A push to overhaul Clarendon’s St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church for the first time in nearly 30 years is gaining steam.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Don Planty, wrote to parishioners in a newsletter Sunday (May 13) that St. Charles is moving forward with a proposal to “redevelop” the parish site, which is located on prime land at 3304 Washington Blvd. The next step is to get approval for a redevelopment from the diocese and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.
Planty wrote that the parish has spent the last 10 months or so gathering feedback on the issue. One town hall meeting asked parishioners: “If our parish had an empty city block-if we could start from scratch — what structures would you envision that would best support our mission?”
Church leaders found a “consensus that a timely redevelopment of the St. Charles parish campus would better serve the church’s mission in general and the parish’s mission in particular.”
The church’s website says the building was last overhauled in 1990. More from Planty’s letter:
I am happy to report that the consultation phase regarding a potential parish site redevelopment has concluded and that I have submitted a report to Bishop Burbidge. The consultation process revealed a consensus that a timely redevelopment of the St. Charles Parish campus would better serve the Church’s mission in general and the parish’s mission in particular. A strong majority of parish stakeholders, and all diocesan stakeholders, are enthusiastic about the possibilities that a future redevelopment of the St. Charles campus could bring. Having spent ten months soliciting broad feedback from representative parishioners and diocesan officials, according to the plan approved by Bishop Burbidge, I am confident that there is a great desire to redevelop the St. Charles Parish site, and therefore have requested that Bishop Burbidge formally approve further redevelopment efforts.
Other churches in Arlington have funded new facilities through redevelopment of the church property, including Arlington Presbyterian along Columbia Pike and the Church at Clarendon in Clarendon, both of which approved affordable housing developments that were built on top of the new church spaces.
St. Charles leaders are interested in addressing “an aging parish infrastructure,” “the projected growth in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor” and “the need for facilities which better support the parish mission now and in the future,” according to its website.