|Dear Bishop Scruton,|
As neighbors of the Bement Camp in Charlton and as a former member and members of Holy Trinity in Southbridge, we would like to express some concerns about the sale of the Bement property. Even though it will take some money to repair the camp and even though attendance has fallen off in recent years, it is more important now than ever before to maintain the integrity of this camp. The need for it in the future will be very great and there will never be another opportunity to purchase a land parcel of this size. We read with concern that the first offer of the Bement Alumni to rent this property was quickly rejected. Another church group also expressed interest. Meanwhile the developers circle like vultures. This Diocese has an obligation to act in the manner of a steward rather than as a broker in a high finance real estate deal. Not only should this be considered a sacred place and one essential to the well-being of future children, it is also a critical open space and habitat for many types of wildlife in a town that has been ravaged by poorly planned development.
You preach in Sunday School over and over about not taking the easy way out and doing what is right, even when that is the more difficult route. Would Jesus go for the money or worry about a camp for children? You preach the same things over and over in church services, and then in real life do just the opposite. It is no wonder that so many people are disenchanted with organized religion. You know as well as anyone else that the idea that the camp money can be used to help children in other ways is nothing more than a lawyer's loophole to sell this property. It is well known that this was not the founder's intention. We also feel that this would not be happening if the camp had not tragically lost its director and that you are taking advantage of the vacuum in leadership to push for the sale of this property rather than work to allow the Alumni Group to succeed. Two million something dollars versus an irreplaceable gem for children, adults, wildlife, clean air and water is no-brainer, and yet we feel that this is just becoming an issue about the money. We hope that you will think about this and do the right thing. We realize that these are tough economic times for everyone. These are the times for spiritual leaders to prove that they are up to the task.
W. Roger Meservey, Barbara G. Meservey and Willam Meservey
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