Jersey’s a place of haves and have-nots, says church leader

- Advertisement -

In a strongly worded Easter message, Monsignor Nicholas France, who has announced he is due to step down from the role this year, has also called the Island’s education system ‘unequal’ and described Jersey as a place of ‘haves and have-nots’.

And he has used his Easter message, published in the JEP, to say that issues such as healthcare and education, as well as housing and the social inclusion of minority groups, should be among matters debated by candidates in the forthcoming May election.

‘How Christian is healthcare, education and church funding?’ he said. ‘Whatever else it is, it cannot be called fair. Is it fair that people have to pay to see a doctor?

‘Is it fair that we have an unequal system of education? Is it fair that 12 parish churches are funded through a local tax of everyone who lives in those parishes?’

Mgr France said he was asked what he thought of the Island in comparison to his previous home of Southampton when he arrived in Jersey 19 years ago.

‘After saying the usual flattering things about the Island, I did comment that it was very noticeable that it was a place of haves and have-nots,’ Mgr France said.

‘The above examples, particularly in health and education, are obvious. That’s what I said in my first year in Jersey and now repeat in my last year.’

He also questioned ‘how healthier might people be’ if doctors did not charge for their services and also said that salvation was linked to medicine and education.

‘We are holistic people and need to address the health of our bodies, minds and souls,’ he said. ‘Without these three in harmony we are not fully human.

‘Concerned for the overall health of our Island, we should be prepared to discuss some of these issues with candidates for the forthcoming general election.’

Mgr France, director of Caritas Jersey, said that the organisation – which was set up to represent the poor and marginalised in society – had held several round-table discussions with regard to disadvantaged people in the past year.

Themes discussed included health, the social inclusion of minority groups and issues such as housing, wages and employment.

‘Caritas Jersey plans to draw these matters in more detail to the notice of the general public, the voters, as well as the candidates,’ he said. ‘This is not only to point out problems but to offer solutions.

‘Once again, our concern must be to unite and not divide all who try to work for the common good.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.