Redemption for Reverend

A former Tauranga pastor convicted of fraud and burglary is embarking on new adventures after being appointed the new Anglican Dean of Wellington.

Reverand Lloyd Kenneth Wilkinson, known as Digby, was the Otumoetai Bapist Church Minister when he was convicted of theft, insurance fraud and burglary and sentenced to 170 hours of community service in 2003.

The offending stemmed from two involved false insurance claims on personal property, including the theft of an office laptop computer – which he later sold back to the church for $3456 less than the insurance company had paid out.

A fourth charge concerned a break-in at a parishioner’s home. The householder was overseas and had left a key with the church office.

But the Bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth, says Digby stood out in the appointment process and will honour the tradition of the Cathedral of Wellington.

“I’m absolutely wrapped. I definitely think he is the right person for the role and so have no hesitation.”

Jason says Digby will conduct his last church service at Palmerston North Central Baptist Church on Christmas Day, taking up the position of Dean of the Cathedral of St Paul on January 26.

“He is a gifted communicator with a proven track record in leadership during his time in Palmerston North, Digby has the ability to hold a breadth of church and theological positions.”

Following his conviction, the 49-year-old helped at the crèche attached to Tauranga’s Holy Trinity Anglican Church where his daughter attended.

He often visited the church and was offered the position of a preaching associate two years later.

Digby was ordained in 2006 before becoming a leader of the Palmerston North Central Baptist Church since 2007. His roles at the church include preaching, oversight of church life, staff and inter church relations.

Justin says Digby has made faith relevant to younger generations and hopes his personal struggles will be as a source of inspiration.

“In some senses I just think somebody who has fallen that far and experienced that much. He actually went to the depths and to actually experiencing the grace of god and to put it back together he is the living example of what the church is about.”

Married with three children, Digby was born in the Wellington suburb of Wadestown attending Wellington College to Year 12.

Before becoming involved in ministry, he worked for New Zealand Railways as a mechanical fitter repairing main-trunk-line locomotives.

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Posted on 29-06-2013 15:00 | By ROCCO

Hang about he is a Baptist minister with a track record and baggage yet he has been appointed the new Anglican Dean of Wellington.I was so gobsmacked had to check the label of what I was drinking and my medication before reading this epistle again.Still as they say truth is stranger than fiction and you wanna believe it reading this tale.

Church is about second chances.

Posted on 29-06-2013 14:23 | By michael_l_c

I am a bit cynical when it comes to religion. So often it seems to be about valuable buildings being a business not people & as in Ak putting the hand out for $3m towards fixing an organ. This time they are leading by example, practicing what they preach. If a church cannot give someone a second, third .... chance who can. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t stuffed up, at least once. Good on them.

Posted on 28-06-2013 16:29 | By whatsinaname



Posted on 28-06-2013 16:27 | By MrsT

A pastor with a record for burglary and fraud being placed into such a high position of trust. These people need to be squeaky clean and he is not. What is the world coming to and what is the church thinking.

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