Chaplain sues school after dismissal over LGBTQ+ inclusion programme

Rev Bernard Randall, a former school chaplain, is suing Trent because the school wanted to introduce a programme which he believes was "ideologically loaded and misleading".

The image shows a screenshot of Rev Bernard Randall, the school chaplain who was dismissed from their post for conflict of Christian beliefs.
Image: Christian Concern via YouTube

A school chaplain claims he was unfairly dismissed from his post at Trent College in Derbyshire last year on the grounds of religious discrimination.

Rev Bernard Randall is suing Trent College at an employment tribunal in Nottingham because he believes that a disagreement with senior staff at the college on implementing an inclusion programme designed by the charity Educate and Celebrate led to him being fired from his job.

During the hearing, Rev Randall, whose position with the school involved the pastoral care of students, claimed that parts of the new programme did not align with the Christian ethos of the school.

He maintained that some of the terminology used in the programme was “ideologically loaded and misleading”, highlighting phrases such as “sex assigned at birth” and “cisgender”.

He also told the tribunal, “Educate and Celebrate went beyond a neutral stance of inclusivity into the implantation of ideas I consider to be identity politics,” saying the programme was “based on a Marxist and atheist reading of the universe that I think is wrong”.

Rev Randall described how he had been troubled when a 2018 visit to the school by the Educate and Celebrate charity had resulted in students chanting “smash heteronormativity”.


Following this, he asserted that he raised concerns with senior staff about allowing students to set up a Youth Pride as it was his belief that Pride constituted one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

He claimed that this resulted in him being excluded from discussions about the implementation of the Educate and Celebrate programme “because he might disagree with it”.

He further qualified that he was not in disagreement with all of the programme, just parts of it.

Rev Randall maintains that after a sixth-form pupil asked him: “Sir, how come we are told we have to accept all this LGBT stuff in a Christian school?”, he was inspired to write a sermon titled ‘Competing Ideologies’.

He delivered the sermon to pupils aged between 11 and 17 in June 2019, in which he wrote, “You do not have to accept the ideas of LGBT activists”.

He said he knew the sermon would “ruffle a few feathers”, but he had not expected it to lead to him losing his job as school chaplain.

The tribunal is expected to last three weeks.

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