Security threat causes closure of Saint John's Cathedral, Episcopal Diocese offices in Denver

DENVER - A security threat has caused the closure of Saint John's Cathedral and the offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in Denver on Wednesday.

Neither Denver police nor church officials would disclose the nature or source of the threat that shut the cathedral and diocese offices, which share the same campus at 1350 Washington St.

A sign inside a large cathedral window read: "The Cathedral is locked due to a security concern."

On the entry to a cathedral annex, someone had taped up a handwritten note reading: "Life Ring meeting cancelled tonight (apparent gun threat at the church) sorry for the inconvenience."

As 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart looked at the note, a man came up and removed it.

Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said police are taking "necessary precautions" to ensure security at the cathedral complex.

In a statement, the Episcopal Diocese said: "On Tuesday night, the Office of the Bishop notified diocesan clergy and advised them to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions at churches, particularly in the Denver metro area."

"Based on security concerns, the Office of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado made the difficult decision today to close its offices and advise staff to stay home, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of its staff and the general public," the statement read.

"The Bishop [Robert O'Neill] has also been in conversation with the clergy and staff at Saint John's Cathedral, whose campus the Bishop’s office shares. The Cathedral was also closed Wednesday and all services and activities were canceled until further notice, based on the same concern about security."

"Unfortunately, these situations do occasionally arise, and we feel a responsibility to take necessary measures to keep Based our staff and the public safe," said Larry Hitt, Chancellor for the Diocese of Colorado. "All those involved are in our prayers, and we will work to return to business as usual as soon as possible."

The statement said during the closure church officials  "are working to put appropriate security measures and personnel in place, again, out of an abundance of caution." Church officials directed news organization questions to the Denver police.

7NEWS has also confirmed the FBI is not involved in the investigation.  Despite the close proximity of Morey Middle School, Denver Public School officials say they have not been formally notified of the threat.

 "I never thought something like this would happen at a church.  Never," said Cindy Ergenbright, a participant in a yoga class hosted at the church.  "It's crazy.  Just crazy."

Print this article Back to Top