Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, May 25, 2009

Trinity, San Francisco, Building Must Close

Sunday, Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dear Friends,

This is sad day. The Trinity congregation – or what’s left of it – was told this morning that the building must be closed in September 2009. The Interim rector, Bishop Otis Charles and priest volunteer, David Forbes, came by our house to tell us yesterday morning. The church has no money and is in debt to the Diocese for back salaries. The building must be evaluated by engineers and architects to make sure it is earthquake proof. An initial study would cost $350,000. Repairs would run into the millions of dollars. Neither the parish nor the diocese has that kind of money. The building must be closed as it is uninsurable as it appears vulnerable to loss of life should an earthquake hit and people are in the building.

Here is the miracle waiting to happen. Someone will give or raise the money for the study. When they find out the cost of repairs – some millions- some group will go to the larger community to raise money for the preservation of this landmark building. Meanwhile, the congregation may still hang together and may move back in several years from now – if the building gets fixed and the people are still there.

Ann and I were quite weepy when we heard the news. I put a lot of my life keeping the parish going, 1981-2002. Ann was confirmed in it and we were married there in 1983. We had so many funerals of men who died of HIV disease in the 1980’s. So many wonderful people, deep and moving moments, and lots of laughter and music filled our lives and those of the members over the years in that glorious building.


Anonymous Fred Fenton said...

Even though I knew it was coming, the Chronicle article on Trinity made me sad. All members of the Diocese should hang their heads in shame.

To think that in such a wealthy area we would let a crown jewel of a place close its historic building for lack of a few hundred thousand dollars to do necessary testing, or several million to make it safe to use.

Just before I went to St. James, Baton Rouge as rector in 1994 the vestry got sticker shock and cancelled plans for a new Christian Education building that was to cost 3 million dollars. It was thought impossible to raise that much money. We raised 7 million in four years and added two new buildings, expansion of a third, and additional parking.

I do hope someone with vision and determination heads up an all-out effort to save Trinity and set it on a new path of exciting and effective urban ministry.

11:16 AM  

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