Mere Anglicanism

Fugitive warrant issued for Surrey clergyman

A Church of England clergyman has been found guilty on four counts of theft following trial by jury before the Sheffield Crown Court. However, the Rev. Simon Reynolds, former priest in charge of All Saints Darton in the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, did not return to court following the lunch break on 23 Jul 2015 after the case was given to the jury for their consideration. The jury returned a guilty verdict later that afternoon, but the defendant had absconded. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Reynolds was found guilty of keeping £24,000 in fees paid to him for weddings, funerals and other pastoral services that should have been passed on to the parochial council or to the Wakefield Diocesan Board of Finance. A review of parish accounts begun in October 2013 found that Mr. Reynolds could not account for some of the fees he had collected for conducting an estimated 700 funerals. After finding a prima facie case for theft, the diocese turned over the results of its investigation to the South Yorkshire police, who in March 2014 brought charges against the 50-year old priest. In March 2013 Mr Reynolds left the diocese and was licensed as rector of Farnham in the Diocese of Guildford. He was suspended from his post the following month after police brought charges against him.

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