St. Phillips church in downtown Charleston was one of 15 other churches not impacted by the ruling. | Photo by Warren LeMay on

Nearly a decade ago, more than two dozen parishes broke away from the national Episcopal Church. But on Wednesday after years of legal wrangling, the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered 14 of the 29 parishes that broke away must return its property to the Episcopal Church and its affiliated South Carolina diocese. The court also ordered turnover of Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island to the national church, which is represented by 29 parishes from Charleston to Columbia.

Among the breakaway churches in what is called the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina that will have to hand over their property include congregations in  Charleston (Good Shepherd, Old St. Andrew’s, Holy Trinity) and Sumter, Walterboro, Hilton Head Island, Stateburg, Mount Pleasant (Christ Church) and James Island. Those not affected by the ruling include historic St. Phillip’s and St. Michael’s in downtown Charleston as well as churches in Bluffton, Beaufort, Conway, Summerville and Orangeburg.

In other recent headlines:

S.C. court halts execution by firing squad. The state Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on Wednesday, delaying its first-ever execution by firing squad due to a litigation in another court challenging the constitutionality of South Carolina’s execution methods.

S.C. Senate unanimously supports early voting. The South Carolina senate is showing unanimous, bipartisan support for an early voting bill that unanimously passed in the S.C. House in March. But in doing so, added that senators have the power to confirm the governor’s choices for the director and the five members of the board of the South Carolina Election Commission. The House is unlikely to approve the changes.

S.C. bill to curb abortions advances. The bill will give women 18 and older more access to birth control or other hormonal contraceptives by going directly to a pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription.

Proposal to bring new life to old West Ashley grocery store lot. The West Ashley Revitalization Commission heard a proposal on Monday of turning the old Piggly Wiggly property on Sam Rittenberg Blvd. into a community hub, consisting of small businesses, a restaurant with rooftop dining and city offices to the property.

Charleston residents want to limit student-style housing in neighborhoods. Charleston-area residents, mainly those who live in the downtown peninsula, attended a city planning commission meeting to join talks of developers building student-style housing from Radcliffe Street to Market Street. The City of Charleston proposed an overlay zone requiring more requirements for developers to purchase land and build housing.

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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