Here is Bishop Martyn Minns statement at the division of Grace Church & St. Stephen's:
While we are of course disappointed with today’s ruling, we will continue with our ministry and mission work in Colorado Springs and around the nation. The Gospel is not spread by church buildings or church property. It is the living Christ that works in people, and we are praying for the orthodox Anglicans in Colorado Springs that the work of the Lord will continue.
We remain steadfast in our effort to defend the historic Christian faith across the country. There is clearly a division within The Episcopal Church which broke its relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion and fell out of step with much of Christendom by choosing to redefine and reinterpret Scripture.
The Denver Post reports that the judge ruled there was an "implied trust" on the property.
An El Paso County judge today ordered a breakaway Episcopalian congregation to surrender Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish in Colorado Springs to the Colorado Episcopal Diocese it left two years ago over theoogical differences.Note that implied trusts are historically not recognized in the Commonwealth of Virginia where the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia have filed separate appeals to the rulings last year by Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows, who found in favor of the local parishes who voted overwhelmingly in 2006 to separate from the Episcopal Church.
District Judge Larry Schwartz ruled that the landmark Gothic-style church, rectory and other buildings along Tejon Street, valued at about $17 million, belonged to the diocese.
The judge said 138 years of shared history had created an implied trust between the Episcopal Diocese and the church that prohibited members who left the denomination from taking property with them.
It will be interesting to see if the former "established church" of Virginia will also win over the Supreme Court judges in Richmond, remembering that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia lost much of their holdings following votes by local parishes and actions taken by the General Assembly to disestablish the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Virginia.