The Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal ends a long-standing legal battle over a church property and trust fund in Windsor, Ont. Photo: justasc/Shutterstock
The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of a lawsuit from parishioners of St. Aidan’s Church in Windsor, Ont., who left the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008 to join the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), ending a long legal battle over the church property and a trust fund.
According to a statement from the diocese of Huron, a lawsuit was first filed in January 2009 by the breakaway group, and a countersuit was filed by the diocese. In August 2011, a judge ruled that the property and trust fund belonged to the diocese, but the St. Aidan’s group appealed that decision. The Ontario Court of Appeal denied the appeal and awarded the diocese of Huron legal costs.
In September 2013, the complainants sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Now that that request has been denied, no further legal avenues are available and the decision in favour of the diocese is final.
Parishioners of St. Aidan’s who remained with the Anglican Church of Canada formed a new congregation, St. Augustine of Canterbury, with members of the nearby St. Barnabas Church, which gathers for worship in the former St. Aidan’s building.
The congregation that left to join ANiC has been gathering in a funeral home but will soon be moving to a new worship space in a local Christian Reform church.
The Anglican Network in Canada is a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which includes various parishes that left the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church in the U.S., in large part because their members reject the blessing of same-sex marriages by some dioceses in the Canadian church and the election of bishops in same-sex relationships within The Episcopal Church.
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