Wednesday 11 November 2015

Jersey's Dean---- Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Last week the Jersey Evening Post gave front page coverage to a letter from Senator Bailhache to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking him to press for the publication of the Steel Report.  The Senator wrote as a Senator in the States of Jersey and as Lay Chair of the Jersey Deanery Synod.
Those in the Jersey Church circle have been impressed ( there are others who are unimpressed) at how speedily the Senator has become the chair of the Deanery Synod and it would be interesting to know whether his letter was ever approved by the rank and file Synod members.
The Senator attacked the Bishop of Winchester for failing to apologize for causing ‘unjustified humiliation and distress’ to the Dean and his wife. He accused the Church of ‘burying’ the report to prevent embarrassment for the Bishop of Winchester. He warned that failure to act could cause ‘irreparable damage’ between the Church of England and the church in Jersey and urged the Archbishop to come out in support of the contents of the Steel report in the interest of ‘Christian reconciliation’.
The Senator made no mention of the real victim but that is understandable because as far as he and his colleagues are concerned she does not exist, so much for “Christian reconciliation?”
The Dean has some pretty influential allies who are pressing the Archbishop to release the Steel Report in the belief that it will bring closure to the sorry affair. However they seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Dean and his supporters are hell bent on extracting an apology from the Bishop of Winchester. Until the apology is given there will be no closure.
Sadly they have failed to acknowledge the impact the release will have on the victim. Surely as true Christians the welfare of the vulnerable should take precedence over any perceived “hurt” suffered by a senior member of the clergy.
Tony the Prof has recently published an excellent blog in relation to this matter and on the recent visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury by a delegation from Jersey. It can be accessed HERE.
In any normal organization where there are petty spats the boss would have a serious talk with both men, remind them of their responsibilities and if they could not work together for the good of the organization then they should find alternative employment. Sadly the Church of England is not a normal organization and is certainly not adverse to spending thousands of pounds defending the indefensible.
I have published several blogs on the Dean saga and on 27th January this year I published a blog titled “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.”  I said that nothing would be gained by pressing for the release and every one should let sleeping dogs lie. We know that the woman wanted to move on even though she had every right and expectation to some form of redress.
It would seem that the only people who can’t let it go are those who support the Dean, who by his own admission mishandled the complaint and added his apology to that of the Archbishop and the Bishop of Winchester.
My letter to the Archbishop is below. I understand that he has made it known that he is not responding to Senator Bailhache’s letter. I don’t need a reply but I hope the Archbishop will read it and have the courage to do what is right.
My Letter........
Dear Archbishop, 
I write as one of the many disillusioned members of the Church of England who are increasingly frustrated at the way the Jersey church is being hijacked by a small group who claim to speak for me. They appear to be more concerned with driving wedges between Jersey and the Bishop of Winchester rather than building bridges and are using the Steel Report as its wooden horse.
You have recently received a strongly worded letter from Senator Bailhache which accuses you of failing to grasp the nettle, whilst I agree with the Senator I do not agree with the nettle he wants you to grasp. Senator Bailhache is part of the problem and whilst he is entitled to support the Dean who is his friend and colleague, he also has a duty to be even handed as Lay Chair of the Jersey Deanery Synod.
The Senator is requesting the publication of the Steel Report but has failed to accept that the publication will solve nothing because it will do nothing for the welfare of the young woman at the heart of the matter or solving the impasse between the Dean and Bishop Dakin of Winchester.
What is evident is that Bishop Dakin could have handled the Dean’s suspension in a more professional manner. The same could be said of the Dean’s handling of the abuse complaint way back in the summer of 2008. What is conveniently forgotten is that the Dean on being reinstated said, “I regret mistakes that I made in the safeguarding processes and I understand that, upon reflection, it would have been more helpful if I had co-operated more fully with the Korris Review. I now add my own apology to that of the Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury to the vulnerable person at the heart of this matter.
The Dean has admitted that he mishandled the abuse allegation therefore even though no disciplinary action is being levelled he cannot nor can others claim that he is exonerated. Had his mistakes not been made at the outset none of the difficulties would have followed.
It should be noted that whilst all of you have made public apologies to the young woman none of you have found the humility to apologise to her personally or ensure that promises made by Bishops Dakin and Gladwin to assist her have been kept. 
Your apology was for badly letting the young woman down, that is an understatement because at the behest of the Dean, his wife and the late Bishop of Winchester she was arrested at home whilst still in her night attire, was detained in a police cell for 24 hours and then imprisoned for two weeks before being effectively deported from Jersey in her night attire and left destitute in the UK. Senator Bailhache claims that the Dean’s suspension was ill judged, precipitate, unnecessary, and contrary to the principles of natural justice. If ever there was a miscarriage of justice one need look no further than the action taken by members of your clergy to remove a problem.
Whilst much money, time and effort is being consumed by Senator Bailhache and his colleagues they are oblivious to the real victim who in their eyes does not exist. The Senator has made reference to a paragraph in your letter of 9th March 2013 but has carefully doctored it to exclude your reference to the young lady.
The Steel Report cannot and must not be released for a number of reasons, not least because the original Terms of Reference were amended at the behest of the Dean’s colleagues and the arrest and deportation of the vulnerable young woman was excluded despite the Korris recommendation.  The choice of Dame Heather was a grave mistake, not only because of her association with Senator Bailhache but for the comments made during her meeting with me and are contained in the transcript which she promised to give me. However for obvious reasons she has failed to keep her promise.
 Jan Korris was criticized for not interviewing the Church Warden or the young woman, However Dame Heather has also failed to interview both, so how can her Report be taken seriously? The most serious reason for non- publication is of the known impact it will have on the young woman.
The recent representations from Jersey make no mention of this important pastoral consideration. Bishop Dakin has informed the Bailiff of the need for an impact assessment before publication but that is still awaited. There are also assurances given to the Court which have to be met, which will all also cost money.
I am probably one of very few people who have had meetings with the young woman, Dame Heather and Bishop Gladwin who after meeting him in London visited my home to thank me for my endeavors and assurance that I would continue to assist with the Inquiry. I no longer act as a mediator for the young woman but that does not mean that I do not care for her welfare.
I don’t know what hats the Lt Governor, Bailiff and the Chief Minister were wearing but the cost of their visit was paid by the tax payers. I am sure the visit was useful but I doubt whether they were able to give a full and impartial account of events. However I have considerable documentation which supports why the Steel Report should not be released and would be pleased to share with you should you doubt my claims.
I trust that you will address this letter with the urgency it deserves and arrange for the Steel Report to be shredded for the reasons above. I also ask that you take steps to ensure that the Dean and Bishop Dakin are reminded of the responsibilities and that it is hypocritical to stand in the pulpit and ask us to love our neighbour when they do not practice what they preach.
I understand that Senator Bailhache circulated his letter to the Lt Governor, Bailiff, Chief Minister and Bishop Willmott so I will do the same. His letter was also circulated to the media; in the interest of transparency I will do the same.
Yours sincerely,
F.J. (Bob) Hill, BEM.
10th November 2015


