Skip to comments.Statement from All Saints, Pawley's Island
Posted on 03/16/2006 1:04:07 PM PST by sionnsar
Monday afternoon, March 13, 2006, Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper announced his decision in the two lawsuits involving the All Saints Church property and the All Saints Parish, Waccamaw church corporation.
As to sixty acres of church property, Judge Cooper declared that the 1745 Trust Deed from Percival and Anna Pawley created a Charitable Trust and that it has been an active, religious, charitable trust since 1745.
The Trust purpose, to use the sixty acres for the "Inhabitants of the Waccamaw Neck" for worship services of the Church of England, is not defeated because the Church of England has been disestablished in America.
Judge Cooper specifically directed the Georgetown Probate Court to apply the doctrine of equitable deviation which means that since the Church of England no longer is the State approved church, the Probate Court shall determine its replacement.
Since Judge Cooper determined that the 1745 Trust Deed is an active charitable trust, the sixty acres and the buildings thereon are not subject to the Canons of the Diocese or ECUSA's Dennis Canon.
As to the 2005 lawsuit regarding the control of the All Saints Parish, Waccamaw, corporation, Judge Cooper ruled that the Episcopal Church is a hierarchical church and All Saints Parish, Waccamaw has been associated with the South Carolina Diocese and National Episcopal Church. Therefore, the Court held that the 'loyal Epsicopalians' were the "members" of this corporation.
Judge Cooper declared that the appropriate Vestry for All Saints Parish, Waccamaw was Guerry Green, Carl Short, George Townsend, James Chapman, and Edward Mills.
However, Judge Cooper refused to grant ejectment relief sought by the Diocese and Mr. Green, et al, which means that the group in possession, those who transferred their memberships to the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, will continue to be the caretaker for the sixty acres until the Probate Court appoints a new Trustee for the charitable trust.
The Judge required that an accounting be made of the funds in existence in all the Church corporation accounts as of January 8, 2004 and an accounting of the expenditures made by the Church Corporation after that date.
As to the Diocese and Green et al's claims for the "personal property", Judge Cooper ruled that the personal property in possession of the Church as of January 8, 2004, belongs to the corporation, but he noted that he expected an appropriate appellate bond would be posted to stay any attempts to take possession of that property.
We are pleased about Judge Cooper's trust ruling because we have fought for six years to preserve the 1745 charitable trust that owns the sixty acre All Saints Church campus. As to Judge Cooper's decision regarding the corporation, we are considering his decision and have made no determination with respect to an appeal at this time.
All Saints Church, Pawleys Island
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