In a decision released today, the BC Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by four Anglican Network in Canada churches in the Vancouver area. The four parishes ”“ St John’s (Vancouver), St Matthews (Abbotsford), Good Shepherd (Vancouver), and St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver) ”“ had appealed a November 25, 2009 decision of Mr Justice Stephen Kelleher awarding beneficial ownership of church properties to the Diocese of New Westminster in the case involving the split in the Anglican Church. The Diocese of New Westminster’s counter appeal of Mr Justice Kelleher’s decision granting a sizeable bequest to the ANiC congregation of the Church of the Good Shepherd was also dismissed.
The appeals were heard in the B.C. Court of Appeal September 13-16, 2010, before Madam Justice Nicole Garson, Mr Justice P D Lowry and Madam Justice Mary Newbury.
“Obviously, we are deeply disappointed by this decision which is currently being reviewed by our legal counsel,” said Cheryl Chang, Special Counsel for the Anglican Network in Canada. “We are awaiting their advice before any discussion about an appeal can take place. The congregations have always said that if they are forced to choose between their buildings and their faith, they will choose their faith. That position remains unchanged.”