Parishes that leave the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) but seek to retain their buildings and assets may think twice about going to court after a recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision. Ongoing litigation between the diocese of New Westminster and four Vancouver congregations, now affiliated with the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), culminated on June 16 in the SCC’s denying their most recent appeal and awarding further court costs to the diocese. Clergy in the four Vancouver congregations left the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008, largely over the blessing of same-sex relationships. The legal dispute focused on the ownership of church buildings and assets.
The final costs awarded to New Westminster are upwards of $175,000, according to a diocesan source.