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Prison chaplain given chance to appeal unfair dismissal verdict

Rev Barry Trayhorn, an ordained Pentecostal minister, took his case to the courts claiming he was being discriminated against after officials reprimanded him when prisoners complained about the Bible verses he was reading.

He was working as a gardener at HMP Littlehey but led services in the prison chapel on a voluntary basis.


HMP Littlehey

He says officials "bombarded" him with allegations of bad behaviour, despite claiming he simply spoke about God's love and forgiveness.

A tribunal rejected his appeal claiming he was not discriminated against.

The court heard how he'd read 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Verses 9-11 during a talk about sin and forgiveness. Complaints followed by those who took offence to homosexuality being labelled a sin.

The ruling stated that Rev Trayhorn spoke of God's forgiveness in an "insensitive" way which "failed to have regard for the special nature of the congregation in the prison".

Having being granted permission to appeal the original ruling, he'll now take his case to an Employment Tribunal Appeal.

He's being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. It's Chief Executive Andrea Williams said: "It is vital that we stand with Barry and challenge the way that he has been treated. If gospel truth cannot be spoken in a voluntary Christian service, where will we encounter such censorship next?

"The gospel is a message of hope and forgiveness and neither prisoners nor anyone else should be denied access to it."

It's unknown when his case will be heard.

Watch Rev Barry Trayhorn talking about his case:

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