The trustees of four Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) Vancouver-area congregations have filed an appeal of Justice Stephen Kelleher’s Nov. 25 decision in the Supreme Court of British Columbia over four church properties in dispute between the ANiC congregations and Anglican Church of Canada’s diocese of New Westminster.While the ruling said that the diocese retains possession of the properties, it also stated that Bishop Michael Ingham did not have the authority to dismiss and replace trustees. Bishop Ingham initiated a move to replace the trustees at two of the churches after the congregations voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada to join the more theologically-conservative ANiC. However, in his decision Justice Kelleher also added, the trustees were obliged to use the church properties for the benefit of the diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada. According to a statement from ANiC, “This has left the parties in a difficult and unworkable position since both parties feel they are upholding the principles upon which the Anglican Church of Canada and the diocese were founded, but they have very different views about what that means.””Our legal counsel have advised our parishes that there are strong legal arguments that warrant an appeal,” said Cheryl Chang, ANiC chancellor, in the statement. Since the appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment, the trustees felt it was necessary to file the appeal before Christmas in order to keep their options open, she said. This will also allow the congregations more time to discern together, Chang added.The four parishes in question are St Matthew’s (Abbotsford), St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver), St John’s Shaughnessy (Vancouver) and Church of the Good Shepherd (Vancouver).Editor’s note: Information in the second paragraph of this story has been corrected.