St Boniface congregants want man of the cloth out of their church

Anglican congregants in Vosloorus want their pastor whom they accuse of embezzling church funds fired.

The congregants also lambast the man of the cloth of launching into intermittent emotional outbursts during church services.

The spokesperson of St Boniface in Vosloorus, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the parishioners are concerned that the diocesan bishop of the highveld, the Right Reverend Charles May, has not explained why their investment account of R680 000 was raided without the church council’s permission.

Additional, May has not given an account why the diocese, without the church’s consent, helped itself to the so-called R150 00 without first deferring to the Vosloorus parish.

“There is no record of a special vestry meeting approving the ‘loan’ to the diocese. Is this not a serious governance failure by the diocese?” asked the parishioners.

As if this was not enough, the congregants are now calling for the clergyman’s expulsion.

This is contained in a letter of grievances dated August 17 2022 which was addressed to May.

In the letter, which we have seen, the congregants allege that bible-puncher, who cannot be named for legal reason, misused the church’s bank card after he made ATM withdrawals totaling over R120 000 between January and July 2022.

They also allege that the pastor first made a direct cash withdrawal of about R10 000 using the parish bank card, claiming the amount was what was due to him from Easter offerings.

Reads the letter: “In our meeting on 11 September with the church wardens, we asked whether the council had approved this amount or not.

“Unfortunately, our church wardens could not give us a direct answer. Surely this is not just irregular, it is a breach of our tax laws. How can this happen when in 2019 we had R679k in our investment account?

“How does he account for the multiple ATM withdrawals? Why and how did the St Boniface Investment drop from R679k in 2019 to R85.5k in 2021.

“Can we get an independent auditor/forensic auditor from the diocese to check our financials from at least 2018?”

The congregants pleaded with the church to establish if it was ethical for a priest to keep and use the parish bank card for his personal gains.

They also lamented that the church’s guilds, server’s guild, and lay ministers were non-existent under the minister’s watch.

“It is pathetic to see what has become of what used to be our vibrant guilds,” reads the letter.

They also complained about the pastor’s emotional intelligence, saying it was not uncommon to listen to his emotional outburst during church services.

The cleaners and maintenance employees of the church, they alleged, have consistently complained about the pastor and are willing to testify against him.

The congregants further said many of the council members have resigned as a result of the pastor’s conduct, and mainly because of their difference with him.

The current council, they alleged, is just a puppet which is simply carries out instructions from the man of the cloth.

“Was the 2022 vestry meeting convened and conducted properly? Did the 2022 vestry meeting have audited financial statements for 2021? How were the nomination conducted,” they asked.

They implored May to remove the pastor from his position with immediate effect and investigate his financial mismanagement of funds and abuse of authority.

If the funds have been embezzled, they said, measures must be put in place to recoup them as soon as possible.

“There are many more depressing incidents in our parish which are driving fellow parishioners out of the church.

“We undersigned, would rather do all we can to find a solution from within the church structures. Assist us in rebuilding our parish and get the parishioners to rejoin our regular services where they will feel welcome,” reads the letter.

They have asked for an urgent meeting with May, saying any delay will result in disruptive practices within the church.


Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. 


Latest News