S.C. Bishop Mark Lawrence returns from Retreat


August 25, 2012
Bishop Lawrence Given “Godly Vision” to Leave the Episcopal Church

Vision: “Prosper … in the Gospel and not for harm”

Revelation likely to be made public this week, as Diocese tries to organize rebel congregations to leave together in en bloc

Bishop Lawrence received a vision of God‘s Will for the Diocese during his recent vacation that includes leaving the Episcopal Church in the company of a number of right-wing parishes.  An announcement could be made public as early as next week.

In July after the General Convention, the Bishop told friends and clergy that he would be looking for exactly this kind of revelation as he took some time off in the mountains and the desert.  This week he returned to the Diocese and shared the vision with the Standing Committee and clergy leaders of the various deaneries.

All say they have signed onto it, but are keeping mum about the specifics.

Here’s what is known:

–  Rebellious clergy and their parishes will announce that they are leaving the Episcopal Church taking the Church’s property with them.  A number of  parishes, including the Cathedral, are making arrangements to do this with Lawrence’s permission.

— The Very Reverend Craige Borrett, Rector of Christ-St.Paul’s on Yonges Island and former Chairman of the Standing Committee, reported the following to his congregation:

As you know the bishop returned from an intense time of prayer, reflection and seeking God’s will for himself and this Diocese this week.

On Tuesday he met with the Standing Committee, and they released their joint statement. “The Bishop met today with the Standing Committee, which unanimously approved the course of action he outlined for the Diocese of South Carolina.”

On Wednesday he gathered with the Deans of the Diocese and shared this vision. I join with the Standing Committee in wholeheartedly approving this Godly course of action.

A fellow Dean and member of the Standing Committee, Fr. John Barr, stated, ‘Bishop Mark has faithfully sought God’s leading and has been given a vision for the future of this Diocese – a plan to prosper it in the gospel and not for harm.”

The Standing Committee has prayed that it would be drawn to a place of alignment with God alongside Mark; and, graciously so, we are in unanimous agreement.  Because of the need for both prudence and charity, I cannot share more specifics at this point, but you will all know more within the next few weeks.

August 23, 2012
Cathedral Moving to Realign with Breakaway Group

CHARLESTON – The Cathedral of St. Luke & St. Paul appears to be moving forward with plans to leave the Episcopal Church, joining other parishes that have shifted their loyalty to something called “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” (PECDSC).

Legal authorities believe the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence has re-chartered itself as a religious corporation separate from the Episcopal Church.  Diocesan leaders have been quietly  encouraging parishes to amend their corporate documents to replace any references to the Episcopal Church with similar references to the PECDSC.

The PECDSC’s corporate documents do not include an all important clause that accedes to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, or otherwise does not include provisions that that impede accession to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.  This is important because unqualified accession to the Constitution of the Church is essential for membership.

This is the basis on which Bishop Lawrence has been saying that the Diocese is “sovereign.”  At some point in the future the PECDSC could realign itself with another province in the Anglican Communion, most likely in Africa.

Earlier today, the Dean of the Cathedral responded to an inquiry from SC Episcopalians about whether he and the Cathedral were leaving the Episcopal Church:  “Right now, I, along with our congregation, am in prayer for our beloved Bishop as he listens to the Lord and discerns His will for the Diocese of South Carolina.  Bishop Lawrence has not revealed the plan he feels the Lord has given, so we wait patiently.  I would ask you to join me in praying for our Bishop.”

August 21, 2012 
Website says Bishop Proposes, Standing Committee Rubberstamps New Plan of Action; No Details Given 

This cryptic message is on the Diocesan website: “The Bishop met today with the Standing Committee, which unanimously approved the course of action he outlined for the Diocese of South Carolina.”

This link with ‘South Carolina Episcopalians’, provided by ‘Preludium’ web-site hosted by Father Mark Harris of TEC, gives a somewhat baffling picture of the intentions of Bishop Mark Lawrence, of The TEC Diocese of South Carolina, after his well-advertised recent retreat in the desert to discover what he perceives to be ‘God’s will’ for the future of his diocese.

It is well known that Bishop Lawrence is at odds with the Episcopal Church and its inclusive attitude towards the LGBTQ community, its ordination of Gay & Lesbian Bishops, and the recent General Convention agreement to provide a rite for Same-Sex Blessings

What is now at issue is whether, or not, the Bishop and the Diocesan Executive will try to engineer the secession of the diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church. There would appear to have been some recent attempts made by the diocese to alienate the properties of the diocese from the proprietory claims of TEC to all church buildings and property falling under the TEC provenance.

Bishop Lawrence was apparently present at the recent episcopal ordination of a new ACNA ‘Bishop’ of the Carolinas, giving a signal to TEC of where his true allegiance might lie – despite the Diocese of South Carolina being, at present, part of TEC – from which ACNA is schismatically separated. An offical announcement is expected from the S.C. Bishop ‘soon’.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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4 Responses to S.C. Bishop Mark Lawrence returns from Retreat

  1. The Rev David Dubay says:

    Boy have you been misinformed. The truth will surprise you. But after reading this you may not recognize truth.

  2. kiwianglo says:

    “But after reading this you may not recognize truth.” – David Dubay –
    After reading what, precisely? I’m ready for the Truth – if you think you have it!

    • The truth is that no decisions to leave have been made. Your posts lead people conclusions that are based on speculation. However since this is a blog I suppose that that is not so upsetting because I don’t expect unbiased reporting from a blog so maybe I’ve been too hard on you. The answer given by our Cathedral Dean is the only truth there is right now. Please be in prayer for Bishop Lawrence and our entire diocese as walk this road humbly and knowing that God is sovereign and Jesus is savior and the Holy Spirit is paraclete and present.

      • kiwianglo says:

        “Please be in prayer for Bishop Lawrence and our entire diocese as walk this road humbly and knowing that God is sovereign and Jesus is savior and the Holy Spirit is paraclete and present.” – Fr. David Dubay –

        Dear Father, not being an advocate of intentional schism, I will pray – as you have indicated – that God’s soverign will be done in this matter.

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