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  Congregations Evicted from their Church Buildings ... pdf version
16 June 2011

Vancouver, BC – The trustees of four Vancouver-area Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) parishes are preparing to vacate their church buildings after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed their case and awarded legal costs to the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of New Westminster. The four churches are: St John's (Shaughnessy), St Matthews (Abbotsford), Good Shepherd (Vancouver), and St Matthias & St Luke's (Vancouver).

The parishes had appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada requesting the court to overturn the decision of the BC courts in awarding their church properties to the Diocese.

“Obviously, this decision is extremely disappointing and should be of great concern to all Christian denominations. While these congregations have remained steadfast in their faith, and have not changed the traditional teaching of the Christian church, they have now been called to sacrifice all their assets, including their church properties, for the sake of their faith”, said Cheryl Chang, a former Trustee of St. John's (Shaughnessy) and Special Counsel to the Anglican Network in Canada. “Clearly, we were hoping for a better result when we sought help from the courts. However, we always said that given a choice, we would choose our faith over our properties, and we have been willing to make that sacrifice if called upon by the courts to do so.”

The Supreme Court of Canada gave no reasons for their decision.

In 2008, the churches voted to affiliate with and come under the episcopal authority of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) in order to maintain their faith in line with the majority of global Anglicans while the Anglican Communion was in the midst of a worldwide split. The four churches are St John's (Shaughnessy), St Matthews (Abbotsford), Good Shepherd (Vancouver), and St Matthias & St Luke's (Vancouver)

In November 2010, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the November 2009 BC Supreme Court decision to award the church properties to the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of New Westminster. At the same time, the Court of Appeal awarded an approximately $2.2M bequest to the ANiC Church of the Good Shepherd.

In January 2011, the parishes applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

More information is available on the Anglican Network in Canada website.

About the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC)
The Anglican Network in Canada now numbers 40 parishes and 14 congregations in various stages of formation - with more than 3500 people in church on an average Sunday. Members of the Anglican Network in Canada are committed to remaining faithful to Holy Scripture and established Anglican doctrine and to ensuring that orthodox Canadian Anglicans are able to remain in full fellowship with their Anglican brothers and sisters around the world.

ANiC is under the Episcopal authority of Bishop Donald Harvey and is one of 20 dioceses in the Anglican Church in North America which unites about 100,000 faithful Anglicans in over 600 churches across this continent. ANiC is also affiliated with South America's Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, one of the 38 Anglican Churches officially in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Church in North America has been growing rapidly since its inception and has set a goal of planting 1000 new churches in five years - primarily through reaching unchurched North Americans with the life-transforming good news of Jesus Christ.

More Information
Bishop Donald F. Harvey's letter in response
Rev. David Short's letter in response

Cheryl Chang
Special Counsel

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