‘Nobody was going to let me disrespect God by forcing me to take off my cross’

2 December 2022

Derek Timms, a chaplain from Solihull, was told by a Methodist minister at his workplace to remove the small cross pin he had worn for 4 years as it might ‘offend’ patients.

Derek, a businessman turned chaplain, was told he would face consequences and would need ‘re-training’ if he refused to remove a half-inch pin with a cross on it from his jumper. Having lost his wife earlier this year, Derek wears the cross not only as a manifestation of his faith, but also in memory of his marriage.

However, as a chaplain at a Marie Curie charity branch in Solihull, Derek was told in an email by the Methodist minister overseeing the chaplaincy that he must not wear the cross as it might ‘offend’ and create ‘barriers’ with patients. This was despite the fact that Derek had been wearing the miniature cross at Marie Curie for four years without any complaints.

With support from the Christian Legal Centre, Derek wrote to the Methodist minister to query the strange request, which was then escalated to the regional office. In response, Marie Curie regional office offered its unreserved apologies for the distress caused to Derek, confirming that there was no policy against wearing the cross.

Find out more about Derek Timms
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