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Ink dries at last on transfer of Jersey deanery to Salisbury diocese

06 September 2022

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THE deanery of Jersey is now legally attached to the diocese of Salisbury, it was announced last week.

The legislation was approved by the Queen in Windsor on 19 July, alongside the revised canons (which will come into effect at the end of this month). The two Orders in Council were registered by the Royal Court in Jersey last Friday.

This completes the recommendation of a commission in 2019 that episcopal oversight of the Channel Islands be transferred from the Bishop of Winchester to the Bishop of Salisbury, and that Jersey canon law be redrafted by a new working party to “eliminate inconsistencies, lack of clarity, and conflicts with the European Convention on Human Rights” (News, 11 October 2019).

The commission had been established by the Archbishop of Canterbury in June 2018 after the centuries-old connection between the Channel Islands and the see of Winchester broke down over the handling of a safeguarding complaint, in 2008, by the then Dean of Jersey, the Very Revd Bob Key. Dean Key was later suspended by the Bishop of Winchester, Dr Tim Dakin, who stepped back last year after a diocesan rebellion over his leadership and governance (News, 21 May 2021). He has since retired (General Synod, 18 February).

The Dean of Jersey, the Very Revd Mike Keirle, said last Friday: “This has been a long journey for us all and it was very gratifying to be present as the Order in Council was registered in the Royal Court. . . I would like to thank all those involved in this process, as well as the dioceses of Winchester and Canterbury for their pastoral care and support over the years.”

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, said that he was looking forward to his first official visit to the island.

A service to celebrate the new relationship between the deaneries of Guernsey and Jersey and the diocese of Salisbury is being planned for 17 November in Salisbury Cathedral, during which the deans of the islands will be made canons of the cathedral.

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