Vicar wins support after wife jailed
A vicar whose wife was jailed for a year after fiddling more than £160,000 from her employers has the support of his parishioners today.The Rev Ian Morgan's wife Tracey admitted seven charges of theft totalling £10,000 when she appeared at Ipswich Crown Court.
By Colin Adwent
A vicar whose wife was jailed for a year after fiddling more than £160,000 from her employers has the support of his parishioners today.
The Rev Ian Morgan's wife Tracey admitted seven charges of theft totalling £10,000 when she appeared at Ipswich Crown Court. She also asked for 181 offences involving £152,400 to be considered.
Mr Morgan conducted services at St Mary at Stoke church in Belstead Road, Ipswich, yesterday.
A former church warden was posted at the church door during the morning service to make sure journalists did not join the 100-strong congregation.
Mr Morgan confirmed later that he did not mention the court case or his wife during the service. He described it as "a normal service".
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When asked if he was standing by his wife, he described it as "a personal matter".
But worshipper Ken Parker, 70, a chorister at the church for 60 years, confirmed that the rector was still with his wife.
Retired insurance worker Mr Parker said: "Everyone is 100 per cent behind Mr Morgan. He didn't know anything about what his wife had been up to.
"It was a total surprise to everyone when she was arrested. To my knowledge nobody knows what the money went on. Nobody was driving around in flashy cars or anything like that.
"Mr Morgan does an excellent job and the congregation here is growing. We are well pleased with him."
Mrs Morgan, 43, of Ancaster Road, Ipswich, defrauded her bosses at Boulter Buderus Ltd, formerly called Boulter Boilers Ltd, of White House Road, Ipswich, over an eight-year period from 1995 to 2003.
She was employed as an office manager and personnel manager and had been with company since 1991. She had access to the company's bank account and was an authorised signatory to cheques.
Matthew Gowan, who mitigated for Mrs Morgan at her sentencing, said her 46-year-old husband – who earns £18,000 per year and has added benefits of a pension and a house, bringing his total package to around £35,000 – knew nothing of her stealing.
Mr Morgan was ordained in 1984. He also worked for the BBC from 1988-92 as a local radio researcher, producer and presenter.
In 1992 he became the vicar at All Hallows church in Reynolds Road, Ipswich, where he stayed until appointed to his current post at St Mary at Stoke in 1995.
In 1997 he was promoted to team rector of the Ipswich South West ministry.