Chenango County Church Holds Last Service

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated May 3, 2006 at 11:38 PM EDT

Catholic churches in our region aren't the only ones facing the crunch in priests or parishoners.

On Wednesday, an Episcopalian church in Chenango County held one last service.

For 122 years, Calvary Episcopal Church in McDonough has held worship services, but none like this.

It held a service that officially marks an end to the church, which actually closed in January.

"It's the only church I've ever known. Five generations of my family cared for this church. My great-great grandfather helped by the cornerstone," says Karol Proppe of McDonough.

The Diocese of Central New York said there just weren't enough parishioners left to keep the Calvary Episcopal open.

And Bishop Gladstone Adams says more rural churches like this could be closing.

He says the Episcopalian Church has enough priests in New York.

But it's tough to attract them to churches with small congregations.

The Bishop says closings like this aren't easy.

"It's part of the reason of doing a service like this because we know that it hurts people. And sometimes we have resistance," says Bishop Gladstone Adams of Central New York Dioceses.

Adams says the Diocese is working on a plan to recruit more priests, in hopes of keeping other rural churches open.

The Diocese hopes to sell the property the church sits on to the Town of McDonough.

The sale will be discussed at this month's Diocese board meeting, but an exact sale timetable hasn't been set.

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