Crucial case to be decided tomorrow.

Prayer Alert from Christian Concern
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Prayer Alert

Can a magistrate express a public or

private Christian view?

This week Richard Page will challenge the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor
As we await the outcome of the Felix Ngole appeal, this week another one of our most disturbing cases reaches a critical point and we ask you for your prayers.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, former-magistrate, Richard Page, is set to challenge the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor in what we has been described as a watershed moment for Christian freedoms in our country.

The outcome of this case could have significant consequences for anyone in society who expresses a similar Christian view in a public or even private social setting.

A watershed moment for Christians

Read more about the significance of this week’s appeal
In 2014, Richard Page, who has expertise both as a member of the Family Panel and as a foster parent, was presiding over an adoption case with two other magistrates. The child involved would either be adopted by a same-sex or heterosexual couple.

Social services sweepingly provided a report claiming that children up for adoption do better with same-sex couples than they do with heterosexual parents. Richard found the report to be inadequate and was concerned about how politicised the application had become. Furthermore, he discovered that one of the prospective same-sex couple’s applications to become a foster parent had been rejected in the past and he wanted to know more.

In response to the evidence before him, during a closed-door discussion with the two other magistrates, Richard expressed his concerns and view that a child up for adoption actually would do better with a mother and a father. In Richard’s own words, the other two magistrates in reaction went “ballistic.”

Former Lord Chancellor’s MP Michael Gove and MP Chris Grayling were both involved in Richard’s dismissal.
From this moment a ripple effect began that saw Richard repeatedly investigated, then removed from the magistracy, removed from his role at the NHS and cruelly chastised as a‘bigot’ and ‘homophobe’ on national television by the likes of Piers Morgan, leading to 70 complaints to Ofcom.

It was Michael Gove, the then Lord Chancellor who signed off on Richard’s removal from the magistracy, although he was reportedly reluctant to take the decision. It is also a highly unusual step for a politician to remove a judge, and strangely it took Mr Gove three months to sign off the ruling which has been described in court as ‘brutal’. Furthermore, it was Chris Grayling who ordered Richard to undertake ‘equality training’ telling Richard that his views about family life were discriminatory against same-sex couples. This is despite the fact that Richard at no point expressed any view about same-sex couples.

It is these decisions and the impartiality of the judiciary that will be challenged at the Employment Appeal Tribunal this week.

The judiciary were ‘closing ranks’

The permission for Richard to appeal his removal was granted in December 2018 after Judge Katherine Tucker, ruled that: “There was in my judgment a compelling reason for me to do so. In my judgment, some of the submissions made today appear to suggest that it is part of the appellant’s [Mr Page] case that the judiciary were ‘closing ranks’ or dealing inappropriately, and/or in a heavy handed manner with a member of the judiciary who had spoken out about their own beliefs. I considered that it was in accordance with open justice that any suggestion of that nature should be considered at a full appeal where full argument could take place. It is important to ensure that there is confidence in the judicial process and in the fair and proper administration of justice.”
“I am very pleased that Richard has been able to stand up for children.”
Richard and his wife, Jane, thank you for your support.
Throughout all of this, Richard has courageously stood firm in his faith despite all the opposition. Yet what makes his case so important is that Richard could just as easily have been any Bible-believing Christian reading those words. He is bearing the burden and public scrutiny of this ordeal so that, God willing, you will never have to. Therefore, we would urge you to pray with us this week:

  • For Richard and his family, especially his wife, Jane 
  • For Religious freedoms barrister, Paul Diamond, who will be defending Richard in court
  • For the judges hearing the case, that they will truly understand what it means to hold and express a Christian viewpoint
  • That freedom for Christians to express biblical views in public and private would be protected
  • That the outcome of this case would create real and lasting change for  the judiciary, free speech and the futures of our children. 

Stay up-to-date on this case by following our social media channels throughout this week on Facebook and Twitter.

We have also been told to expect the outcome of Richard’s separate case against the NHS this summer and we will give you the news as soon as we have it.

Thank you for praying with us.

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