diocese now legally control the 29 parishes in question. The Lawrence diocese, however, has refused to accept the SCSC decision and has not turned over physical possession of the properties to the Church. I expect Judge Dickson will accomplish this in the near future. It is just a matter of time, and I expect it will be sooner rather than later. The people in the 29 parishes who want to return to the Episcopal Church should accept the diocese's invitation to attend the convention. I expect to be there too.