At Truro Church, we clearly understood that the diocese would negotiate with us regarding the disposition of our property, although we expected amicable, Christlike proceedings. Indeed, we had a model to follow. All Saint’s Church in Dale City, Va., had voted to dissolve its ties with the Episcopal Church the previous month and had successfully negotiated a buyout of their property. We expected, based on the protocol, that we would do the same.
However, we were shocked when the diocese abruptly pulled the plug on negotiations with us in January 2007 and decided to pursue secular legal actions against us. That decision forced us to raise and spend more than $2 million to defend ourselves, and we understand that the diocese and the Episcopal Church have spent at least that much themselves.
Fortunately, virtually every legal decision handed down at the trial court level has gone in our favor, and we are in a much stronger position today than we were two years ago. Taking advantage of a “division statute” unique to Virginia, we have been able to follow the requirements of that statute to secure a ruling by the court: The property – which we bought, maintained and improved through the years – indeed belongs to us. The judge’s final ruling was issued in early January 2009, and although the Episcopal Church and Diocese have appealed the ruling, we remain confident of our position.
You can read the whole story here. h/t Transfigurations.