An investigation has discovered that a church in England sold a valuable painting without first gaining permission from the diocese. Last October, the Emmanuel Church in Cheltenham sold the 19th Century Madonna and Child by Franz Ittenbach for over $32,000.
According to the BBC, the church initially planned to discard the painting, but opted to sell it at an action.
Reverend Jacqueline Rodwell, vicar of the parish, has since left the church; Rodwell claims she was unaware permission was needed to sell church property. Diocese Chancellor June Rodgers contends that disposal of Church property is considered theft, but also maintains the issue has been dismissed.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has held the funds in a trust during the investigation. Those funds have now been released to the parish.
"They have been really, really stupid. But they have not been dishonest," states the report.
Publication date: September 26, 2014