Regarding the Sale of St. James Commons
September 16, 2020
Yesterday morning, Bishop Lee announced that the Bishop & Trustees of the diocese have decided to offer 65 E Huron St. for sale in the coming months. Explaining the decision, the Bishop said that “maintaining an underused diocesan headquarters in an expensive building on prime real estate is not good stewardship of diocesan assets."
Cathedral leadership was surprised to read that this decision was arrived at “after considerable study and consultation." In the fall of 2019, anticipating the need to address both capital repairs and our expanding ministries, the Cathedral Chapter attempted to initiate a series of conversations with members of Bishop & Trustees to discuss the future of the cathedral and offices. Two meetings were held in the winter at which no proposals or suggestions were forthcoming from B&T, and our requests to continue the conversation during the spring and summer were simply ignored. Whatever consultation has led to the current decision has not involved the cathedral.
While we are therefore pleased to note the assurance contained in the Bishop’s letter that “any sale would include financial and other accommodations to help secure space for [the cathedral’s] programs and community life” we do not know what this might mean in real terms. As the mother church of the diocese, we have endeavored to be an active and equal partner with the Bishop and his staff in all aspects of the mission we share in Christ’s name. Notwithstanding the decision which has now been publicly announced to the wider church, it is our hope that genuine consultation about the implications of this decision will be established in the near future.
The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington
Dean of the Cathedral
To read the announcement from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, click here.