Archbishop of Canterbury 'should intervene in Dean dispute'

The Very Reverend Bob Key The Very Reverend Robert Key has been suspended

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has been asked to help reconcile Jersey's Dean and the Diocese of Winchester.

The Dean, the Very Reverend Bob Key, was suspended by the Bishop of Winchester over his handling of a vulnerable adult's complaint he was abused by a churchwarden.

Archbishop Justin Welby said he would not intervene in the bishop's handling of the situation.

Senator Philip Bailhache said the move could hit island and church relations.

'Christians concerned'

The Bishop of Winchester, Tim Dakin, withdrew Mr Key's commission in March.

It followed the publication of a diocesan report which found failures in the implementation of policies relating to a complaint by a vulnerable adult parishioner in 2008 about the alleged abusive behaviour of a churchwarden.

Senator Bailhache, the island's former bailiff, said he had written to the archbishop, asking him to try to find a way to reconcile the two parties.

The archbishops' office said Dr Welby would not get involved because he believed it was an internal diocese matter.

The archbishop has made a personal apology to the alleged victim.

Senator Bailhache said if the archbishop was not involved, it could affect the relationship between Jersey and the Anglican Church.

He said: "A huge number of people - including Catholics, Methodists, other members of the Christian Church and people of no faith - have told me they are extremely concerned about how the Dean was treated."

The Diocese of Winchester has not been available for comment.

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