Comments: Bishop of Dover to assume interim episcopal oversight in Channel Islands

As I posted a while ago - this one will run and run. It's become a 'cause célèbre' and frankly has been mishandled again and again. Suppressing the last report definitely didn't help even if it was supposedly 'on legal advice'.

Anyone seen Derek Jacobi in the Channel 4 adaption of Mervyn Peake's allegorical fantasy 'Mr Pye'? That's set in Sark but reminds me exactly of the strange and different world that exists in the Channel Islands.

My advice to Winchester diocese - proceed with exceptional care.

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Wednesday, 22 January 2014 at 3:52pm GMT

Just as we are about to create the largest diocese in the Church of England - Leeds - it has now been mooted as a possibility that we may well be about to create the smallest diocese in the Church of England - The Channel Islands.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 22 January 2014 at 4:26pm GMT

What a sad shambles!

The simple facts seem to be that the Channel Islands do need sorting out and never really have been in terms of relationship, accountability and law. There has for too long been too high a doctrine of "it's different in the channel islands" or "this doesn't affect us".

There were without a doubt some serious shortcomings over the HG case relating to safeguarding. Where vulnerable adults are involved, you can't hide behind "it's different", you just need to do what is right for the person and learn from any mistakes which might have been made.

However, there also needs to be tact, care, diplomacy and understanding on managing all of this.

At the risk of sounding too Anglican and sitting on the fence, there have been serious shortcomings on both sides here. I hope that a measure of reconciliation and understanding will grow out of this for the sake of the Diocese of Winchester, and for the sake of the kingdom.

Posted by Tim S at Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 9:54am GMT

As a Priest and Church Army Officer who grew up in the Channel Islands, there has always been some element of tension between the diocese and the Church in the Islands, particularly due to the system of Island government and the diocese's failure to realise this isa great part of Island life. Jersey appears to be wrong in the way it handled the safeguarding issue (according to press reports) and appropriate policies and procedures should have been in place, as they certainly were when I was living there, albeit prior to the CRB/DBS era. The Church in the Channel Islands was a safe place to be nurtured as a Christian and provided a firm foundation for my subsequent ministry. However, the Islands are different and they should be valued by the wider Church of England, of which it is a part. It is a tolerant element of the Church and happily lives with the sense of difference which characterises the Church which is present in that context. I continue to pray for my beloved home church, to also give thanks for its love nurture and welcome the new arrangements for episcopal oversight, which I am sure will bring a sense of renewed hope for the way forward.

Posted by Fr. Jon CA at Friday, 24 January 2014 at 10:53pm GMT

When marriages after divorce were generally permitted in the 1980s there was a ruling made by the bishops that all such marriages should be by banns, and it was agreed that common licences would not be issued. At the time I held a commission as a surrogate and was surprised to be asked by my archdeacon to take the necessary sworn statements for a licence where one of the parties had been divorced. It transpired that one party lived in the Channel Islands and the relevant Dean had ruled that banns for divorced people could not be read there, possibly with the intention of preventing second marriages taking place in the churches of the Islands. As both my bishop and archdeacon agreed that the wedding (which was planned to take place in our mainland diocese) should not be stymied in this way, the policy of the bishops was broken within weeks of it being set out. Just a sidelight on the Channel Islands sometimes being a law to themselves!

Posted by cryptogram at Saturday, 25 January 2014 at 2:51pm GMT

In the light of the breakdown of relationships between Winchester and the Channel Islands one might ask the question whether the Channel Islands should be linked to the Diocese of Salisbury, as was the case briefly at the time of the Reformation.

Posted by Richard Palmer at Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 8:48am GMT
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