From the Windsor Star:
A breakaway group of Anglican parishioners has been dealt a deathblow in their legal battle over ownership of a Riverside church.
The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant St. Aidan’s parishioners leave to appeal, dismissing their case with costs.
The group of about 100 parishioners broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008 over the church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage and other disagreements over interpretations of Scripture. The group joined the Anglican Network in Canada and went to court over ownership of the church building on Wyandotte Street East.
The Superior Court judge who heard the case in 2011 ruled the church assets belong to the Diocese of Huron, not the parishioners who amassed them. The parishioners appealed, but last year had their case dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The appellate court not only forced the parishioners to pay the diocese’s legal fees in the appeal, it also ordered them to pay $100,000 toward the church’s legal fees from the original lawsuit.
Some of the parishioners who launched the original suit have died in the intervening years. None of the surviving plaintiffs could be reached for comment Monday.
St. Aidan’s is one of several Anglican parishes across Canada that have sued to gain control of their church buildings after splitting from the Anglican Church of Canada. None of the parishioners’ lawsuits were successful.
The Anglican Network in Canada boasts 68 parishes in Canada. According to its website, St. Aidan’s now meets for Sunday services at Ambassador Community Church on Rivard Avenue.