This story is written in memory of its first priest, the Rev. Elijah (“Lige”) White, who served as rector for over 35 years and who died earlier this year. He was a good friend and supporter of VOL.
The Anglican Church of Our Saviour at Oatlands will consecrate its new sanctuary at a special service on Sunday, August 21st, at 9:30 a.m. This new church building is located at 20340 James Monroe Highway (Route 15), four miles south of Leesburg, Virginia.
“We were one of the break-away parishes from the Diocese of Va. that was sued by them and the national church. We settled on the basis of turning over our church building to the Diocese with a 5-year leaseback that gave us time to find a new church site and get one built,” Stephen Price, Senior Warden told VOL.
The old church, built in 1878, sits empty.
The Rev. James A. Basinger, a graduate of Texas A & M University and the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, is rector of the parish. He served at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Anchorage, Alaska, prior to his coming to Loudoun County.
His predecessor at Church of Our Saviour was Elijah (“Lige”) White, who served as rector for over 35 years, and died earlier this year. Rev. Basinger will be assisted in the consecration of the new building by Bishop Daniel R. Morse of the Diocese of the Central States (Reformed Episcopal Church) — ACNA – and CANA/ACNA Bishop David J. Bena.
Prior to occupying their new home in June, the Church of Our Saviour had occupied an historic church building, located one and-a-half miles further south on Route 15, at the Goose Creek Bridge. This church had, itself, been consecrated on August 21st in 1878. The consecration of the new church will occur exactly 138 years later.
In 2007, the congregation voted to separate from the Episcopal Church and agreed to turn over the old building to the Diocese of Virginia. In 2011, the Church of Our Saviour purchased 24 acres where its new church building is now located. Earlier this year, Our Saviour voted to affiliate with the Reformed Episcopal Church.
“Church of Our Saviour’s building may be new, but its parishioners are committed to a form of worship that is true to the original English-language worship. Though still small, the congregation sees itself as an alternative to modern worship, where churchgoers too often passively receive music and preaching, as an audience. We practice an active and participatory worship service that was first written in the late 1540’s, having discovered that the more closely we follow this traditional approach, the more new and relevant it becomes for them,” said Price.
Rev. Basinger reinforces the parish’s commitment to the Reformed theology of the Anglican Church’s founders who drew directly from the New Testament. Thomas Cranmer, author of the church’s first Book of Common Prayer, like other reformers, lost his life in restoring the English Church to the practice of active group worship in the vernacular of the Bible.
“Members of the Church of Our Saviour see it as their responsibility to worship actively, using the authentic and ancient approach of Cranmer and his successors, as exemplified in the Book of Common Prayer. The church uses the 1928 edition, which, as they see it, most directly and authentically gives them the opportunity to worship, pray, sing and consider God’s Word together. Our worship remains relevant because it remains committed to truths of God’s Word, and the formulas of expressing those truths, that are all too easy to set aside in the attempt to be modern. By doing so, we have become almost radically unique. The architecture of our new church is traditional, but the building is new. The architecture of our worship is traditional, but the faith it expresses is as fresh as ever,” said Basinger.
The consecration service will be followed by a brunch. The public is invited to attend.