Channel Islands and Church relationship concerns raised

Anglican church members in the Channel Islands have met to discuss concerns about their relationship with the Church of England.

The meeting, which was held in private in Jersey on Friday, followed concerns about the launching of an inquiry into the handling of an abuse complaint.

The Bishop of Winchester commissioned the review into how the Dean of Jersey dealt with the issue.

The discussions included if the islands should stay in the Winchester Diocese.

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, Jersey's Assistant Minster and former Bailiff, organised the meeting and said those attending discussed fears about their relationship with the diocese of Winchester.

He said it was just an informal exchange of views and no decisions were made.

On Saturday, a full page advert was taken out in the Jersey Evening Post by a group of lay members worried about the reputation of the Anglican church suggesting the Bishop of Winchester's reaction has been "over the top" and "wrongly undermined confidence" in the Church.

Accusations Dean Robert Key mishandled the abuse complaint, made in 2008 against a church warden, led to him being suspended for nearly two months.

Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester, has 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.

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