Guernsey parish churches have 'key role', says bishop

Image caption,
Bishop Scott-Joynt said he always had a warm welcome in the islands

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.

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