Anglican Journal: B.C. Supreme Court begins to hear case over New Westminster diocese properties

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Supreme Court of British Columbia began hearing arguments this week to decide who owns disputed church buildings and resources: the Anglican diocese of New Westminster or parishes that have split away from the Anglican Church of Canada.

Two lawsuits were filed against the diocese of New Westminster and its bishop, Michael Ingham, by clergy who cut ties with the Anglican Church of Canada and individuals who say they are the lawful trustees of church properties and resources for several congregations that also voted to leave the church. Other hearings have resulted in decisions about interim possession and sharing of Anglican church buildings in British Columbia as well as Ontario, but this trial, which is scheduled to last three weeks, is the first in Canada to rule on which side owns the buildings and resources.

One suit was filed by Rev. David Short, Rev. Trevor Walters, and Rev. Simon Chin who lead congregations at St. John’s (Shaughnessy) in Vancouver, St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford, B.C. and St. Matthias and St. Luke in Vancouver, respectively, and 14 other individuals. The other was filed by Rev. Stephen Leung of Good Shepherd Church in Vancouver and four other people.

The clergy left their ministries with the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008 over theological differences, including issues such as the blessing of same-sex unions, and they were asked to vacate their former parishes. ...

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

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Posted May 29, 2009 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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