Archdeacon John Dinn and his wife, Catherine Dinn, are facing multiple charges for allegedly defrauding the Anglican parish of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail, Nfld., where he has been the rector for about five years.
Dinn requested and was granted a leave from his position as rector after financial irregularities were discovered in January. The matter was turned over to police.
Archdeacon Sandra Tilley, executive officer for the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador, has been filling in at St. John the Evangelist to provide ministry and pastoral care in Dinn’s absence, and she has been keeping parishioners informed about developments in the situation. She told the Anglican Journal that the parish and diocese have been co-operating with the investigation and that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has advised the parish that, as a result of its investigation, charges of fraud, forgery, uttering forged documents and possession of property obtained by crime have been laid against the Dinns. A letter she read to the congregation emphasized that the charges have not yet been proven in court.
The Dinns’ lawyer, Erin Breen, appeared on their behalf at the first court date on May 28. According to a court story in the St. John newspaper The Telegram, the charges stem from several incidents of forged cheques being presented to an HSBC bank, thereby defrauding the parish of amounts not exceeding $5,000 in each case.
Breen declined comment when contacted by the Anglican Journal. The next court date is slated for June 26.
Tilley noted that Dinn has been a priest in the diocese since 1990.