From the Colorado Springs Gazette:
A Fourth Judicial District Court judge ruled today that the $17 million stone church and other property at 631 N. Tejon Street belongs to the Episcopal Church and Colorado Diocese.
It's a defeat for Grace Church & St. Stephen's, a congregation that broke from the Episcopal Church but continued to worship at the property.
Judge Larry Schwartz issued a 28-page ruling that concluded, among other things: "The Diocese over most of its 135 years existence demonstrates a unity of purpose on the part of the parish and general church. ... The trust created through past genereations of members of Grace Church & St. Stephen's prohibits the departing parish members from taking the property with them."
From the Diocese of Colorado press release:
The Bishop and Diocese of Colorado, and the more than 500 members of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church rejoice today that the members of the Episcopal parish will be returning to their church home as a result of a decision issued by District Court Judge Larry Schwartz. In that ruling, Judge Schwartz found that the historic property is held in trust for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and ordered the breakaway congregation that wrongfully took possession of the property two years ago to leave.
Episcopal Cafe is also on the story ... will keep an eye out for an ENS article likely coming soon!