St. Edmund's Anglican Church

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St. Edmund's Anglican Church is a parish of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.[1] In 2008 St. Edmund's became the first congregation in Wisconsin to withdraw from the Episcopal Church to join the Anglican realignment, a conservative movement of Anglicans in the United States and Canada formed primarily in opposition to the Episcopal Church support for ordination of non-celibate gays and women.[2]


St. Edmund's was founded 1947 by a small flock of Christian laity and clergy meeting in temporary facilities in the village of Elm Grove, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Within a decade the group had raised sufficient funds to construct their own building on land donated to the congregation by members of their community on Watertown Plank Road in the village. In 1962, St. Edmund's voted to affiliate with the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and became part of the PECUSA Diocese of Milwaukee.[3]

Bishop Donald Hallock granted St. Edmund's the charter of an earlier, defunct parish in his diocese dedicated to St. Edmond (Edmund), King of East Anglia. The free grant of the charter provided the 15-year-old parish with honorific roots to Christian ministry in Milwaukee dating to 1874 and Anglican historical connections stretching back almost 1,100 years.

In 1976 the parish called Fr. Wayne Carr Olmstead to serve as rector. For the next 30 years, Olmstead provided leadership, counsel, and training for the parishioners of St. Edmund's and young men studying for the ministry from Nashotah House Seminary.[4]

The death of Olmstead on March 13, 2006 left a deep gulf in the community. For three decades he had insulated them from the controversies and discord within the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Olmstead's death left the St. Edmund's Church parishioners exposed to the vicissitudes of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee and the Episcopal Church USA.

The disconnect between the faith and practice of St. Edmund's Church and the Episcopal Church grew. As individuals and small groups within the parish began to research and reflect upon the doctrinal, liturgical, and social decisions made by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, it became clear that the chasm between the conservative, orthodox Christianity of St. Edmund's communicants and the beliefs and practices of the church with whom they had associated for over 40 years could not be bridged.

In December, 2008 an absolute majority of St. Edmund's Church voted to remain within the Anglican Communion while disassociating themselves completely from the Episcopal Church USA. The congregation was immediately received into the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the American mission of the Church of Nigeria, the largest Anglican Province in the world.[5] [6]

In December, St. Edmund's lost a court case involving the Episcopal Church, when a judge ruled that church members must relinquish all church property and vacate the church building.[6]

On January 26, 2014, the former St. Edmund's congregation was relaunched and renamed as Holy Cross Anglican Church, CANA.[7]

Declaration of St. Edmund's Church[edit]

The Declaration of St. Edmund's Church is an important document in the history of Anglicanism in the American Midwest as St. Edmund's was the first parish in Wisconsin to leave the Episcopal Church for the Anglican Communion.


  1. ^ CANA Welcomes St. Edmund's Anglican Church, Elm Grove, Wisconsin, Pastoral Letter (published), Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Herndon, Virginia: December 30, 2008, p. 2
  2. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Elm Grove Church Leaves Diocese, Annyse Johnston, Milwaukee: January 1, 2008
  3. ^ Fifty Years of St. Edmund's Church, Elm Grove, Wisconsin: St. Edmund's Church, 2002
  4. ^ Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Parish Mourns Priest, March 14, 2006
  5. ^ Wisconsin Public Radio,Lake Effect, February 2, 2009
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Annysa (21 December 2011). "Episcopal Diocese wins legal dispute with breakaway church". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Virtue, David. "Holy Cross Anglican Church announces New Direction and New Leadership". Virtue Online. Retrieved 19 April, 2013. 

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