Dio­cese in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties

Rec­tor of St. James Angli­can Church in Car­bon­ear granted leave

The Compass - - NEWS - BY TERRY ROBERTS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

An of­fi­cial with the Angli­can Dio­cese of East­ern New­found­land and Labrador has con­firmed that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at St. James Church in Car­bon­ear is un­der­way.

Archdea­con San­dra Til­ley, the ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer with the dio­cese, also con­firmed that the rec­tor at St. James, Rev. Mark Janes, “has been granted a leave of ab­sence.”

Parish­ioners at St. James were in­formed of the sit­u­a­tion dur­ing a church ser­vice on Sun­day, March 23, in a let­ter from the bishop, Right Rev. Ge­off Ped­dle.

“In­for­ma­tion has been re­ceived which sug­gest pos­si­ble fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the Par­ish of St. James,” Til­ley told The Com­pass.

“An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is re­quired to de­ter­mine the facts.”

She said the le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the dio­cese, known as the chan­cel­lor, has ad­vised that no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion be dis­closed while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.

In the in­terim, Hugh Fudge, a re­tired min­is­ter, will ad­min­is­ter the af­fairs of the par­ish, Til­ley added.

Til­ley would not com­ment on how much mon e y m i g h t b e in­volved.

Janes, who has min­is­tered in Car­bon­ear for the past two years, de­clined com­ment when con­tacted Tues­day. He has been a min­is­ter for 13 years, and pre­vi­ously served in Bay Roberts at St. Matthew’s for six years. He also served in Labrador City-Wabush.

The Com­pass reached out to sev­eral mem­bers of the par­ish, but all de­clined to com­ment pub­licly. One parish­ioner said there was gen­eral “shock and dis­be­lief ” over the al­le­ga­tions, and de­scribed the mat­ter as “very del­i­cate.”

News of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and leave of ab­sence comes at a his­toric time for the par­ish, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 150th an­niver­sary.

The church serves roughly 200 fam­i­lies in the Car­bon­ear area, though a typ­i­cal weekend ser­vice at­tracts be­tween 50 and 70 people.

And the sit­u­a­tion is a fur­ther blow to the dio­cese, which over­sees 35 parishes. A case of al­leged fraud against an­other min­is­ter, Rev. John Dinn, and his wife is now mak­ings its way through the court sys­tem. Dinn was rec­tor at St. John the Evan­ge­list Church in Top­sail.

“I am very re­stricted in what I can say,” Til­ley stressed. “I’m not free to com­ment on any of it.”

St. James Angli­can Church in Car­bon­ear.

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