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News & Stories
July 7, 2021

Sanctuary Furniture Travels from Corpus to Hillsboro

St. Mary's, Hillsboro worships in their new space on Sunday, June 27. Image by Katie Sherrod.

The congregants of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Hillsboro, Texas held their first worship service in their new space on Sunday, June 27. Gathering together to worship, pray, and sing, they utilized sanctuary furniture and chairs gifted by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and made available by the closure of Reconciliation Episcopal Church, Corpus Christi.

After 26 years of ministry, Reconciliation, Corpus Christi officially closed its doors after holding its final service on Sunday, October 1, 2017. The church building was deconsecrated by the Rt. Rev. David Reed on March 31, 2021, following its sale.

Earlier this year, St. Mary's, Hillsboro, of the Episcopal Church in North Texas and five other sister congregations, had to vacate their historic church buildings following a Supreme Court decision regarding a legal case that began in 2008, when a majority of clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Fort Worth left The Episcopal Church to join the Anglican Church in North America. While the evicted members of St. Mary's Hillsboro searched for a new worship space and furniture, they were connected with the Diocese of West Texas by the Rev. Bryn Skelton Caddell, Vicar of St. Michael and All Angels', Blanco, whose parents are members of St. Mary's.

The Rt. Rev. Rayford High blesses the furniture on its journey to Hillsboro. Image by Emily Kittrell.

From Corpus Christi to San Antonio to Hillsboro, the sanctuary chairs, cross, lectern, linens, Episcopal Church flag, Prayer Books, and other items traveled over 360 miles to reach their new home in North Texas. The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., Assistant Bishop of West Texas, and diocesan staff gathered help David and Roberta Skelton load the items into the moving van, and pray over them as they began a new chapter in our shared ministry.

Click here to read the full story published by the Episcopal Church in North Texas, and watch the video of their first Sunday in their new space, produced by Katie Sherrod, Communications Director for The Episcopal Church in North Texas.

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