Chaplain receives Apology after being pressured to remove his half-inch cross

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: November 28, 2022

Derek Timms, a chaplain from Solihull, was told in September at the Marie Curie charity’s Solihull branch, that he must not wear the cross as it might "offend’ and "create barriers" with patients. He was also told that he would face consequences if he did not remove the cross, which was a symbol of his faith but also a memory of his late wife. After receiving legal support, Mr Timms received an "unreserved" apology letter from the Marie Curie charity's regional head office.

Mr Timms had worn the small cross for four years without any issues or complaints. But the controversy began as the Marie Curie’s Solihull branch announced that the job titles of members of the chaplaincy would be changed to ‘spiritual advisors’, with the aim to "neutralise" the visibility of the Christian faith.

One ordained minister told him: “If you would like to have a cross out of sight in your pocket and put it on when you know for sure that you are going into the room of a person of Christian faith, that would be acceptable, but also not particularly necessary.”

Mr Timms then seeked help from "Christian Concern" and wrote to them: “I have had a crisis of conscience since I received this request. I would note that I have worn the pin for 11 years on a daily basis as a chaplain before joining Marie Curie Solihull. I have worn it for 5 years while working for Marie Curie. I have serious and cogent reasons for wearing it and consider it a manifestation of my faith and a devotion to God. The cross I wear around my neck is also highly meaningful to me as it represents a physical devotion to both my late wife and to God who brought us together and blessed our marriage.

“I have searched the Marie Curie Solihull website, policy documents, the NHS website and nowhere can I find where there is a written policy which prohibits the wearing of crosses in my specific situation or why it is prohibited.”

After the legal support and guidance of the organisation, Mr Timms was able to return to his work and received an apology from the head office. 

Source: Christian ConcernDailyMailFoxNewsChristianPost

Photo: Christian Legal Centre