The trustees of the four congregations in the greater Vancouver area have filed an appeal of Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher’s BC Supreme Court decision of November 25 that clearly stated that the four church properties in question were for the continuing use of those who wished to worship within the Anglican Church of Canada , Diocese of New Westminster with clergy licensed by Bishop Michael Ingham

He also ruled that it is ultra vires (beyond the authority) of any congregation to pass a resolution purporting to unilaterally leave the Diocese of New Westminster. Justice Kelleher also determined that Bishop Michael Ingham did not have the necessary canonical authority, in the particular circumstances of this case, to remove validly elected trustees of the parishes but that those trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to act on behalf of their parish corporations in accordance with the Governing Statute, Constitution, Canons, Rules and Regulations of the diocese under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the diocese.


Justice Kelleher also ruled in a separate action that the proceeds of the sale of a Hong Kong apartment bequeathed to the Church of the Good Shepherd Parish should stay within that congregational community as that was the intent of the bequest made by the apartment’s owner Daphne Wai-Chan Chun. On the advice of counsel, the diocese filed a Cross-Appeal in that matter commonly referred to as the “Chun bequest,” on January 7th, 2010.


The officers of the diocese respect Justice Kelleher’s Reasons for Judgment of November 25 and have not appealed from any other aspect of his Judgment, They regret that any Appeal was taken by the Plaintiffs in this case.

Had no appeal been taken, the Diocese of New Westminster would not have challenged his decision with respect to the Chun bequest, but now feel obligated to put this before the Court of Appeal for consideration as part of the appeal process. The Diocese of New Westminster is a Missional Church. As part of the Anglican Church of Canada, we are committed to serving the needs of Anglicans of Chinese descent here in the Lower Mainland. This bequest was clearly identified for that purpose, as the Church of the Good Shepherd has been, since its inception as a Mission to the Chinese of Christ Church, Vancouver (now Christ Church Cathedral) in 1890, a continuing part of the mission and outreach of the Diocese to the Chinese community. In that context, we believe this limited aspect of the Judge's decision ought properly to be reviewed.


In the Notice of Appeals filed December 24th, 2009 the plaintiff’s argument remains the same as their argument presented before Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher in May/June of last year.

Bishop Michael Ingham has invited the trustees of the four congregations to meet with him and the other Officers of the Diocese of New Westminster January 16th, 2010 to discuss next steps. Counsel for the plaintiffs notified councel for the diocese on January 14th that the trustees of the four parishes will not be attending this meeting and that they are preparing a proposal for the consideration of the diocese addressing use of the facilities and other issues during the period up to and including the appeal.