Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Closing its doors

St. Francis Episcopal Church at 3445 Parkmoor Village Drive will hold its last service at 7 tonight -- appropriately on the feast day of its patron saint.

Many parishioners say St. Francis is closing, in part, because of the upheaval within the church's denominational body, the U.S. Episcopal Church. The denomination ordained an openly gay bishop a few years ago, which deeply shook conservative churches like St. Francis.

St. Francis also was shrinking and graying. There weren't enough parishioners to fund the parish much longer, and most of those that remained were in their 50s or 60s, leaving little hope of rejuvenation. That scenario is being played out across the country, where the average church draws 90 or fewer regular attendees.

I'll talk more about St. Francis and the issues surrounding its closing in an upcoming story. But I'd be interested to hear what's happening in your church (if you have one). Is it shrinking? Growing? Aging? Getting younger? Let me know.


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