Monday 8 June 2015

Jersey's Dean---Still More Questions--- BBC Radio Jersey Broadcast.

During Question Time at last Tuesday’s States sitting Deputy John Le Fondre asked Chief Minister Senator Gorst if he was able to update Members as to when the Steel Report would be released? The Chief Minister could not give a date but stated that he was greatly disappointed that the matter had not been brought to a swift conclusion.

Followers of my Dean Blogs will know that 2 years ago Dame Heather Steel was commissioned by Bishop Dakin to review the Dean’s handling of a complaint made by a young lady against a Church Warden in 2008.

Radio Jersey has maintained an interest in the matter and yesterday along with Bruce Willing I was invited to join Matthew Price to discuss the impasse between the Bishop of Winchester and Jersey’s Dean and the delay in the release of the Steel and Gladwin Reports.

Bruce Willing is a member of a small group of people which includes Senator Philip Bailhache who have been vociferously critical of Bishop Dakin’s handling of the “Dean Affair” and have been unstinting in their support for the Dean. I don’t have a problem with their stance but they seem oblivious of some of the Dean’s shortcomings and of  the resultant wedge that has now been securely lodged between Winchester and Jersey thus ending our 500 year old link.

Two years ago I published this BLOG which is well worth reading because it contains a letter from a Dean supporter and a set of questions posed by Bruce Willing. It also contains a quote from the Dean when apologising for mistakes made in his handling of the complaint in which he statesIf Christians can’t put things like this behind them and move on then we are all in a mess.” 

Given the impasse it is evident that some Christians have not put things behind them or moved on. Not only do they want the Bishop’s blood but also his head. It is also now evident that following Bruce Willing’s concerns regarding the initial Terms of Reference (TOR) they were amended. This possibly accounts for why the Korris recommendation that the arrest and deportation of HG from Jersey be investigated was omitted from the final TOR.

It should also be recalled that Korris was heavily criticised for not interviewing the complainant, however neither has Steel yet the same criticism is not being levelled at her. After my 3 hour meeting with Dame Heather Steel in October 2013 I wrote to Bishop Dakin informing him of my concerns regarding Dame Heather’s partiality and later published a blog on the matter which can be read by clicking.HERE

Now that it is evident that the TOR were amended and the author's partiality questionable its not surprising that some people are keen for the Steel Report to be published. 

The broadcast may be heard by clicking HERE  Readers will note that there are disagreements between Bruce Willing and me. I don't have a problem with what I said but I disagree with some of Bruce's comments which I am pretty sure would also be refuted by Bishop Dakin who was certainly at the sharp end of Bruce's tongue 

It is interesting that the issue of the Dean's "exoneration" was again raised. In my book the fact that disciplinary action is not being taken does not mean that one is exonerated. What is evident is that mistakes have been made on both sides and no good will come by the publication of a Report which is already discredited and will do more harm than good.

I believe the public and the Church would be better served if both parties acted as Christians, put things behind them and moved on so everyone gets out of the mess that they have created.

If readers have difficulty in opening the links to my two blogs above should be able to access them by clicking HERE    and      HERE

I am grateful to Radio Jersey for providing the link to yesterday's broadcast which can also be accessed by clicking HERE