  1. If I was HG I would be complaining about BBC radio jersey's broadcast this morning. they read out an inaccurate comment from a blatantly fake Facebook profile. This won't bother the BBC who as an institution protect abusers (Savile). Why would the BBC read out any comment attacking an abuse victim whether the account was fake or no?

    HG please complain to the BBC for allowing an attack on you. Here is what was left on the BBC Facebook page from the fake account and what was read out on air.

    "Doug Faircross
    Today at 08:25
    Has Bob Hill got nothing better to do for Jersey people, his ex Parishioners perhaps, instead of pushing for even more of our taxpayers money to be spent on that woman, who was not local, lived rough and has a history of similar conflicts with the church in the UK. She had also stated (according to Bob Hill previously) that she wanted the whole thing dropped."

    1. Hi Bob,
      On the money as usual.

      Off subject but I would like blog readers to note that there is an issue on sites when the number of comments exceeds 200

      VFC's last posting is still live and is still receiving comments (over 200!) but due to the blogspot issue the #200+ comments do not display UNLESS the reader clicks on the little bit of text saying "Load more..." right at the end of the automatically displayed comments.

      Clicking on my "name" above will take the reader to the full VFC posting including ALL comments.

      The link is

      Thank you in advance.

      p.s."Doug Faircross" should be ashamed of "itself"

    2. That hyperlink does not work but pasting the link into the browser does:

    3. Re the comment at 1237.
      I was returning home from the BBC when I heard the comment on my car radio. I was surprised that that BBC read the message because it was a blatant attack on HG. Any cost was down to the Dean as she was fully employed in Jersey until at the behest of the Dean she was arrested and whilst at the Police Station the tax payer had to pay for 5 visits for the doctor whilst she was held in custody The tax payer also had to pay for the 14 days she was held at La Moye and the plane fare when she was deported from Jersey.

