Campaign to overturn Dean suspension
A campaign has been launched to overturn the suspension of Jersey's Anglican Dean on the day the island's Solicitor General questioned the legality of that suspension.
Parishioners who support the Very Reverend Bob Key are being urged, by high-profile churchgoer David Morgan, to write to the Bishop of Winchester.
The letter expresses "shock and concern" at the suspension of the Dean, calling the review into events "unfairly biased against the Dean" and that the whole approach is "a matter for grave concern".
The Bishop suspended the Dean over the way he dealt with one churchgoer's complaint of abuse.
Those actions will now be investigated in an inquiry led by John Gladwin, the former Bishop of Chelmsford.
But today, in response to a question in the States about whether the Dean can be suspended by the Bishop of Winchester, Solicitor General Howard Sharp QC said: "No. The Dean is appointed by the Crown. It's right that a Bishop can grant a commission in respect of particular duties, and a Bishop can withdraw that commission, but the Dean is still the Dean until the Crown decides otherwise."
The Dean Bob Key and his wife Daphne told ITV News there is support for them. They said, "They don't want to appear on camera at the moment, but they did say they're grateful for all the parishioners who've been in touch to offer their best wishes. They say there are so many cards in their lounge at the moment, that it actually looks more like Christmas in there."
Meanwhile church wardens in St Helier have issued a message of support to the Dean. They say: "There are many highly difficult issues arising from the case including the validity of the enquiry [sic], the accuracy of some of its contents and the way the report has been written. Lawyers are involved in advising Bob. We are sure that Bob and Daphne will be among us again very soon."