Judge Orders April 30 Transfer of Historic Falls Church to Episcopalians

Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows this morning ruled that the transfer of all property, physical and personal property, of the historic Falls Church in the downtown City of Falls Church shall be transferred from control of the breakaway congregation to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia shall occur by an April 30, 2012 deadline. The DIocese had recommended a March 30 deadline, but Bellows agreed to comply with the request of attorneys for the breakaway “Council of Anglicans in North America” (CANA) group for more time.

Judge Bellows also ruled that all personal property — including all furnishings and cash assets — shall also be conveyed to the Diocese, and that cash assets be based on the amount on hand as of January 31, 2007. The CANA attorneys had argued for a demarcation date in December 2006, when a majority in the congregation voted to defect from the national Episcopal church due in part to the 2003 election of an openly-gay priest to standing as bishop in the denomination.
Judge Bellows was slated to rule this afternoon on the issue of the “Historic Falls Church” trademark, suggesting this morning that if the CANA group wants to keep the name, it would have to add “Anglican” to it.