An Anglican priest is on leave after financial irregularities were uncovered at the St. John the Evangelist Church in Topsail.

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Anglican Archdeacon Sandra Tilley confirmed in a brief statement that police are investigating the matter. (CBC)

Anglican Archdeacon Sandra Tilley confirmed in a brief statement to CBC on Thursday that police are investigating the matter involving Father John Dinn.

"Further investigation is required to determine all necessary facts relating to this matter. For that reason, it has been referred to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for investigation," she said.

She also confirmed that Dinn is on leave pending the results of the police investigation.

"The rector of the parish is presently on leave as the process unfolds so that there will be no conflict of interest," she said. "That leave was requested and granted."

Parishioners of the church were made aware of the situation on the weekend of Jan. 20.

Well-known figure

Dinn is well known in the community. He was a regular speaker at the annual Ocean Ranger memorials.

He has also been an outspoken critic of the oil industry's safety record, stating in 2010 that: "The price of oil is human beings."

CBC was unable to reach Dinn for comment.