Channel Islands churches in Winchester funding threat

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Channel Islands churches could stop paying money to the Diocese of Winchester and instead pay it into a shared fund.

Lay members of the Anglican Church in Jersey have brought forward the plan.

Bruce Willing, a lay member, says paying the money into a shared fund will help if they decide to become a separate diocese.

The Channel Islands split from Winchester in January after a dispute over how abuse complaints were handled.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Winchester said nothing had been decided over funding.

Two inquiries

He said: "The issue is part of the discussions between the Diocese of Winchester, the Bishop of Dover and church leaders in the Channel Islands.

"These discussions are still very much ongoing."

The Church of England in each island pays hundreds of thousands of pounds each year to the diocese, which is then used to pay clergy, training and other costs.

The spokesman said: "Parish-share is given by parishes to support the costs of providing mission and ministry across all the communities of the diocese."

Relations between Bishop Tim Dakin of Winchester and Jersey's Dean, the Very Reverend Bob Key, broke down in the abuse complaint row.

It followed questions raised over the relationship between Jersey and Winchester after a review of how an abuse complaint was handled.

Mr Dakin commissioned two inquiries, one led by Dame Heather Steel into the particular incident and a wider review into safeguarding policies being undertaken by Bishop John Gladwin.

After the dispute, which still has not been fully resolved, oversight of Jersey and Guernsey was passed to the Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott.

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