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Vancouver: Two Evicted Parishes Will Vacate Their Properties
VirtueOnline-News | 3/27/2005 | David W. Virtue

Posted on 03/28/2005 8:00:30 AM PST by sionnsar

VANCOUVER, BC (3/27/2005)--The end came swiftly during Holy Week. The die had been cast seven years earlier, and the legal wrangling and assaults had taken their toll on the people. The parishioners and their rectors had had enough.

Michael Ingham, the revisionist bishop of New Westminster had nailed notices to the church doors setting an April 1 deadline to vacate their properties or face being dragged into court.

For the Rev. Ed Hird, 50, of St. Simon's in North Vancouver and the Rev. Barclay Mayo, 55, Christ the Redeemer Church in Pender Harbour, it was the end of the legal road.

Both congregations are committed to faithfulness to historic international Anglican teachings, based on the authority of the Bible, said an official statement from the two rectors.

"We have conceded nothing legally. What we have concluded, despite our strong claim of 'beneficial ownership' and, in St. Simon's case, holding the legal title to the church building, the invocation of Canon 15 by the bishop made it untenable to go on any further. That canon replaces the DNA of the church. Our people voted 100 percent to leave. It's done, Hird told VirtueOnline.

"He has gutted the church and will replace the wardens, but he [Ingham] will have no congregation. For media purposes he will rent a crowd while they are watching. Our congregation voted 100 percent to evacuate the premises. Every vote we have taken over the last seven years has been unanimous. It is a pyrrhic victory for Michael," said Hird.

"The two small property buildings you could knock over with a bulldozer in minutes. Had we stayed we would have demolished them both and spent two million building a whole new church on an acre of land. The old 1949 wood frame structure had no value. Now we won't be able to do that. Yes it's a loss, but it is by no means fatal."

A large contemporary service had already moved its 9am service to Lions Gate Christian Academy by the Second Narrows Bridge, linked to Vancouver's downtown area, now the whole parish will move there. "We were being strangled where we were, now we have classrooms that can seat 350 people," Hird told VirtueOnline. "What happened is a symbol of the injustice in the Anglican system."

"Being thrown out was a justice issue. We had just celebrated our 60th anniversary as a congregation...there was a lot of emotional grief, but the truth is we had outgrown the church; people were standing in the aisles on Sunday morning. Everyone knew we had to move on."

Hird said he had hoped Terry Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon would come to his rescue, but at the end of the day he dropped out of the picture. "He has been neutered. He had his day but the revisionists crushed him. We have been in limbo for 9 months but it still left us under Ingham."

Hird is sad that, at the end, there was no protection from the orthodox Canadian bishops, but he is not bitter. "May God prosper them because the crisis is coming soon to them. They will have to face it sooner or later. They can only stick their heads in the sand for so long, but sooner or later they will have to face up to it all. The Canadian bishops have been suspended from the highest level of the Anglican Communion, but they have still not been pressed far enough by the global primates. The truth is we are dealing with apostasy in both the US and Canadian churches."

Hird said the spiritual cancer won't just stay on the West Coast it will spread to the whole body. "It has been 7 years since our synod voted to bless same sex marriages and the Anglican Way has left people in limbo. This is twice as long as Jesus' whole ministry on earth. It is three years since we walked out of synod."

Hird has nothing but gratitude for the five overseas Primates who have taken him and the 11 parishes of the Anglican Communion in Canada (ACIC) under their ecclesiastical protection. "The secular courts in Canada don't care what overseas primates think or conclude. The secular courts in BC are only concerned about property issues. The legal reality was that our lawyers looked at all the options and it would have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the cases. We were not prepared to spend that kind of money; it would have been a poor use of our resources. From a psychological standpoint the diocese could not afford to lose this one. Even if we had won on appeal and got the Supreme Court to on our side, we had outgrown the buildings."

On May 31st they will celebrate their last service in their old buildings. "We have gone through the grief of Good Friday, the indecision of Holy Saturday - between life and death in our congregation, but in the strength of Jesus we have risen with him and we are moving forward as a congregation.

Hird said their will be no remnant for the bishop. The bishop and the diocese had used the property issue to divide the congregation. "It has not worked. They hope the people would love the buildings and stay and claim some victory but the congregation said otherwise. They have sacrificed everything. The way forward is to give it all up. If that is the price that is exacted so be it. Citing Jesus, Hird said "if you cannot renounce everything you cannot be my disciples. We have been willing for the last 3 years and now we will throw it away."

Hird's 300 plus regular attendees had been amongst the top givers to the diocese, Ingham will lose that. "We have 15 missionaries to support and we have hired four new pastors," he told VirtueOnline.

