There would be serious consequences in the Bailiwick of Guernsey if ratepayers do not continue to fund parish churches, the islands' bishop has said.
The Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, said parishioners should continue to fund places of worship.
He said the Church of England formed a key role in civic life in the islands and as a result justified such funding.
Bishop Scott-Joynt made the comments on his farewell visit to Guernsey.
He said: "I think it would have serious consequences for the character of the island, a great deal of public affairs happen in them.
"Though that is the same with some other churches they don't carry the same explicit public responsibilities."
Mr Scott-Joynt has been the Bishop of Winchester, the diocese of which includes the Channel Islands, since 1995 and is due to retire in May.