Home Christian News An Episcopal Seminary Found a Solution to Its Fiscal Woes. Then 7...

An Episcopal Seminary Found a Solution to Its Fiscal Woes. Then 7 Bishops Intervened.

Thomas Wilson, president of the School of Sacred Music, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Bishop Matthew Heyd of New York, one of the seven bishops who expressed opposition to the lease.

The New York Daily News reported that Erik Bottcher, the New York City Councilmember for the neighborhood where General Seminary is located, sent a letter of concern to the seminary earlier this year.

“It is essential that any new long-term lease or partnership aligns with the values of social justice, inclusivity, compassion, and diversity that the General Theological Seminary has long espoused — values that are deeply cherished by the residents of Chelsea,” that letter read, according to the Daily News. “It is essential that any leasing entity does not represent views that run contrary to these values.”

Seminary leaders say they have met with elected officials to allay their concerns. Any lease agreement would include “safeguards to ensure the Close remains a welcoming space to LGBTQIA+ persons and that any activities carried out there are consistent with a Christian education environment will be included in any agreement with the SSM,” said Burridge.

Burridge added that school officials are grateful for the concerns expressed by local officials and that negotiations on a lease are ongoing.

The seven bishops who oppose the lease said they understand that the seminary is facing financial challenges but said that issues of inclusion are more important.

“We are also making difficult decisions about the future use of sacred spaces,” they said in their letter in March. “It’s important to make decisions that align with our mission and values. Human dignity is not negotiable.”

This article originally appeared here