Channel Islands and the Bishop of Salisbury

The Deanery of Guernsey has issued the following Press Release concerning the new pastoral relationship with the Bishop of Salisbury.

New pastoral relationship with the Bishop of Salisbury

4th January 2021

Today marks the next stage on the implementation of the recommendations of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on the Relationship of the Channel Islands to the wider Church of England (published on 9 October 2019).

Whilst the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott retains legal responsibility for the Channel Islands (the Deaneries of Guernsey and Jersey) until the legislative processes are complete, it has been agreed that episcopal oversight and pastoral responsibility for the Church of England in the Channel Islands transfer to the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, with effect from the beginning of January 2021. 

The Bishop of Salisbury and the Deans of Guernsey and Jersey have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding, which can be found here. Further background information can be found here. 

Further information about the Diocese of Salisbury can be found here


The islands of the Bailiwick fell within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of  of Coutances until 1568 when they were annexed to the Diocese of Winchester. The islands remain legally under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester but on the 25th March 2014 the Bishop of Winchester delegated episcopal oversight to the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott,  who exercised his ministry as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Winchester.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on the Relationship of the Channel Islands to the wider Church of England  reported in October 2019 on the future relationship of the Channel Islands with the Church of England and its episcopal oversight. In February 2020 the General Synod approved the transfer of episcopal jurisdiction from the Diocese of Winchester to the Diocese of Salisbury. The Channel Islands Measure 2020 received Royal Assent in July 2020. Further legislation, to enact the transfer of jurisdiction in the Channel islands, is in preparation, and will be considered by the States of Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney and the Chief Pleas of Sark.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Channel Islands and the Bishop of Salisbury" in Law & Religion UK, 4 January 2021,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *