Channel Island church inquiries cost £190,000

Church of England communion
Image caption The costs to the Church of England are still mounting, according to the Dean of Portsmouth

The Church of England has spent £190,000 handling a rift between the Channel Islands and the Diocese of Winchester, it has emerged.

The islands split with the diocese in a dispute involving the Dean of Jersey and the Bishop of Winchester about the handling of an abuse complaint.

The figure was revealed after the Dean of Portsmouth asked the CofE's ruling body how much the rift had cost.

The money was spent on two inquiries and does not include legal fees.

'A long time'

The Dean of Portsmouth, the Very Reverend David Brindley, said the money could have been allocated to parishes elsewhere in the country.

"Those costs haven't yet finished and don't include legal costs incurred either by the Diocese of Winchester or by the Channel Islands," he said.

"The archbishop is planning to set up a further inquiry into how the oversight of the Channel Islands is handled in future.

"Sometimes inquiries come up with answers and make a difference but at the moment I think we're taking a long time to look at this issue.

"There must be a better way to settle differences than throwing this much money at lawyers."

The Channel Islands split from the Diocese of Winchester in January after relations broke down between Bishop Tim Dakin and the Very Reverend Robert Key, Dean of Jersey.

After the split, Bishop Dakin handed temporary oversight of the islands to the Bishop of Dover Trevor Wilmott, who is based in the Diocese of Canterbury.

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