Andrew Sloane was associate vicar of St. Pauls, Knightbridge in London when he managed to convince several parishioners to “loan” him thousands of pounds, and then stole another four thousand pounds from collection money. He then used the money to pay for male prostitutes. He has been suspended by the Church of England, and also sentenced to 12 months in jail.
Sloane told three women in the parish that he needed emergency loans and manipulated them into transferring over 10,000 pounds to him between them. He then told them to keep the loans a secret, thereby covering his tracks. In emails to the women, he said things like, “This is strictly between us as friends”, “I appreciate your discretion” and “I don’t want tittle tattle within the parish”. The loans weren’t uncovered until almost four thousand pounds went missing from the church collection. CCTV coverage showed Sloane taking money from the safe, and he admitted the theft. Sloane eventually repaid the fraudulent loans in full.
A spokesman for the Diocese of London said: “Andrew Sloane took advantage of the trust that his parishioners placed in him as their priest. There is no excuse for what he did and we can only apologise to those who fell victim to his crimes. Andrew Sloane was suspended as soon as news of the charges against him was made known by the authorities and we have fully supported the criminal investigation.”
Sloane was previously the rector of St Paul’s K St in Washington, DC.
[Story updated to reflect that Sloane was associate vicar, not vicar, at Knightsbridge.]