Monday morning, May 25, a trial begins that will make history in Canada with reverberations for the worldwide Anglican Communion. Four Anglican congregations here in the Vancouver area have petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia to rule on who are and who aren’t the genuine trustees of their buildings and property.
Why have they done so? They have done so because their bishop, Michael Ingham, has told them as clergy and as congregations that he wants them to obey him and the local synod or get out. Obey on what? Well, depending on whom you ask, that’s a matter that is either simple or complicated. You can read what the main dissenting church says about the matter here, and read what the diocesan authorities say here (about same-sex blessings, the precipitating factor) and here (on the court case).
The trial will be short–three weeks of hearings are scheduled. The verdict might come quickly, but likely will come only after some weeks of deliberation. In my opinion, this is likely the key court case that will establish the determinative precedent in law across Canada in similar matters of dispute in the Anglican Church of Canada
Because I have been already been participating in the trial as an expert witness via affidavit and will likely testify in court, I won’t say more at this time. But this matter clearly requires God to bless the proceedings and particularly Judge Stephen Kelleher with clarity, perspective, creativity, courage, and prudence.
The trial is open to the public and attendance has been encouraged by the plaintiffs trying to hold on to their churches: Law Courts, 800 Smythe Street, May 25- June 12, Monday – Friday, 10am-12:30pm and 2pm-4pm.