The Revd Dr Bernard Randall, former Chaplain at Trent College, was fired from his job and reported to PREVENT as a potential terrorist after a sermon where he told the students they had the right to question the LGBT policies of the school. The offending remarks were made in 2019. According to various reports, Derbyshire police officials investigated the complaint and found the Revd Randall was not a counter terrorism risk.
Officials at Trent College, a Church of England school, reported the clergyman because he told students they were allowed to disagree with the school’s policies if they were contrary to Church of England principles. After a presentation was made to the staff and faculty by Dr Elly Barnes, the school adopted the LGBT curriculum named, Educate & Celebrate. The goal of curriculum purportedly encouraged schools to, “embed gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation into the fabric” of the institution.
This is a portion of the sermon that is at the heart of the complaint.
“There are some aspects of the Educate and Celebrate programme which are simply factual – there are same-sex attracted people in our society, there are people who experience gender dysphoria, and so on.
“There are some areas where the two sets of values overlap – no one should be discriminated against simply for who he or she is: That’s a Christian value, based in loving our neighbours as ourselves.
“All these things should be accepted straightforwardly by all of us, and it’s right that equalities law reflects that.
“But there are areas where the two sets of ideas are in conflict, and in these areas you do not have to accept the ideas and ideologies of LGBT activists. Indeed, since Trent exists ‘to educate boys and girls according to the Protestant and Evangelical principles of the Church of England’, anyone who tells you that you must accept contrary principles is jeopardising the school’s charitable status, and therefore it’s very existence.
“You should no more be told you have to accept LGBT ideology than you should be told you must be in favour of Brexit, or must be Muslim – to both of which I’m sure most of you would quite rightly object.
“I am aware that there will be a good few in our community who will have been struggling, if they feel they are being told that they must accept ideas which run counter to their faith – or indeed non-faith – based reasoning about the world.
“So I want to say to everyone, but especially to those who have been troubled, that you are not obliged to accept someone else’s ideology. You are perfectly at liberty to hear ideas out, and then think, ‘No, not for me’.”
The Revd Dr Randall was later fired from his position. The Christian Legal Centre is providing legal assistance. In comments to the press, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams said: “Who are the extremists in this story? The partisan agency who teach young children that they can be born in the wrong body, or the school chaplain moderately presenting what the Christian church has taught about marriage, sex, and gender for the past 2,000 years?”