Channel Islands to come under Diocese of Salisbury after break down in relations with Winchester

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    In 2014 the Church of England deaneries in Guernsey and Jersey came under the oversight of the Bishop of Dover, Rt Rev’d Trevor Willmott, after, in 2013, the then Dean of Jersey, Dean Bob Key was suspended by the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Rev Tim Dakin over the handling of a safeguarding concern by a parishioner.

    Many questioned whether the bishop was right, or legal, to suspend the Dean. Very Rev Bob Key was reinstated and apologised for any mistakes but it opened a debate about the islands’ relations with the diocese.

    Archbishop Justin Welby then apologised in 2016 to the Dean for the probe. 

    It was decided when the oversight shifted temporarily that an Archbishop’s Commission would look at the longer-term relationship between the Islands and the wider Church of England.

    The Archbishop’s Commission visited Guernsey and Jersey, meeting with civic and church representatives and representatives from the Dioceses of Canterbury and Winchester.

    The Commission announced on Wednesday that the islands should leave the see of Winchester and join Salisbury.

    These recommendations will now go to the General Synod and the Island authorities for consideration, and recommendation to the Privy Council.

    If approved, the earliest it could take effect is autumn 2020.

    Until arrangements are finalised, Bishop Trevor Willmott will continue interim episcopal oversight of the Islands.

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