Letter: Hoping church will explain itself to families

Posted 6/24/22

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Hope Street in Bristol touts itself as being open and welcoming to all.  Prominently displayed on their website is the statement “We welcome people …

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Letter: Hoping church will explain itself to families

Posted

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Hope Street in Bristol touts itself as being open and welcoming to all.  Prominently displayed on their website is the statement “We welcome people of all races, religions, beliefs, gender expressions, sexual orientations, countries of origin, ages, abilities, families, and flavors with open hearts.”

Founded in 1718, it surely has a long and storied past in our town.  Housed on its grounds since 2013, The Island Child Care Center provides care for 68 children coming from 51 different local families.  At least 13 full-time staff educate, nourish, and enlighten children of ages ranging from infants as young as 6 weeks old to pre-kindergarten.  In addition to the full-time staff, job opportunities are provided to Roger Williams University students who want to gain experience in the field of early childhood development.  My wife and I have been incredibly happy with the care our toddler has received for almost two years at “The Island.”

Earlier this week all parents with children at The Island were notified that Rev. Michael Horvath of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church was looking to evict the business from its property on July 1st of this year. This action would go against the business’s current lease with the church that runs through late summer 2024 and has a business-possessed option to extend 5 years to 2029. The Island’s management has assured parents that rent checks and bills have never been missed. They’ve also assured us that attorneys are involved in the matter, and this move towards eviction is illegal. 

Of course there are two sides to every story, so my family, along with the 50 other families who rely on The Island everyday for childcare, want to hear from representatives of St. Michael’s as to why these moves are justified. At the very least, I ask them to consider not only the ownership team their decisions will impact, but to also consider The Island’s employees, who put their all into their work and get rewarded by a paycheck, and families, who send their children there for the highest-standard of care while they make a living for their family during the day.  We only ask that Reverend Michael be sure he considers all those affected by his decisions.

Joseph and Crosby Doherty
Bristol

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