Jersey

Jersey Church abuse report: New calls for release

The Very Reverend Bob Key
Image caption In February the Very Reverend Bob Key said the report needed to be made public to enable closure after "immense stress" caused by the saga.

A Jersey Anglican Church group has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to make public a report into protecting young vulnerable people in the church.

In 2008 a woman, known as HG, made a formal complaint about abuse by a Jersey churchwarden.

The inquiry into the handling of the complaint recommended no disciplinary action should be taken against any Jersey Anglican clergy member.

The report has been kept confidential on legal advice.

HG said its publication could cause her harm and threatened legal action.

The renewed calls for it to be made public have been made in a letter from Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, the Lay Chair of the Deanery, to the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who said the matter was "gravely affecting Jersey".

'Irreparable damage'

He said he did not accept that legal issues could not be overcome, and wrote: "Unless this nettle is firmly grasped in the near future, irreparable damage will be caused to the relationship between the Church of England and the church in Jersey."

The Very Reverend Bob Key was suspended for two months in March 2013 for allegedly failing to investigate properly the treatment of the woman.

He was reinstated after apologising for anything he might have got wrong in the handling of the abuse complaint.

The inquiry into what happened, led by Dame Heather Steel, was commissioned alongside a wider review into safeguarding policies being undertaken by Bishop John Gladwin.

In January, the Jersey Deanery synod said the report should be made public in the name of Christian reconciliation.

The events led to the Channel Islands ending their 500-year relationship with Winchester and a move to the Diocese of Canterbury as part of an interim arrangement.

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