Asked about his response to what Ingham had done to him and his people, Hird said, "Our response is that of Jesus: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Citing the martyr Stephen, Hird said, "Hold not this sin against them. We will not pick up the root of bitterness; we press on with faith in our hearts and the gospel on our lips. We have been stripped of all our assets but we have won the victory."

The Rev. Barclay Mayo said his congregation will not suffer much. "We have been able to secure a place to worship at a performance center, called Pender Harbour Music School. I feel relief. Of course we are sad and we are grieving but I have been here six years and the congregation has been here 26 years. We just decided the anger, rancor and fighting needed to stop. We needed to get focused."

His 120 member congregation will all stay with him. "A handful that left before we started this war with Ingham may come back, but we don't know for sure. We shall see. Everything is all sorted out. We incorporated a year ago. This is really just about the properties, and in the end the gospel is much more important than that." Mayo says he owns his own house.

"We are saddened by it, of course. My lawyer, who is also a Christian said he could not recommend that we go down the road of endless litigation. It would cost a lot of money that people have given for mission and ministry.

Before the church renamed itself Christ the Redeemer it was St. Andrews. This is the corporate name Ingham will take back.

Mayo said that parish growth had stifled because of the continued uncertainty of what was going on. "The fight was polarizing the community, and to stop the polarization and get on with the ministry and do Christ's mission we walked away. The church has a paid youth worker and deacon.

Before he went to see his lawyer last week, Mayo prayed and he believed he heard the Lord say "you are done with this", and when we got to his lawyer and was told of the impossibility of winning or, if they did, the enormous cost involved, he said he was done.

The Rev. Paul Carter, ACiC network leader said it was a privilege to stand among faithful Anglicans who have come to realize that their unity as the people of God is more important than buildings that they have loved and cherished. Fortunately they no longer stand alone, and the international community has both acknowledged their faithfulness, come to their rescue, and authenticated their validity as members of the Anglican Communion. It is a privilege to have a seat with the Common Cause people. I believe Bishop Bob Duncan is the man of the hour."

The 11 ACiC congregations are under the Anglican Mission in America bishop, the Rt. Rev. T. J. Johnson at the request of five Global South Primates. Hird said the ACiC had grown from five congregations to 11 and he expects that figure to double to 22 in a short period of time.

Jan 15th 2005 Letter of Support by our Five International Covering Primates

"...We are deeply concerned to hear about the recent actions of the Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham. He has deliberately disregarded the recommendations of the Windsor Report, and pre-empted the decisions of our February 2005 Primatial meeting, by his unwarranted attack on our congregations and priests in Canada. We assure you that we will address these issues.


The Most Rev. Fidele Dirokpa, Archbishop of Congo
The Most Rev. Immanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda
The Most Rev, Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central Africa
The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, Archbishop of Kenya
The Most Rev. Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Archbishop of South East Asia The Rt. Rev. Thomas W. Johnston, Missionary Bishop of Rwanda

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: acia; angpost1

1 posted on 03/28/2005 8:00:31 AM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Saint Reagan; Marauder; stan_sipple; SuzyQue; LifeofRiley; TheDean; pharmamom; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 03/28/2005 8:00:56 AM PST by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

Thank God for His every Good Man of Conviction!

May His blessings continue to be heaped upon these Priests and their Congregations and over:

The Most Rev. Fidele Dirokpa, Archbishop of Congo
The Most Rev. Immanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda
The Most Rev, Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central Africa
The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, Archbishop of Kenya
The Most Rev. Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Archbishop of South East Asia The Rt. Rev. Thomas W. Johnston, Missionary Bishop of Rwanda and;

Upon all of His servants in Christ!

God bless them/us all.

3 posted on 03/28/2005 11:39:19 AM PST by Brian Allen (I fly and can therefore be envious of no man -- Per Ardua ad Astra!)
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To: sionnsar

Echoing the Ping regarding our conversation re: AMiA. I had not heard that these 11 parishes in Canada had affiliated with AMiA, but I'm not surprised.

BTW, Beelzepug & I had the opportunity to meet with & attend worship at Rev. Paul Carter's church, Emmanuel Westside. VERY contemporary expression of Anglican altar, no vestments, praise music delivered by Power Point on overhead screens, no prayer books. Not our cup of tea, but seems to work for their congregation. Loved their fellowship. Because they're using a Baptist Church, they worship at 5:00 pm & have a potluck dinner after. Most enjoyable "family" gathering.

Please keep all the churches in the ACiC in your prayers of protection & guidance. This is only the beginning....

4 posted on 03/28/2005 5:04:55 PM PST by torqemada ("Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!")
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