A woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from St. Patrick's parish in St. John's had her first court date on Tuesday.

Dianne Clare Coady, 68, faces three charges, including theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000, and uttering forged documents. She was the cook and the bookkeeper for the parish.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between Jan. 1, 2007 and July 31, 2012 while she was working for the church. An audit done for the Archdiocese of St. John's found that more than $306,000 was unaccounted for over that period of time.

Coady did not appear in court on Tuesday. She was instead represented by her lawyer.

The case will be called again on April 3.

The parish priest at St. Patrick's first raised concerns in August 2012 that money might be missing.

He reported his suspicions to the archdiocese business office, triggering an external forensic audit by the firm Grant Thornton.

The results of the audit were received last January, and the police were called in.

Archbishop Martin Currie released a brief statement Tuesday, saying while there would be no comment on the case while it's before the courts, "our thoughts and prayers are with people of St. Patrick's parish."