      Sadly the message also showed that there is still a racist element in Jersey

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Well done Bob. Senator Sir P for decades appears to have fooled all of the people all of the time. I would suggest that he now fools most of the people most of the time. It's moving in the right direction but there's a long way to go. The level of hypocrisy in his arrogance is truly staggering!
    Keep up the good work.
    Tom J.

    1. Very telling that the JEPeado is still giving that despicable shyster a front page grandstand even now that we all know what he and his little brother have been doing all these years

  4. It has come out in the Jersey Care Inquiry that Philip Bailhache has kept child abuse a secret from the police (Rodhouse evidence) The abuser went on to claim another victim. Philip Bailhache allowed a convicted pedophile to remain in the honorary police (Roger Holland) who also went on to claim another victim. With that in mind it would be fair to say that Mr Bailhache has a record of protecting pedophiles. If I was Bob Key I would tell Philip Bailhache thanks (for your support) but no thanks.

  5. Bob you are the only person in Jersey who will give this poor lady a voice whilst the church is trying to damage her by forcing the publication of the Steel report which is highly conflicted because Steel is a friend of Bailhache and didn’t interview HG or her abuser. I agree with you that the Steel report should be shredded but unless more people – like you – start speaking out against the great and the good victims like HG will be silenced. I hope she appreciates what you are doing for her because nobody else in Jersey is helping her.

  6. Bob

    A consummate letter. Ticks all the boxes.


  7. So you want this covered up.
    Something to hide.

  8. Nothing to cover up. Relevant material is in the public domain. A published prejudiced conclusion would be closer to a cover up and likely let the guilty off the hook.

  9. it was very convenient for Baillache to have a front page spread showing his "caring "side standing up for Jersey when several damming revelations had been coming out in the COI.
    Holland not being removed and then making Bob Le Broq a scapegoat.
    Chair of Govenors at Vic College,when allegations of abuse were being dismissed
    wanting Operation Rectangle closed down and that's just for starters.
    The Jersey Media Machine swings into action.

    1. Senator Bailhache still believes that he is Bailiff whose actions go unnoticed and unchallenged. He is now a States Member and whilst he still has influence his credibility is now being questioned as are his motives.

  10. Bob. I don't buy the JEPedo but did happen to glance at its front page today while in the supermarket. Your letter to the Archbishop was nowhere to be seen on the front page at least. It might be on anther page so if any of your readers do buy the rag could they let us know if Bob's letter is in tonight's edition?

    Philip Bailhache's letter was on its front page so that would mean yours should be also in order to give equal weight to both sides of the argument. Or does the establishments side of the story deserve more weight to that of your and the poor victim HG.

    I did hear the attack on HG this morning on radio Jersey and thought it was in very poor taste that the BBC saw fit to read it out considering HG is a victim of abuse and had no right of reply. It was not only racist and abusive it was inaccurate. The fake Facebook profile claimed HG was sleeping rough in Jersey when anybody who has followed this story even slightly knows the police went round to the place she was living to arrest her and throw her off the island. It was only then that HG was sleeping rough when she was deported to the UK.

    I hope HG makes a complaint to the BBC because they need to learn that attacking - and lying about - abuse victims is something that used to happen pre-Savile and the world is supposed to have moved forward since then.

    1. Thanks for your comment, re the JEP I sent the letter to the Archbishop and then to the media around 3ish which I embargoed until 7am this morning. The purpose of a embargo is to allow editors to consider what they want to do with the information.

      The letter will take a certain amount of space so if the editor wants to print it in full, they may not have had sufficient space for today's edition, so it might be a bit early to condemn the JEP today.

      I share your views re the BBC as do other readers..

  11. Excellent letter Bob covers all bases let us hope the JEP give it the space it deserves.

    I hope with conviction, that the people of Jersey wake up and insist that the States ( like Ireland and the whole USA ) remove the church from Government benches.

    It is also about time rate payers, work together at parish assemblies to stop having money taken from parish budgets to fund vicars, upkeep of churches and people like Dean Bob Key with all residential bills covered.

    As the Queen is head of the CoE, if she be so keen for it's ongoing up of her church - then let her and other royalty put in substantial funds, they can afford it.

    No problem with the religious or indeed religions that is completely the peoples choice, but they should fund their own beliefs and churches themselves and certainly not be expecting the public or other congregrations of competing religions or the non religious to fund their own party.

