In October of this year, the Offices of the Diocese will move to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown with a satellite office at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.
This decision to move was not an easy one. Despite the generous offer of the Cathedral Close Inc., the affiliate of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral which rents us our current space, we were not able to take on even the slightest increase. By making this decision, the Cathedral will have the freedom to increase rent to sustain their ministries. This move will help the diocese save a significant amount of money, provide more life and stability for St. John’s and extend our ability to focus on ministry.
For the last eight months, a sub-committee composed of members from Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, the Finance Committee and the Property Committee had investigated other options, receiving final approval from the Standing Committee to move to St. John’s. Concurrently, Bishop Daniel and Dean Judy worked closely in assuring that the strong and special relationship between the Offices of the Diocese and the Cathedral is deepened and sustained. As the seat of the Bishop, the Cathedral serves as an important ministry to the entire diocese.
The church campus offers the entire diocese a location that has ample space for collaborative meetings and is easily accessible by public transportation and car. There is also plenty of free parking near the church for visitors. The Bishop’s staff spends more than 50 percent of their time at churches, making this location centric to their time in the diocese. (The Bishop and staff will continue to hold weekly office hours around the diocese as they have done for the past two years.)
Norristown is a very diverse community that is growing, and this move puts the Offices of the Diocese in a location where active ministry is needed and where we can contribute to the growth of the community.
The move is the result of the efforts of many in diocesan leadership dedicating themselves to prayerfully considering how to find a creative solution that demonstrates our resolve to serve our churches. We are committed to being innovative, resourceful and deliberate as we step out into the world proclaiming the redemptive and transformative power of Jesus Christ.
From this new location, we will continue to address poverty and pain, support our churches, and proclaim the Good News.