Monday 31 March 2014

Jersey's Dean-- Bob Hill-- Matthew Price Interview.

As a follow up to the Dean’s interview on signing the Agreement and a look back on the events over the past year I appeared on Matthew Price’s programme yesterday morning in which it was hoped the Bishop of Winchester would also appear but alas he did not.

Matthew and I covered a number of issues including why Winchester commissioned to review a matter which had been dead and buried for some time.Why was Jan Korris commissioned to review a complaint which was made 5 years earlier, particularly as the main person in what has become a sorry mess was to be ignored. In her opening paragraph Jan Korris states “I have been asked by the Safeguarding Panel for the Diocese of Winchester to look into the response of the Diocese to a complaint made by a vulnerable adult against a church warden in a parish on Jersey.” However no reason was given as to why and for whose benefit?

On page 37 of her report Jan Korris wrote “The Church let HG down. Despite the difficulties of her background and disablement, and her struggle with some everyday practicalities, HG was none-the-less in employment, pursuing hobbies, socialising and wanting to be accepted in the church community. Over the next three years HG’s life changed from having no history of being in trouble with the law, to having a police record and being a displaced person, homeless on the streets of the mainland.”

That comment was written a year ago, but apart from tendering a meaningless public apology what has the Church done to right the wrong, the answer is very little but has caused even more harm by breaking promises and treating the Bishop and Dean as the victims. 

It will be for readers to comment on the 10 minute interview which covered a number of issues, but given the failure of Winchester to communicate with me and others including BBC Radio Jersey many questions will remain until the Bishop comes out from what appears to be his self imposed exile, or is it from the doghouse?

Please listened to the interview below


  1. Bob,

    With the greatest of respect, I think that the Korris Report did a great deal of good:

    - it demonstrates the inability of Jersey to learn from other people's best practice (looking at the response to HG's original complaint - ad hoc responses, failure to believe the complainant, failed communication).
    - it demonstrates a besetting sin of Jersey people - the inability to understand when to let go. Had Bob Key done what was asked of him when he was asked, HG would probably never have been deported and the whole affair would have blown over within a few weeks.
    - it demonstrates that people in London do not give a damn about ensuring that the constitutional relationship between Jersey and London benefits anyone outside a small elite. That has got to change.
    - it demonstrates that the Diocese of Winchester only started to care about what was going on here when someone started harassing the Bishop.
    - it demonstrates another besetting sin of Jersey people, that of brushing their manifest failures under the carpet and pretending it didn't happen (this means you, Bruce Willing)
    - if there is any wisdom in this island, it should make people stop and think long and hard about the sort of place that the independent Jersey so beloved of SPB's dreams would be. The culture of protecting the abusers is sadly but evidently being kept alive and well. People, protect your own, because you can be as sure as hell that the authorities won't.
    - it should at least ensure that the overweening ambition of Bob Key to wear a bishop's purple shirt is thwarted.

    It is very unfortunate that the one person who fails to benefit as a result is HG, but actually that is a situation that is not as uncommon as you would think. Laws like the so-called Sarah's Law do not benefit the immediate victim, but they do - if well-applied - mean that the likelihood of further similar cases is reduced.

    1. Thank you for a very thoughtful Comment.

      I agree with you regarding the much maligned Korris Report. SPB which I assume stands for Senator/Sir Phillip Bailhache, Bruce Willing and indeed the Dean are all asking why it is still on line. They say that it should be taken down now that the Dean has been “exonerated” or “cleared” which we know is not the case. The Bishop has said that no disciplinary action is being taken which does not mean that any one has been exonerated or cleared.

      Jan Korris pulls no punches and writes of many short comings and of the failure in dealing with the complaint in a satisfactory manner at the beginning, (for which the Dean has apologised). It is because the report is critical of the Dean and the former Bishop’s handling of the complaint and HG’s subsequent arrest and deportation which stand out like a carbuncle that is why there is the plea for it to be removed.

      The Korris Report should remain on line with Winchester until the matter of HG’s arrest and deportation is investigated, surely no one (apart from those with something to hide) should object to that matter being investigated. So what is Winchester, Canterbury or our Chief Minister doing about it?????

      You are right to mention the forgotten person that being HG, hopefully lessons will be learnt but they should not be at her expense or that she be dismissed as not existing.

  2. I listened to Question Time in the States this morning and could not believe my ears when I heard that the Deputy Bailiff and the Dean were to represent Jersey at the Parliamentary Commonwealth Conference in Cameroon in October.

    Why are two unelected Members being sent on to represent the Island and in particular the Dean who is only in the States to lead the prayers at States Sitting.

    1. I too heard the announcement and was surprised and could not understand the foot stamping of approval. I can not recall the Dean or Deputy Bailiff attending Parliamentary Conferences during my 18 years in the States.

      Although the Dean does take prayers when he attends, he is also allowed to speak during debates, but rarely does let alone staying in the Chamber during debates. The Deputy sits as President in the Chamber in the absence of the Bailiff, he like the Dean does not have the right to vote.

      I understand that the office of the Dean of Jersey receives over £25,000 from the States for just being the Dean and to cover his general ‘civic’ role in the Island. This is addition to Dean's salary.
      1 April 2014 22:46

  3. Bob, were is your helmet while riding your bike?

    1. A lot of people ask me that question.

    2. Try here: for an overview of cycle helmets, and signposts to more information:
      and here on the effectiveness of helmets:

      You will soon discover that the world of helmets is complicated, more complicated than is implied by your question.

  4. Wonderful summary by first commenter at 31 March 2014 11:06

    Whilst not being perfect the Korris Report seems far superior to the subsequent more expensive reports commissioned in an attempt to airbrush it out of history.

    Shameless !

  5. As it Autism Awareness Day do you think the Church of England is thinking of HG/

  6. So far, there's still no evidence the Church of England cares for HG's wellbeing at all.

  7. I agree and it could be said that the way it has handled its investigations has caused even more harm to her.

  8. Bob.

    Transcript from the public meeting this morning with FRANCIS OLDHAM QC