Church address:
5350 Baillie Street
Vancouver, BC
(on 37th Ave between Cambie and Oak)

Church office address:
2325 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6J 3J2
604.558.4400

St John's Vancouver Anglican Church is a community of Christians dedicated to the exposition and teaching of the Word of God, to the spreading of the good news of the Gospel at home and abroad, and to the application of God's purpose in our own lives and families.

                

Background

In the last several years, when Anglican churches voted to seek temporary Episcopal oversight under ANiC (The Anglican Network in Canada) various dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada responded by seeking to seize properties and replace elected trustees. The purpose of joining ANiC was to remain in communion with the worldwide Anglican Church and receive leadership from an orthodox bishop. St. John’s and three other local ANiC churches asked the Supreme Court of B.C. to clarify who are the proper trustees of our congregations (the ones we elected or the ones appointed by the diocese) and for what purposes the buildings are held in trust. The trial finished on Jun 11, 2009.

What initiated this trial?

In the last year, when Anglican churches voted to seek temporary Episcopal oversight under ANiC (The Anglican Network in Canada) various dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada responded by seeking to seize properties and replace elected trustees.  The purpose of joining ANiC was to remain in communion with the worldwide Anglican Church and receive leadership from an orthodox bishop.  St. John’s and three other local ANiC churches have asked the Supreme Court of B.C. to clarify who are the proper trustees of our congregations (the ones we elected or the ones appointed by the diocese) and  for what purposes the buildings are held in trust.  We are asking the court to recognize we are committed to remaining Anglican and for continuing to worship  in our churches.   We were the first churches asking the court to rule on these issues.  Previous cases have only involved rulings on interim use of buildings

Isn't it about blessing same-sex relationships?

The blessing of same-sex unions is the presenting issue.  The core issue is a deeply profound theological difference in the understanding and interpretation of scripture and what it means to be “Anglican”.   It is clear that the Diocesan leadership no longer believes, adheres to and or seeks to preserve the core doctrines of the Anglican Christian faith, such as the uniqueness of Jesus, the physical resurrection, and the authority of Scripture, or the accepted teachings of the Anglican Communion.

A court hearing about church seems extreme. How did we get here?

Over the last ten years, the leadership of St. John’s has been working through local, national and international processes to resolve this issue.  There has been no resolution that would keep St. John’s in communion with the world wide Anglican Church for this generation and the next.  We have sought mediated solutions but none has proved successful. In August 2008, after the Diocese of New Westminster sought to seize the property and replace the clergy and trustees at St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias & St. Luke, the trustees of these churches, along with St. John’s Shaughnessy and Church of the Good Shepherd, were forced to go to the courts for clarification.  This decision, as with all the decisions related to this matter in the last 10 years, was done after much prayer and the reviewing of alternatives.  It was not done in haste.

Is going to court contrary to 1 Corinthians 6?

The Apostle Paul’s rebuke of the church at Corinth in going to court was because it was being motivated and done out of litigiousness, greed, or possibly revenge.  The situation we find ourselves in is different.  St. John’s Trustees are trustees of the gospel and the buildings serve the gospel.  There is a requirement to attempt to conserve the property if it appears that the ministry of the gospel will be furthered by retaining it and will suffer a setback by losing it.  Going to court has not been done in haste.

What happens if we lose the buildings in the judgment?

We don’t know exactly, but we fully expect an orderly hand over of the property.

Where and when will we meet if we lose the property? Will we split up?

We would all move together.  We would remain St. John’s Vancouver and worship elsewhere. 

How will we hold services and where will our ministries meet

We would hold services as we do today, just in different buildings.  Our ministries and office would also move.  Ideally, this would all happen in the same building, but for a period of time we possibly would use different buildings for different needs throughout the week.  

How can I help or participate?

here are a number of ways in which you can participate and help as individuals, families, and within your small groups.

PRAY:  Please include in your individual, family, and Bible study prayer times, prayers for the legal process, God’s protection, His will to be done and growth in His kingdom in Vancouver.

GIVE:  You can give to the legal fund through the church offering or by dropping off your gift to the church office.  Please make cheques out to St. John's Vancouver and designate it to the legal fund.

ENGAGE: Be prepared to speak about your faith when the opportunity arises and seek to explain the Gospel.

Resources

read comments by Canon Dr JI Packer here

St. John's produced a DVD looking at the background and reasons for the crisis in the Anglican Church.

Anglican Realignment 1/10 - Who is leaving?

Contact

you can reach us at legal

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