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Ordeal Of Persecuted School Chaplain

by | Sat, Dec 2 2023

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For four years a former school chaplain in England has endured a protracted legal ordeal and persecution for telling students they did not have to agree with LGBT ideology. Reverend Dr. Bernard Randall was effectively sacked from Trent College, a Church of England school in Derbyshire, for ‘gross misconduct.’

The now 51-year-old vicar was also reported to the UK counter-terrorism program Prevent over a sermon he gave in the school’s chapel. Prevent declined to act on the referral saying his sermon presented no risk of terrorism or radicalisation.

However, Dr. Randall’s local Church of England diocese in Derby ruled he posed a ‘moderate’ risk to children. It also concluded that the Bible and the Church’s own teaching on human sexuality was ‘a risk factor.’ The Church effectively blacklisted him as he has not been allowed to preach a sermon for four years.

Christian Concern writes that the back story to what happened is that “Dr Randall had given the sermon after discredited LGBT group Educate and Celebrate were invited into Trent College to help embed an extreme gender identity agenda into the moral fabric of the school, including the nursery. Itsleader got staff to chant ‘smash heteronormativity’ during a staff training day.”

The chaplain had disagreed with senior staff over proposals to implement a program drawn up by Educate and Celebrate arguing it was incompatible with the school’s Christian ethos. He believed parts of the LGBT group were Marxist, revolutionary and atheist and used the sermon to tell pupils as young as 11: “You do not have to accept the ideas of LGBT activists,” adding that students “did have to treat all with respect and civility.” The sermon allegedly triggered complaints from some pupils, parents and staff members.

Christian Today reports that after Dr. Randall lost an unfair dismissal claim at an employment tribunal in February, his former school boss secretly reported him to the Teachers’ Regulatory Agency (TRA) requesting that he be investigated for ‘misconduct’. The TRA ultimately decided to take no action against the former chaplain. He was also referred to another regulatory agency, the Disclosure and Barring Service, which could still ban him from working with children and as a vicar. It has yet to make a decision.

Dr. Randall has now launched legal action against his former head teacher, claiming victimisation, continued harassment, and discrimination on the grounds of his Christian beliefs. He said the referral “felt vindictive and malicious”.

“I am relieved that the TRA has decided to not bring a case against me, but I am horrified that it has got this far. Prevent and TRA referrals appear to be being weaponised to intimidate and silence anyone who dares speak against the prevailing secular orthodoxy on human sexuality and identity,” the former chaplain asserted.

“What has happened sends a message to Christian teachers, and any professional who does not celebrate and promote gender identity in schools, that not only will you be sacked, but you could be barred from the profession indefinitely if you fail to comply.”

“You can no longer teach or encourage debate among children or adults that there are any viewpoints other than embracing full-on LGBT+ ideology. This is untenable in a truly free and democratic country, and every teacher, pupil and parent should be concerned about the ideology being forced onto schools, often without parents having any knowledge of it.”

“I’d love to move on with my life, but now have no choice but to continue to fight for justice,” Dr Randall concluded.

Chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is representing him,Andrea Williams, said: “It should be of concern to everyone when a mild-mannered vicar ends up being reported as a safeguarding risk for saying you can believe marriage is between a man and a woman. If Bernard Randall is deemed not fit to work with children by the Church of England and school authorities, then none of us are safe.”

“To throw him out of the vocation he loves, report him to the local authority for safeguarding and stop him working with children, is to wreck his life. He has not been allowed to preach a sermon for over four years. There’s nothing good or kind about this. Bernard’s case shows vividly the intolerance of tolerance. We need more teachers and chaplains, like Bernard, working with children, not less.”

Photo: Christian Concern