Received via email:
Canon Tom Carman, rector of St Aidan’s, reports:
“In its decision, the Court of Appeal, upheld the conclusions of the trial court judge, Justice Little, on both the matter of St Aidan’s property and the St Aidan’s bequeathment and finance fund. In addition, the Diocese of Huron was awarded partial costs in the amount of $100,000.
“St Aidan’s had a strong case, based on trust law. The Diocese of Huron’s Canon 14 states in reference to church property that the diocese “holds it in trust for the benefit of the Parish or congregation.” This was strengthened by a letter obtained by the people of St Aidan’s from the Chancellor of the Diocese, Lindsey Ellwood, on November 21, 2001 in which he wrote:
“I further reaffirm our discussion wherein I advise that pursuant to Canon 14 the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron… has no beneficial or legal entitlement to parish property…”
“Based on these assurances, St Aidan’s proceeded with the appeal and our lawyer, Peter Jervis, was able to build a strong case. Sadly, the courts accepted the argument of the Diocese that the parish only exists as an entity within the structures of the diocese and that it is impossible for a “parish” to leave the diocese.
“The people of St Aidan’s are understandably disappointed in this decision, however, we believe that the Lord has a plan for us and are trusting in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“We are still considering whether to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Please keep us in your prayers.”
UPDATE: From here, we understand that St. Aidan’s have now appealed to the Supreme Court.