Thursday, April 12, 2007
The bus I take every Sunday to the church where I worship also happens to pass by the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Lately I've noticed a great deal of activity on a large swath of its southern edge, suggesting a new building going up. Since the cathedral is still a long way from finished and is also looking decidedly run down these days, it didn't square with me the trustees would be adding yet another building to the considerable number already on the property. I checked the Cathedral website to see if there was an explanation. There was.
It seems the trustees are leasing out large portions of the property, the parcel I noticed on the south edge to a real estate investment trust and an even larger one on the north edge to Columbia University. There will be new buildings going up but they won't belong to the Cathedral and they'll have nothing to do with church. In short, the Cathedral is going broke and, in effect, the trustees are selling off the assets to pay the bills, something I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of from ECUSA in the not-so-distant future.