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Catholic priest resigns after stealing money from the church to buy ‘lover’ four properties (Photos)

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The Catholic priest who stole £50,000 of church funds has resigned after ‘falling in love’ with his housekeeper.

Father John Reid, 69, urged his parishioners to ‘love one another’ and apologised for the ‘distress and unrest’ he had caused with his crimes.

The priest of 46 years was given a suspended 18 month jail term for fraud after he bought four houses for Gillian Leddy, 55, and her two grown-up daughters.

A court heard they lived ‘as a family’ in the presbytery at St Cuthbert’s church in Chester-le-Street, Co Durham.

In an Easter farewell to worshippers, Father Reid wrote: “I wish to express my sincere apologies for the all the distress and unrest my actions have caused. I accept full responsibility for the way the finances of the Parishes were used. Sorry.

“St Paul in 1 Corinthians 1 Verse 10 asks that there be no divisions among us. This is the time to move on, draw a line and come together as the body in Christ in this area.

“Please love one another as the Good Lord has asked. Thank you for all those who prayed for me, had Masses said, those who wrote letters and sent cards.

“They were a great comfort to me. May God bless you all.”

Significantly, it was signed John C L Reid, not Father Reid, suggesting he may not return to duties as a priest.

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About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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