We’re seeing additional signs of common sense in the Episcopal Church, following the Diocese of Western Oregon’s decision to sell its 9-acre headquarters. The move will decrease carrying costs and placed diocesan officials in a more readily accessible location.
The lush estate, located on the western bank of the Willamette River, was a gift from the Kerr family in 1957. Since then, the property, called “Bishop’s Close,” has been the office of the bishop diocesan. The grounds feature one of the most lavish gardens in the state, which are funded and maintained through a private foundation.
But faced with dwindling membership, a desire to become carbon neutral, and burgeoning operating costs, the estate has proved increasingly burdensome for the diocese.
Last November, Bishop Diana Akiyama announced the decision to sell the property. Listed for $4.5 million, the diocese received offers above the asking price for the property, but Kerr family descendants exercised a right of first refusal, buying the property for the full asking price.
Meanwhile, the diocese has moved its women’s shelter and other key ministries to a location in downtown Portland.
Details are available here.
Anglican Watch expects additional dioceses will offload costly, energy inefficient headquarters in the coming years. Such efforts will be essential if the denomination is to reach its stated goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
Photo courtesy Episcopal Diocese of Western Oregon