Chaplain who delivered anti-LGBT sermon was not unfairly dismissed

A Church of England college chaplain who delivered a sermon saying that it was OK for pupils to disagree with LGBT+ teaching, has lost his claim of unfair dismissal.

Rev Dr Bernard Randall worked for Trent College in Long Eaton. The school invited LGBT+ group Educate and Celebrate to deliver training to its lecturers and students in 2018. Randall attended the course but was upset by its content and refused to join in with a chant to “smash heteronormativity” – the concept that heterosexuality is the normal mode of sexual orientation. In the following days he delivered a controversial sermon to his parish of college students saying it was OK for them to disagree with the LGBT+ teachings. 

Trent College dismissed Randall after deciding the sermon was harmful to pupils. He brought claims of harassment, discrimination and victimisation on the grounds of his Christian beliefs under the Equality Act 2010. The Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of Trent College. The judge noted that the Church of England cites Educate and Celebrate as a recognised resource in its guidance. She also added that Randall had “misconceived” what Educate and Celebrate is and that had “an extreme reaction” to its involvement within the Christian school.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law on 020 8290 0333 or email

If you would like to know more about our Employment Law services, please click here.

to chat