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Rev Dr Bernard Randall chaplain Trent College CC.jpg header2.jpg
Christian Concern
Rev Dr Bernard Randall chaplain Trent College CC.jpg
Christian Concern
World News

Christian chaplain sacked for marriage comments claims he was 'blacklisted' by Church of England safeguarding

by Sophie Drew

A Christian chaplain has claimed he was 'blacklisted' and deemed "a moderate risk to children" by an Anglican diocese after he was made redundant from a Church of England school. 

In 2019, Rev Bernard Randall delivered a sermon at Trent College, near Nottingham, encouraging children to question the school's LGBT+ policies. He said it was acceptable for them to hold traditional views on marriage, sex and gender identity. 

But following his sermon, Rev Randall was dismissed for gross misconduct and reported to Prevent, an anti-terrorism programme designed to stop radicalisation in the UK.

In a previous interview with Premier, Rev Randall said his world "fell apart" after learning he was regarded as a potential terrorist. 

The 49-year-old vicar then launched a legal challenge against the school in 2020 for discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal. 

He is claiming £120,000 in damages at an employment tribunal, which began on Monday. 

Speaking ahead of the hearing, Rev Randall said he was told by a safeguarding team at Derby Diocese that his sermon on LGBT issues and his views "could potentially cause someone anxiety".
 
"I do not believe delivering a sermon can be a safeguarding issue. I did not think anything I said was wrong. I certainly didn't make personal attacks," Rev Randall said.

"I was told by the safeguarding team at Derby Diocese that my sermon and my views, based on CofE teaching, could potentially cause someone anxiety, as if that is abuse.

"If the Church of England believes that its own teaching based on the Bible is a safeguarding risk then what does this say about what state it's in?" 

According to the Christian Legal Centre, who is supporting Rev Randall, the clergyman was told that he had to undergo an independent safeguarding assessment by a psychologist. 

Should he win the tribunal, Rev Randall is asking for compensation for feelings hurt, loss of income from losing his job, and to be reinstated in his post.

In a statement, the Diocese of Derby said: “Mr Randall has never been an employee of the diocese and the licence he held was as a result of his employment by Trent College. The Bishop of Derby is saddened that Mr Randall is bringing these grievances and has tried to ensure pastoral care for him. Given that he has started legal processes against the Diocese and the Bishop of Derby, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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