ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A historic Virginia church is relocating two plaques in its sanctuary honoring George Washington and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who worshipped there.
Leaders of Christ Church in Alexandria sent a letter to congregation members Thursday explaining the decision. The leaders wrote that the plaques create a distraction and “may create an obstacle to our identity as a welcoming church.”
The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, rector of the Episcopal church, told The Associated Press Sunday conversations had been going on about the plaques for years. But after white nationalists descended on Charlottesville this summer, she says it was clear the church “needed to address it more quickly.”
She says most of the congregation is supportive. Critics have been weighing in on social media, and York-Simmons says she’s received hundreds of emails.