Monday, September 27, 2010

Jersey: Why does the Church support tax havenry?

We have previously blogged on the rotten state of politics and the established church in the island known to readers of Britain's Private Eye magazine as 'the Septic Isle.' Mid-year 2009 we picked up on a story in Jersey's Evening Post about the Reverend Andy Thewlis - rector of the parish church of Saint John - in which he praised the island's offshore tax haven industry and attacked Christian Aid's campaign for tax justice.

Reverend Thewlis did not respond to our invitation to discuss our concerns. Nor have any of his colleagues in Jersey's Anglican communion who also used their positions to attack our tax justice agenda and defend tax havens. This includes the Dean of Jersey, who completely lost his rag when asked why he felt that Jersey's bankers were morally superior to those on Wall Street.

Now a little snippet has come our way which might explain why Reverend Thewlis has his nose so firmly up the derrières of Jersey's financiers. Last night his daughter took part in a communion service at Saint Marks church in Saint Helier. Her sponsor for communion was none other than Terry le Sueur, Jersey's chief minister, a former accountant and arch-proponent of tax havenry. Le Sueur lives in Saint John and is a practising Roman Catholic.

Could this explain why Thewlis is so opposed to tax justice?

Footnote - the information referred to in this blog was provided by a member of the congregation at the event in question. We have had confirmation that Terry le Sueur was indeed at the ceremony, and that he has close connections to Reverend Thewlis. But the suggestion that Mr le Sueur sponsored the confirmation has been challenged.

However, TJN supporters in Jersey remain deeply concerned that Mr Thewlis is so prominently engaged in providing what they see as ethical support for tax haven activities. They have also told TJN that Mr Thewlis continues to openly challenge the tax justice agenda. We hope that someone in the Church will be prepared to mediate between TJN and the Church in Jersey. We know from visits to Jersey in the past three years that genuine Christians have left the organised Church as a result of its support for tax havenry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's be clear

Christian Aid Guernsey has as its chair Dean Mellor, leading light.

Yet when there has been any suggestion that Christian Aid supports anything like tax justice, it refutes CA's reports.

I have raised this several times, head office of CA telling me stances have not changed, but the message out of branches of this charity has not altered.

Obviously the dog cannot bite the hand, but surely there is the skill to undermine the entrenched positions.

However, Mellor, as Guernsey's Church leader, denies Guernsey, and so the whole secrecy jurisdiction existence, has anything to do with world poverty.

I have no response from information requests.

It speaks volumes.

11:10 am  

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