Ottawa·New

St. Alban's church walks from Ottawa Diocese

The entire congregation of St. Alban's Anglican Church walked in procession down King Edward Avenue on Sunday to relocate to a new building, following a formal split from the Diocese of Ottawa.

Congregation leaves historic building for new home due to conflicting same-sex marriage views

The St. Alban's Anglican Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Ottawa. The congregation has broken away from the Diocese of Ottawa over an argument about same-sex marriage, and is seeking a new building. (CBC)

The entire congregation of St. Alban's Anglican Church walked in procession down King Edward Avenue on Sunday to relocate to a new building, following a formal split from the Diocese of Ottawa.

The decision to separate from the Diocese came at a special meeting of the parish in which members objected to the Anglican Church's 2008 decision to bless same-sex marriage.

Unable to remain in the building where they've attended services since Confederation due to a lawsuit from the Diocese over who owns the facility, the members of the parish will settle temporarily at the nearby Ottawa Little Theatre.

St. Alban's Anglican Church has been known as one of the capital's oldest surviving church buildings.

"It's very painful to be walking out. We love St. Alban's, but we're trusting God and we want to be biblically faithful and we believe it's the right thing," said Diane Scarff, a long-time member of St. Alban's — now known as Church of the Messiah.

"We're staying together as a family completely united," she said.

The rector of the new church said a fundraising campaign will begin in the fall, and then a permanent home will be sought for the church, which wants to remain within the urban core.