The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled that the Anglican diocese of New Westminster retains possession of parish property even if congregations decide to leave the Anglican Church of Canada.
The ruling could be a precedent for similar cases across Canada, New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham was quoted by the Vancouver Sun as saying.
The legal case involved four Vancouver parishes, including St. John’s Shaughnessy, described as the largest congregation in Canada, which broke away from the Anglican Church following a diocesan decision in 2002 to bless same-sex relationships under certain circumstances and in certain parishes.
The dissident congregations subsequently joined the Anglican Network in Canada which affiliates itself with the conservative South American Province of the Southern Cone.
Other parishes involved in the court case were the parish of the Good Shepherd on East 19th Avenue, Vancouver, St. Matthias and St. Luke on 49th Avenue in Vancouver and St. Matthew’s on Guildford Drive in Abbotsford.
Full details on the court decision including the 97-page judgement delivered Nov. 25 by Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher as well as background documents prepared by the diocese can be found on the website of the Diocese of New Westminster.
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