INQUIRIES into safeguarding
in Jersey will be led by a former Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd
John Gladwin, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin,
announced on Monday. Bishop Dakin is the head of the archiepiscopal
visitation of the diocese of Chichester.
The inquiry has been
triggered by an independent report into a safeguarding complaint
which was published last week (News, 15 March). Bishop Gladwin will
be joined by the Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven. Norman Russell,
and a member of the judiciary.
Bishop Dakin met some clergy
and the authorities in Jersey on Saturday to discuss the
independent report. He withdrew the commission of the Dean of
Jersey, the Very Revd Robert Key, two weeks ago, effectively
suspending him. The report is critical of the Dean's handling of
the complaint, made by a vulnerable woman in 2008.
In a letter to all the
clergy in Jersey, on Tuesday, the Acting Dean of Jersey, Canon
Geoff Houghton, described the inquiry led by Bishop Gladwin as "a
welcome next step". He was critical of "a great deal of unhelpful
speculation in the press around constitutional questions", which
had "only served to distract from the fundamental issue of
Speculation has centred on
the part played by both the Crown and the Bishop of Winchester in
the appointment and management of the Dean of Jersey, who is
commissioned by the Bishop but appointed by the Crown. The
independent report states that: "The rigorous implementation of the
safeguarding procedures seemed to be hampered by RK's [Robert
Key's] view that Jersey procedure had to take precedence."
The report recommends that
"Winchester diocese and the States of Jersey must ensure that the
Dean is not at any time placed in an irreconcilable position of
being unable to fulfil his role on Jersey, whilst also subject to
the authority of his Bishop. It is also essential for him to be
able to protect himself against an unfair accusation".
On Tuesday, a spokesman for
the diocese of Winchester said that, "under legal advice",
Bishop Dakin had
"effectively suspended" Dean Key while the inquiry was
The clergy in Jersey are
understood to be upset by the implication in comments from the
Bishop of Winchester and the Archbishop of Canterbury that they
failed to take care of the complainant. The report states that
"both clergy and parishioners offered support and kindness" to the
Brigadier Bruce Willing, a
member of the congregation at St Martin's, Gouray, Jersey, said on
Tuesday that a meeting of about 60 per cent of the island's
churchwardens and Readers had been held on Monday. As a result, a
letter had been sent to Archbishop Welby, "seeking his help"
through his director of reconciliation, David Porter.
Another lay person in Jersey said on Monday: "The laity are very
unhappy because the Dean is extremely popular. But the way that the
Bishop has comported himself seems to be designed to get maximum
negative press information regarding our Dean."