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States would have final say on any church split

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ANY split from the Church of England would need States approval, it has been confirmed.

ANY split from the Church of England would need States approval, it has been confirmed.

Two senior bishops from the Archbishop of Canterbury's personal staff fly into the island today with tensions between the Diocese of Winchester and the Channel Islands running high.

Although triggered by Jersey's handling of a safeguarding complaint by its Dean, the visit comes amid talk of Guernsey and Jersey moving to a different diocese because of a range of problems.

The two islands are linked by legislation that cements their relationship with Winchester, but also secures the necessary independence because of the islands' special constitutional position.

It is a sign of how strained the relationship has become that consideration is being given to splitting from Winchester and moving to a diocese in Europe because to do so raises a string of questions about what happens with matters like paying for the rectors, their healthcare and whether they would remain licensed.

The Dean, the Very Rev. Canon Paul Mellor, pictured, described the current situation as a 'family difficulty'.

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