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    S.C. Supreme Court hears All Saints' appeal

    By Sarah L. Smith
    Coastal Observer

    The state Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer on the ownership of 50 acres at All Saints’ Church, in a case that has wound through the courts for almost a decade.

    The court heard arguments last week in an appeal of a 2006 Circuit Court ruling that held the property is still owned by a charitable trust created in 1745 by George Pawley. Judge Thomas Cooper said it is up to the Probate Court to appoint trustees.

    In 2004, members of All Saints’ Waccamaw Episcopal Church voted to leave the national church and join the Anglican Mission in America. The Anglicans kept possession of the property.

    Cooper ruled that the parish vestry appointed by the Episcopal bishop after the split was entitled to the name All Saints’ Parish Waccamaw and any personal property owned before the schism.

    But Cooper ruled the Episcopal Church is a beneficiary of the Pawley trust, not the owner of the property.

    Questions by Chief Justice Jean Toal focused on the trust.

    Julius Hines, attorney for the diocese, argued the Episcopal Church had a 1903 quit-claim deed and sold some property. But Toal noted the proceeds benefited the purpose of the trust: Christian worship.

    Henrietta Golding, attorney for the Anglicans, asked the court to uphold Cooper’s ruling on the trust, and his distinctions between secular and church law. In past proceedings, the Anglicans have sought to be named trustees of the Pawley trust.

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