    Why are the Bishops and Deans sitting in Government, what good do they do in this world and where is the proof ?

    Looking at the treatment of HG and the even bigger picture of 800,000 Syrian and other immigrants crossing the sea to Greece and Italy has anyone seen the Church getting deeply involved with any type of substantial help for the destitute Men, women and children immigrants ?


    1. Thanks Boatyboy and your comments which will be supported by a number of people who ask why in this day and age is the tax payer paying so much for so little.

      The Dean saga draws attention to the Church, the role of the Dean and the other Rectors Island wide. Given the small percentage of the population who regularly attend Services do we need so many churches and Rectors. Not only do Rate payers have to pay for upkeep of the churches but they also pay for the upkeep of the Rectories. What are they getting in return and what can one do about it, not a lot is the answer.

      It was my proposition which led to the Carswell Review into the role of the unelected members but PPC lodged an amendment which removed the role of the Dean and Governor from the Review.

      The Dean is paid a salary along with a free house but in addition receives a further £26k for his role in the States. That represents half the salary of a full time States Member who does not get free accommodation

      It would be interesting to know how much the Church of England really costs the tax payer and are we getting value for our money?

      The Church in Jersey has been keeping its head down in relation to the refugee situation, perhaps they are concerned that some refugees might be accommodated in the spare rooms in their large Rectories.

    2. last paragraph, I know a churchwarden who would take them in, they could then be abused and deported.

  12. Bob, I only want to comment so I can register my disgust at BBC Jersey reading a comment out that attacked a victim of abuse. Has the BBC learnt nothing in the last few years concerning attacks on victims? It is beyond the pail that they thought it would be appropriate to read that comment out and I hope HG gets an apology for it. After all that poor girl has been through she now has to contend with brutal attacks on the radio. HG you really must make a complaint against those heartless amateurs who thought it was acceptable to read out such a horrible comment.

    1. Bob, will you publish this? Thank you anon all others commenting here, I am following the situation. I have been reading the comments over the last day and have been comforted by them.

      Thank you and all commentors for kind and supportive words and thank you Bob for your work here.

      It is devastating, damaging and disruptive to my life that this inexcusable behaviour by the JEP and BBC Jersey are continuing to act like this, all I can do is try to go on living, although any of you reading my daily blog 'Life after the Diocese' will see that this matter is causing me a lot of distress and harm.

      Also on the Anything and Everything Blog, you can view my letter to BBC Jersey that was sent yesterday.

      I have a lot of other things to do in my life at the moment, but I will be following up the BBC Jersey matter.
      Thank you all for your support.

      By the way, I don't normally buy the JEP or listen to BBC Jersey and I have a feeling that a number of Bob's blog readers don't either, but nonetheless, I am still being affected by the continued bias and misleading broadcasts and articles to do with my case.

    2. Thank you HG,

      Along with other readers I am disappointed with the facebook message that was read out by the BBC. I am used to nasty comments being made about me, but the comments about HG were unjust, hurtful and racist.

      I have commented on the facebook message above. Whilst Mr Wallace may have overall responsibility for Radio Jersey he would not have had a hand in broadcasting the message.

      Before the facebook message was broadcast, its contents should have checked, apart from being racist it was inaccurate. Had the BBC read my letter they would have seen on the first page I had written, she was arrested from her home whilst still in her night attire."

      Therefore it was wrong of the BBC to state that she was not local and lived rough.

      To be fair to Radio Jersey, although I circulated my letter to a number of the media, to the best of my knowledge it is the only one to date who has acknowledge receipt of the letter and covered the matter.

      I thought the report it presented after the 7am news was fair and when I was interviewed after the 8am news, it was rightly challenging and I was able to put a strong case as to why the Steel Report should be shredded.

      It is a pity that the facebook message was broadcast and I hope that the BBC will take the appropriate action to remedy the matter.

  13. Have you made any protest to the BBC for attacking HG on the radio Bob? It really was in the poorest taste.

  14. Contact the man, don't let him tell you he is new and doesn't know what is going on, this new tasteless bout of attacks has been since he arrived, this is him, editor of BBC Jersey, Mr. Bob Wallace: The reason for the downturn.
    Famous for this kind of thing in his previous posts.
    Jon Gripton made a swift exit?

    Mr Wallace, BBC Jersey was bad before, but reading comments off a facebook page from a stranger as if they were facts? That's almost as bad as a skull turning into a coconut?
    Maybe not.
    I can't drink straight so I will leave it at that.