After five years of “exile” from their church home, the “continuing” Episcopalians of the historic Falls Church will return to worship there on Easter Sunday, April 8, the church announced Wednesday.
The congregation’s return to its historic property ends a five-year “lock out” after a breakaway group voted in December 2006 to exit the Episcopal Church denomination, objecting in part to the election of an openly-gay priest as a bishop, yet continued to occupy the historic church property until a court ruling in last month ordered them to vacate. On Easter Sunday, a 10:15 a.m. worship service will be followed by a traditional Easter egg hunt for children in the churchyard.
Long-time Falls Church resident and founding member of the City’s school system, the 98-year-old Jesse Thackrey was quoted in a release issued by the church yesterday. A member of the church since 1941 and its first female senior warden, she said, “I have a lot of memories tied up in that church. My husband, Franklin, and I celebrated our children’s baptisms, confirmations and weddings at The Falls Church, and it’s where our grandchildren and one great-grandchild marked similar milestones. Franklin and two of our children were laid to rest there. It means a lot to me to be able to go back to my special seat and worship there again.”