News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

shopping bags banner.JPG
shopping bags banner.JPG
UK News

Church treasurer jailed after stealing £24,000 from parish for 'retail therapy'

by Sophie Drew

A church treasurer has been jailed after stealing £24,000 from a church in Hertfordshire.

Alison Blake – who also stole £125,000 from a company she worked for – used the money on "retail therapy" to cure her depression, St Alban’s Crown Court heard.

The 52 year old was the chief signatory for the parochial church council (PCC) at her local church – a role she’s held since 2013.

The church – which only has ten regular worshippers – usually collected around £3,500 a year, until Blake started paying in fraudulent cheques from her employer, Kier Fleet Services.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position, for crimes which began in February 2018.

The court heard how Blake resisted attempts to have a second signatory on the account, which she used to transfer money to her own account.

She then spent it on shopping sites like Estee Lauder and Amazon.

Blake resigned from her church role in 2019, but repeatedly made excuses to prevent the new treasurer from taking over the account, prosecutors said.

She's received a sentence of 28 months behind bars and has written letters of apology to the church, employer and the court.

Defending counsel Natalie Turner said: "Ms Blake had paid back the church and offered to repay Kier.

"She had previously been in two abusive relationships and had turned to retail therapy as a coping mechanism.

"She had been going through the perimenopause and had felt under huge pressure, having experienced bullying at work."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email