B.C. property decision upheld

Published January 1, 2011

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has dismissed appeals of a November 2009 Supreme Court of British Columbia decision. The decision had ruled that the Anglican diocese of New Westminster should retain possession of four church properties in the Vancouver area.The legal dispute arose after four congregations voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada to affiliate with the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). The disagreement was focused on the issue of same-sex blessings. Responding to the B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision, the diocese issued a statement outlining the diocese’s plan. Although the dispute began after the New Westminster synod voted in 2002 to bless committed, faithful same-sex relationships, such permission was deemed optional, not mandatory. “No one has ever been required to act against their conscience in this matter,” the statement said.Both decisions-from the Appeal Court as well as from the B.C. Supreme Court -“have upheld the structures and governance of historic Anglicanism,” the statement said. “Each Court recognized that decisions in the Canadian Church have been reached in accordance with our own procedures and customs, and that the civil courts should not be used to determine church doctrine.”

-Leigh Anne Williams


  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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