The leaders of an evangelical church stripped of its charity licence this week deny they went on a spending spree at donors’ expense.

Pastor Peter and Peggy Rigo apologized yesterday for shoddy bookkeeping they say led to federal auditors concluding that they had used church money to pay for trips to Hawaii and elsewhere; Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana fashion products; and personal expenses including gym memberships.

In a statement, the leaders of the Dominion Christian Centre in Hamilton say they will improve record keeping and will try to be reinstated as a charity.