The Daily Telegraph

Chaplain who disputed LGBT policies ‘a risk to children’

- By Berny Torre

A SCHOOL chaplain was deemed a risk to children by his Church of England diocese for defending the right to question LGBT policies.

The Rev Dr Bernard Randall, 49, is suing the Bishop of Derby and Trent College, Nottingham, over alleged religious discrimina­tion after he was sacked by the fee-paying school and reported to terrorism watchdogs.

Dr Randall is claiming £120,000 in damages at an employment tribunal that begins today.

The University of Oxford graduate and former chaplain of Christ’s College, Cambridge, was dismayed when his diocese launched its own investigat­ion and conducted a risk assessment that concluded that he posed a “moderate” risk, and might cause children “anxiety” if they came to him with “a sexuality or relationsh­ip” issue.

Dr Randall says he will be claiming damages including for hurt feelings and lost earnings from the school and the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Libby Lane.

He will ask for reinstatem­ent to his post and when asked if he thought members of the diocese should resign, said Bishop Lane was among those “that might find that they need to repent” and that he sought “forgivenes­s” instead.

“If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny that the Church is being alleged to have discrimina­ted against one of its officers on the basis that that officer holds its teachings,” he added.

“It shouldn’t be possible but here it is and that’s why it’s for [the] good of the Church to deal with these things.”

Dr Randall was appointed in 2015 to provide pastoral care, share the Christian faith and lead services in Trent School’s chapel.

In his sermon Dr Randall outlined the Anglican Church’s view of marriage as being between a man and a woman and was delivered after students questioned the school’s new policy on sexual-orientatio­n diversity.

The Diocese of Derby said in a statement: “Mr Randall has never been an employee of the diocese and the licence he held was as a result of his employment by Trent College. The Bishop of Derby is saddened that Mr Randall is bringing these grievances and has tried to ensure pastoral care for him.

“Given that he has started legal processes against the Diocese and the Bishop of Derby, it would be inappropri­ate to comment further.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The Church of England’s wholesale misuse of safeguardi­ng to suggest that Bernard is a risk to children is one of them most distastefu­l and objectiona­ble elements of [this] case.”

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