GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) -- The Bishop Sebuary Church has closed it's doors, conceding defeat after a long battle with the diocese.
Feelings of faith were tested as they prayed for the final time in the church Sunday morning.
"There are many many people who have been here their entire lives and hoped to have their funerals and that kind of thing," said Nancy Brewer, Parishioner, "and it's not going to happen."
Contributions came from many helping to build the Bishop Sebaury Church, just making it more difficult to walk away from the altar and the stained glass.
The place many have called their spiritual home for years.
"It's a sad day really and unnecessary," said Jim Archer, Parishioner. "These folks built this church, paid for it and are now losing it"
A court ruling determined the church is not the property of the Groton parish and actually belonging to the The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
A battle brought about when a local group disputed changes, including the ordination of a gay bishop.
However, the message from Rev. Ronald Gauss on the last day was not to have heavy hearts hardened by anger, rather to rejoice in a new beginning
"I can't waste my time being angry and feel that way cause there are too many people to care for," explained Rev. Gauss. "If you don't bring a message of joy, because that is the message of the Lord, then what do I have to give?"
So, the nearly 300 parishioners will now call the Groton Inn & Suites their church. It has no pews, but is still a place of prayer, a feeling of faith, no matter the place.
"We feel that the spirit of the Lord is with us and not necessarily in the building," said Brewer.
The Episcopal Church of Connecticut, which owns the building, says at this point it has no specific plans on what it will do with the empty church.
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