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

Delay in tribunal hearing for 'terrorist' school chaplain that questioned college's LGBTQ policies

A school chaplain, who was reported to the government's terrorist watchdog for a sermon, in which he told pupils they were allowed to disagree with LGBTQ teaching, has had his employment tribunal hearing postponed.

Rev Dr Bernard Randall, 48, who was the former chaplain at Trent college in Nottingham, a school with an Anglican foundation, will now have to wait until September 2022, after a judge said lawyers representing the college had failed to serve their evidence.

Rev Randall is suing the college for discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and unfair dismissal, supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

A 12-day hearing was expected to commence at East Midlands Employment Tribunal from the 14 June 2021. However, Judge Heap said the college's lawyers had not exchanged witness statements 'seven months after they were due' without 'any good reason.'

Having been presented with no justification for the failure to comply with the Tribunal's orders, Judge Heap described the situation as 'entirely their own making and I make it plain that I do not expect there to be any further failure to comply with Orders made.'

Dr Randall's legal case made headlines after news broke that he had been reported to the government's terrorist watchdog, Prevent, for a sermon in a school chapel which told pupils that they were allowed to disagree with LGBTQ teaching.

The sermon had been delivered in the school's Church of England chapel after the school had introduced Educate and Celebrate's 'gold standard' into the Christian school.

Speaking to Premier, Rev Randall said the delay was very frustrating: "I'm not in any particular position. I just sometimes feel as if I'm completely drifting. And of course, I'm applying for jobs as and when suitable things become available. But in fairness to any employer who sees my name and knows about the case, they're going to be thinking, well, do we want to take a chance on this person. What's going on? What don't we know about the case, until my name is properly cleared. 

"And if I was applying for ministry, jobs outside of schools, and that kind of educational context, again, in a year's time, just over a year's time, I don't know what my situation is going to be. And it would be unfair on a community to say I'm going to come and be your minister, your pastor, whatever. And then all of a sudden, who knows what the situation is going to be, you know, if you're going to start that kind of job, you're in it for the long haul. And it's very difficult for me to know what I can and can't commit to at this stage."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, added in a statement: "It is often said, that justice delayed is justice denied. For over seven months Christian Legal Centre lawyers have been ready for this 12-day hearing, but the school and its lawyers has simply refused to comply with the tribunal's orders."

Premier has contacted Trent College about the delays in the case and is awaiting comment.

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