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Marie Curie apologises to chaplain who was banned from sporting cross

Derek Timms, 73(Photograph: Christian Authorized Centre)

Most cancers charity Marie Curie has apologised “unreservedly” after a Christian chaplain was advised he couldn’t put on a small cross pin whereas assembly sufferers.

Derek Timms, who’s being supported by the Christian Authorized Centre, has been a Marie Curie chaplain in Solihull for 4 years throughout which period he has worn a half-inch cross pin with out criticism.

He claims that the Methodist minister in control of the Solihull chaplains – lately rebranded ‘non secular advisers’ by the department – advised him to “chorus” from sporting the cross as a result of it may “create a barrier” and “offend” non-Christian sufferers.

In an e-mail to Mr Timms, the minister is reported to have mentioned, “The thought is that we needs to be seem impartial and that permits a non secular encounter that’s about what the particular person we’re visiting wants.”

When Mr Timms insisted on sporting the cross as a logo of his religion and an indication that he’s a Christian chaplain, a compromise was supplied through which he says he was advised he may carry it in his pocket and put it on when visiting Christian sufferers.

After failing to search out any prohibition of spiritual symbols for chaplains on Marie Curie’s web site, he objected once more and was known as to a face-to-face assembly on 20 September.

In accordance with the Christian Authorized Centre, Mr Timms was advised on the assembly that he would wish “re-training” due to his refusal to conform or recognise wrongdoing, and that he ought to re-consider whether or not Marie Curie was the “proper place” for him.

He says he was then advised that except he eliminated his cross, he wouldn’t be capable to work as a Marie Curie chaplain, at which level he handed in his identification badge and left the premises.

When the matter was referred to the Marie Curie regional head workplace, he acquired an apology for any misery prompted.

It mentioned in its response, “I can affirm that at present we have now neither an organisational or uniform coverage that may assist our current request to take away your cross whereas supporting sufferers and households within the Hospice. I apologise unreservedly for the misery that we have now prompted.”

Mr Timms welcomed the apology however mentioned he was “shocked and damage” by how he was handled and can be in search of alternatives to function a chaplain elsewhere.

“There was and isn’t any must suppress the image of the cross and in so doing ship a message that the Christian religion must be neutralised or eliminated totally from a chaplaincy entrance line service,” he mentioned. 

“Interfaith ideology is turning into so firmly embedded all through the Christian religion that it’s primarily cancelling itself.” 

He continued, “The simplest factor to do would have been to say, ‘I will take it off’, however I believed, ‘no’, I needs to be standing up for what I imagine in.

“If I had given in, I imagine I might have been saying that I’m embarrassed to be a Christian.

“From expertise, by sporting my cross, sufferers belief me, they may not have my religion or perception, however they belief me. I all the time meet folks ‘the place they’re’ whether or not they’re a Muslim or atheist, and it has all the time been a privilege for me to assist folks on the hardest moments of their lives.

“I welcome and respect the apology from Marie Curie however imagine my work as a chaplain now lies elsewhere.”

Andrea Williams, chief govt of the Christian Authorized Centre, mentioned chaplains needs to be free to put on Christian symbols.

“Derek is a sort man who’s captivated with Jesus and sharing the hope and religion that remodeled his life,” she mentioned. 

“He has by no means had a single criticism till now for sporting his tiny cross. He confirmed nice braveness by refusing to cave into the numerous stress to take away what mattered a lot to him.

“Methodist Sunday college academics have been those that launched me to Jesus once I was a bit of lady. They might be horrified to assume {that a} Methodist minister may say such issues to Mr Timms.

“We name on chaplaincy groups and leaders throughout the UK to not be ashamed of the Christian religion, however to uphold and cherish the essential position Christian chaplains play in supporting folks on the most weak moments of their lives.”

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