THE Dean of Jersey, the Very Revd Bob Key, said this week that
he was "thrilled", after the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim
Dakin, announced that he would not be taking disciplinary action
against any member of the clergy in relation to the handling of a
safeguard- ing complaint in Jersey.
"In the Jersey Evening Post on Saturday, the headline
was 'Dean cleared'," Dean Key said on Monday. "I have waited eight
months for that headline. And I prayed that it would come, so I
feel immense relief and thanksgiving to God really."
In March, Bishop Dakin withdrew his commission from Dean Key,
after an independent report, commissioned by the diocese's
safeguarding panel, identified "failures in the implementation of
policies in relation to a safeguarding complaint in 2008" (News, 15 March).
The report, by Jan Korris, a psychotherapist, looked at the
handling of a complaint by a vulnerable 26-year-old female
parishoner (named as HG) alleging abusive behaviour by a churwarden
at a church in Jersey.
In May, it was announced that Dame Heather Steel, a former judge
of the Court of Appeal in Jersey, would revisit the Korris review
May) and advise Bishop Dakin if there was any reason for
disciplinary action to be taken against any member of the
Dean Key was reinstated in May, after apologising for his
handling of the complaint (News, 3
On Friday, Bishop Dakin issued a statement confirming that Dame
Heather was "finalising" her report. After receiving legal
representations from an interested party, and acting on legal
advice, he would not be releasing the report to any person.
On the basis on Dame Heather's findings to date, he said that
disciplinary action would not be taken. He had sought the support
of the Archbishop of Canterbury to initiate a "pastoral visit" to
the Channel Islands, "so that a fresh perspective can be taken on
safeguarding". This would be led next month by the Bishop at
Lambeth, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, and the Bishop of Dover, the Rt
Revd Trevor Willmott. "In all of this, the victim at the heart of
the original complaint should not be forgotten. As a Church, we are
called to reach out to the least, the last and the lost, even
though at times they may reject the help we offer. In HG's case,
that rejection has been entirely understandable, given how she sees
her experience of the Church of England."
On Saturday, HG told Radio Jersey that she was "insulted and
damaged" by the Bishop's statement. "I do not understand how the
bishop has the audacity to 'offer help', while he has absolved the
wrongdoers and seriously harmed me."
On Monday, Dean Key said that he wanted the Steel report to be
Among the conclusions of the Korris review was: "The Church let