Jersey – Dean Reinstated

This from the Diocese of Winchester this morning.

Diocese of WinchesterTHE VERY REVEREND ROBERT KEY, the Dean of Jersey, has today apologised for mistakes in the handling of a safeguarding complaint and added his own apology to that of the Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury to the vulnerable person at the heart of this matter.

He has confirmed that he shares the Bishop of Winchester’s and Archbishop of Canterbury’s stated commitment to safeguarding in the Diocese and the wider Church. The Dean was speaking following meetings with the Bishop last week.

The Bishop acknowledges that, although mistakes were made, the Dean believed he was acting in good faith. Following the commitment that the Dean has made, the Bishop has decided that he will issue a new Commission to the Dean with immediate effect. The Bishop and the Dean have also agreed that, in the light of these recent events, there are areas in Jersey Canon Law which would benefit from further review and they are committed to working together as necessary to revise them.

The Dean said: “I regret mistakes that I made in the safeguarding processes and I understand that, upon reflection, it would have been more helpful if I had co-operated more fully with the Korris Review. I now add my own apology to that of the Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury to the vulnerable person at the heart of this matter. I will be cooperating with the Visitation and Investigation announced by the Bishop on 26 March. Together, the Bishop and I are committed to the importance of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in Jersey and to working to ensure the safeguarding procedures of the Diocese achieve this as part of the whole Church’s mission.”

The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, said: “Safeguarding must always be of paramount concern and is a vital part of the Church’s mission. We will now press ahead with the Visitation and Investigation and see them through to their conclusions, as we all have important lessons to learn. At the heart of this matter is safeguarding the vulnerable who have frequently been let down by the Church. The Dean’s apology is a welcome one, and I am glad that he has joined with me in reaffirming our commitment to safeguarding. I am also glad that the Dean has promised his full cooperation with these inquiries. I wish to assure the Dean and the people of Jersey of my prayers as we go forward together.”

It’s very interesting what is and isn’t said.

  • There is no threat of discipline of the Dean. Indeed, one of the key reasons why this settlement was reached was because the Diocese of Winchester realised there was no way of disciplining the Dean apart from under Jersey Canon Law and in doing so that would be a tacit admittal that English Canon Law has little jurisdiction in Jersey.
  • Although the Dean and Bishop pledge to review Jersey Canon Law there is no list of what those items are, and sources indicate that the States are not at all amenable to any changes.
  • Although the Dean apologises, it is only a generic apology to “HG”. On the matter of complying with safeguarding guidelines he “regrets” mistakes (but doesn’t apologise for them) and he admits it would have been helpful if he co-operated more fully with the Korris Report, but once again that is not an apology.
  • The diocese have very clearly put safeguarding at the centre of their agenda. The word is mentioned four times in the press release.
  • There are questions now as to how much the whole process has cost.

10 Comments on “Jersey – Dean Reinstated

  1. (not sure my first comment posted – if it did, apologies for repetition). I am disturbed by your feeling the need to comment on this episode. From the start it appears that you have had a desire and taken pleasure in stirring and gossip. We won’t (outside those directly involved), know exactly what has gone on and how people feel about it, and your commentary doesn’t add or help anything at all other than guessing what may or may not have happened. People have been hurt. The Diocese of Winchester appears to have been open in saying what has gone on (as best they can – and we know in these instances there is always much that cannot be said publicly). And there are always two (or more) sides to every ‘story’.

    In all your writings on this I have wondered what you might have against either the Diocese of Winchester or the Bishop and/or connection/interest in what has gone on in Jersey and what your motives are. I feel that your commentary has hardly taken place in the context of Christian love and understanding and has been unnecessarily stirring and engagement in the matter. No better really than commentators who write for the Daily Mail and other such tabloids.

    • Thank you for your comments. I have no ill will against the Diocese of Winchester or Bishop Tim Dakin. I’m simply trying to report what is going on.

      If the PR firm hired by the Diocese has been unwilling to answer any of my questions and put their side forward then that is their business.

      • Not sure though why you wished to report on them in the first place? Was additional comment & stirring required? And whilst I’m not defending the lack of response you had; why should the Diocese’s PR firm respond to you? As they didn’t is it then ‘right’ to make assumptions?

          • I have read the coverage of the Jersey situation on this blog, it has been extensive, frequently only carrying letters or statements from people on the Island.

            In cases of accusations such as these, where much is secret and material even kept from those accused, the most robust and public defence is the best. For someone interested in Canon Law the information has been helpful. It seems, having re-read all the posts, Peter maintained an interested but fairly neutral position.

            The investigation concluded by the diocese seemed to take place without the agreement and cooperation of all concerned. It should not have happened under those circumstances. Apart from that here are no villains or monsters, just a struggle to make systems work

          • I have no axe to grind other than what I have said already. It has felt like tabloid journalism and rather pointless other than to stir things unnecessarily. I appreciate your desire to not answer my questions. As I have already said, I am really not sure why you have reported on this incident – and reporting in a manner that I would suggest has not been necessary. Much of it just comes across as unnecessary gossip and intent to stir matters. Not in anyone’s interest at all in my view.

  2. I’d say that – personalities and the particular question aside – the disfunctional historic setup of responsibilities and relationships is ample to justify coverage.

    Has this been resolved or is the Winchester vs Jersey jurisdictional crack still there for next time?

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