"Have The State Media Inquired About The Well-being Of The Victim?"
Exclusive: Lawyers consulted over Dean suspension
ITV News can reveal Jersey's Anglican Church leaders are consulting lawyers over the suspension of the Dean.
The Very Reverend Bob Key was suspended by the Bishop of Winchester ten days ago following criticism of the way he handed a complaint of abuse involving a vulnerable parishioner and a church warden.
At the weekend, the Bishop visited the island to explain his actions, but today it's emerged that summit ended with no agreement on a way forward.
Now questions are being asked about whether the suspension was legal.
The Bishop, the Right Rev Tim Dakin is clear about his position: "Jersey's a part of the Church of England; in some sense I'm therefore very much the Bishop of the island. I have a concern and a care and a commitment to the life of the island and therefore safeguarding in the island."
But today, the Dean's deputy has made it clear the meeting with the Bishop hasn't resolved things and they're going to reconvene soon.
The Rev Canon Geoff Houghton, Vice Dean of Jersey, said: "We're in a most incredibly difficult situation. The Church, for Jersey, and most of all for Bob and Daphne Key. But throughout all of this we do have this ongoing priority over safeguarding and that was at the heart of the conversation which we had. "
Legal advice is being sought because the Dean has a dual-role in Jersey where he also leads the Ecclesiastical Church, where he's answerable to the Queen.
ITV News understands the Church in Jersey is consulting advocates to establish whether or not that limits the Bishop's ability to suspend him.
The terms of an investigation into the Dean's actions by the Bishop are yet to be agreed. They were due to be sorted at the weekend, but the summit between the Bishop and church leaders in the island could not reach an agreement.
The Dean won't be taking his seat at tomorrow's States meeting.
He was seen meeting advisors for around 10 minutes at the Town Church this lunchtime.
The Vice-Dean has given the only insight into how the Dean and his wife are dealing with the current situation.
He said: "I think they're holding firm. They're okay, they're okay."
Jersey politicians question UK Church power
Jersey's States will be asked tomorrow to explain who has authority over Jersey's Anglican Church, following the suspension of the island’s Dean.
Constitutional expert Deputy Roy Le Herissier is asking the Attorney General to explain the roles of the Crown and the Bishop of Winchester over the appointment and management of the Dean.
And Deputy Trevor Pitman is asking what procedures are followed when the job of Dean becomes vacant.
The suspension of Dean Bob Key, over the way he handled an allegation of abusive behaviour by a churchwarden, has raised both the constitutional issue and how well Jersey has been following diocesan rules on safeguarding vulnerable people.
The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Tim Dakin told ITV News how he sees his role:
He said: "Jersey is part of the Church of England and, in some senses, I am therefore very much Bishop of the island. I have a concern, and a care, and a commitment to the life of the island and, therefore, safeguarding in the island and, along with the island's leaders, that's the top priority for me".
Whatever the constitutional position is, Jersey's Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, has already offered full co-operation with the Bishop's investigation.