Christian chaplain's appeal delayed

Rev Dr Bernard Randall(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

An Employment Tribunal judge has delayed a school chaplain’s appeal until the Court of Appeal hears the case of another Christian school worker.

Rev Dr Bernard Randall was sacked by Trent College over a sermon he gave in 2019 in which he told pupils they did not have to agree with LGBT ideology.

He was later reinstated on appeal before being furloughed during the pandemic and then made redundant. He was also referred by the school to the government’s terrorism-prevention scheme, Prevent.

Dr Randall lost his unfair dismissal case last year but has been cleared by Prevent, the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA), and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The tribunal was supposed to hear his appeal this week but has now decided to wait until after the October hearing at the Court of Appeal in the case of Kristie Higgs. 

Mrs Higgs was sacked as an assistant at her school after she made two posts to her personal Facebook account raising concerns about compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) lessons, and the spread of transgender ideology in schools. 

In January she won the right to have her case heard by senior judges and a hearing is scheduled to take place on 2 October. 

Dr Randall said he was “hugely frustrated” by further appeals to his case. 

“Just waiting to get my life back can feel like a form of torture in itself. But I also recognise the huge significance of Kristie’s case and my own and what is at stake, and I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,” he said.

“My case concerns everybody. The gender identity and queer theory agenda sowing deep seeds of confusion in young children is now embedded in our schools. That agenda is anti-Christian and unashamedly aims to stamp out any Christian influence in our schools, and indeed any opposition, dissenting voice or even debate on their dangerous ideology.” 

He appealed to the Church of England for more support in his case. 

“All the secular safeguarding authorities have cleared me entirely, but the CofE’s safeguarding case against me continues for preaching about CofE teaching in a CofE school. The CofE hierarchy has been silent on my case and has refused to help me. It is still not too late for Justin Welby to step in – he has my number,” he said. 

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting both Dr Randall and Mrs Higgs said: “Justice delayed is justice denied. It is now five-years since Bernard gave a sermon.

“Four years after this all started, despite the pressure and mischaracterisation of his position, Bernard is not for turning until justice is done.

“If this ruling is not overturned and Bernard does not receive justice, then any parent, child, teacher or chaplain who opposes the agenda of ‘smashing heteronormativity’ in our schools, is not safe from losing their jobs, or worse. We have to win it and will not give up until we have.”

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