Chaplain claims Church of England deemed him a ‘risk to children’ for challenging LGBT ideology
A Christian chaplain who was forced out of his job and reported to a terror watchdog for delivering a sermon advocating the right to challenge LGBT ideology claims he was also blacklisted as a risk to the protection of children by the Church of England (CofE).
The Reverend Bernard Randall, 49, from Derbyshire, a former chaplain at Christ’s College Cambridge, is taking Trent College Derbyshire to an employment tribunal over alleged religious discrimination after he was sacked by the fee-paying CofE school and reported to a government. terrorism watchdog.
Anglican deacon and broadcaster Fr. Calvin Robinson told The Epoch Times via email that it was “awful the way Reverend Randall was treated” but that many clergy are smothered by the “awake hierarchy.”
“The woke activists who have captured much of CofE cannot tolerate any opposition to their agenda, even moderate and thoughtful opposition that encourages debate,” said Randall, who is ordained by CofE, in a statement.
He said he initially expected support from the church, but instead found he had been branded a ‘child risk’ by church officials for ‘expressing, moderately’ CofE teaching on human sexuality in a CofE chapel.
In 2019, Randall was disciplined and lost his job as chaplain at Trent College after he preached a sermon that featured the Christian perspective on gender identity and LGBT ideology.
He is seeking £120,000 ($138,000) in damages in an employment tribunal which begins on Monday, arguing that Trent College unfairly sacked him because of his religious and philosophical beliefs.
Randall said he had presented the traditional Christian point of view of human identity and sexuality and told the students that they did not have to “accept an ideology with which they do not agree” but should debate and form their own opinion on the matter.
The school reported Randall to Prevent, the government’s anti-terrorism watchdog, after raising concerns at the school about an external LGBT group, Educate and Celebrate, which had encouraged school staff to chant “crush heteronormativity” during a training session.
Police later said that they found that he did not meet the threshold for a Prevent referral, and that no further action was taken and no cases were recorded in the force system.
His legal team, represented by Christian Concern, allege the Bishop of Derby, the Rt. Rev. Libby Lane, refused to allow him to officiate in church services and argued it was an act of discrimination, harassment and a breach of the Equality Act 2010.
He also claims he was told he posed a ‘moderate risk to children’ and vulnerable adults during a risk assessment undertaken by the Church of England safeguard team in the Diocese of Derby.
His legal team says a data access request revealed a senior member of Derby Cathedral suggested there would be ‘implications’ for anyone associated with the cathedral if they publicly supported Randall in his lawsuit. They also claim internal emails revealed cooperation between Trent College and the Diocese of Derby to ensure Randall could no longer officiate in the area.
He is also taking separate legal action against the Bishop of Derby and CofE.
Prof Calvin Robinson joined the dissenting Anglican World Conference on the Future of Conservatives this year after it was canceled by the CofE because senior white clergy feared he would refute claims that Britain is ‘institutionally racist’ even if it is black.
“It’s awful the way Reverend Randall has been treated. The state church is so afraid of being politically incorrect that it now views its own teaching as a safeguarding risk. This is nonsense,” he told The Epoch Times.
“There are many fantastic clergy silenced and suffocated by an awakened hierarchy. I pray for their release,” he added.
Commenting in a statement, Randall said it had been a “hostile, traumatic and deeply stressful experience” and that the “backup” had been weaponized against what the Church considers a difficult voice.
He experienced what he described as “Stalinist” interrogations during which he was told that refusing to capitulate to the allegations and to deny his beliefs put him at risk.
“I don’t think giving a sermon can be a backup issue. I didn’t think anything I said was wrong. I certainly did not make any personal attacks. The Diocese of Derby safeguarding team told me that my sermon and opinions, based on the teaching of the C of E, could potentially cause someone anxiety, as if it were ‘abuse,’” Randall said.
“If the Church of England believes that its own Bible-based teaching is a safeguarding risk, then what does that say about the state it is in?” he added.
The Epoch Times has contacted Trent College, the Diocese of Derby and CofE for comment.