Deanery split: 'Cooling-off period' needed says rector

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Jersey's longest-serving Anglican rector is warning that a split between the Deanery of Jersey and its mainland diocese could damage the Church of England in the island.

In January, it was announced the Channel Islands were to split with the Diocese of Winchester.

Now the Reverend Dr Anthony Swindell has called for a "cooling-off period" before any permanent changes are made.

For now, the Bishop of Dover will oversee the islands.

The rector of St Saviour Dr Swindell said there were lots of "possible solutions if we really want to be connected to the Diocese of England, which could presumably absorb a tiny deanery, which is what we are".

"We need to take a deep breath and wait. There's no hurry, it's possible to have a cooling-off period and we do not need to rush into a unproven structure."

Mr Swindell warned islanders that 500 years of history between Jersey and Winchester should not be thrown away lightly.

But he added that a "Diocese of the Channel Islands" could be too inward-looking.

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