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Welby oversees Channel Islands

24 January 2014

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OVERSIGHT of the Channel Islands has been delegated to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Timothy Dakin.

Lambeth Palace announced on Wednesday that the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, would assume interim episcopal oversight of the Islands on behalf of Archbishop Welby. This arrangement, to be put in place within weeks, had Bishop Dakin's "fullest support".

The news follows a pastoral visit to Jersey by Bishop Willmott, and the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, last month. The visit was requested by Bishop Dakin "so that a fresh perspective can be taken on safeguarding". It took place after Bishop Dakin announced that an investigation into a safeguarding complaint in Jersey, conducted by Dame Heather Steel, would not be published, "on legal advice" (News, 29 November).

An earlier report had been highly critical of how the complaint had been handled (News, 15 March).

In addition to the Steel review, Bishop Dakin had commissioned a former Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd John Gladwin, to conduct an inquiry into the relationship between the Jersey deanery and the diocese of Winchester. This report has not yet been published.

Lambeth Palace said on Wednesday that the new oversight arrangement was "entirely separate from issues to do with the Islands' formal relationship with the Church of England".

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