Friday, 31 May 2013
"The Church - The Abused - And The Three Amigos"
Churchgoers in Jersey are meeting to air their concerns about an inquiry into the way vulnerable parishioners are looked after.
It follows the suspension, and reinstatement, of the island's Dean over the way he dealt with one churchgoer's complaint of abuse.
The Bishop of Winchester's decision to suspend the island's Dean over the way he dealt with a complaint of abuse revealed fractures in relations between the church in the island and the Bishop.
The Dean Bob Key's now back at work and two inquiries are underway into how well vulnerable parishioners are safeguarded by Jersey's church.
But leading churchgoers are far from happy.
One former church warden, Bruce Willing, has already called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene in the whole affair.
Now a public meeting's been called for next Tuesday night so all churchgoers in the island who want to air their views on the current state of play can share their thoughts.
There are those who back the inquiries who want the original alleged victim to be remembered.
There are others who say the whole thing is a gross over-reaction.
The meeting at Grouville Parish Hall starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday 4 June.
A Jersey politician has arranged a meeting for Anglican churchgoers to discuss an inquiry about the Dean.
Senator Sir Philip Bailhache said he arranged the meeting amid concern over what the investigation could mean for Jersey.
The inquiry will look at how the Very Reverend Bob Key, the head of Jersey's Anglican Church, handled a woman's claims of abuse by a church warden.
It resulted in the bishop of Winchester withdrawing the Dean's commission.
It was reinstated on 28 April after he apologised.Full scale inquiry
Senator Bailhache said churchgoers needed to know as much as possible about the whole matter and he has called the special meeting to discuss it with as many people as possible.
The meeting is on Tuesday at 19:30 BST at Grouville Parish Hall.
There will now be a full scale inquiry, led by Bishop John Gladwin and Dame Heather Steel, an appeal court judge, which will also look at the constitutional relationship between Jersey's church and the diocese of Winchester.
Bishop Gladwin is due to publish his report later this year.
The States of Jersey Police and Hampshire Constabulary investigated the allegations of abuse in 2008 but found there was insufficient evidence to proceed.