A British charity has apologised to a chaplain after he was told he couldn’t wear a cross at its hospice.
73-year-old Derek Timms insisted on wearing the cross as a symbol of his faith and in memory of his wife who died earlier this year.
He also wears a discreet cross necklace containing some of his wife’s ashes.
The cross is so tiny, many of the facility’s residents and visitors may not have even noticed it.
Mr. Timms worked for the Marie Curie hospice in Solihull as part of its ‘interfaith spiritual advisors’ program.
The Methodist Minister who supervised the program told him to refrain from wearing the miniscule pin badge because it might “offend and create barriers.”
The Minister told him he would need retraining and reassessment of his ability to provide spiritual care.
She wrote in an email that: “In line with the ethos of hospice and healthcare chaplaincy, no religious symbols should be worn by those engaged in spiritual care. We need to be there for people of all faiths and none.”
With the support of the Christian Legal Centre Mr. Timms responded to Marie Curie’s regional head office saying he could find no workplace policy that banned the wearing of a cross.
The charity agreed and unreservedly apologised for the distress that it had caused.
Mr. Timms welcomed the apology but believes his work as a chaplain now lies elsewhere.
He said “interfaith ideology is becoming so firmly embedded throughout the Christian faith that it is essentially cancelling itself.”
Photo: Christian Legal Centre