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Christian nurse who refused to remove crucifix loses tribunal

A Christian nurse who was moved to a desk job after refusing to remove her crucifix has lost a claim for discrimination.

Shirley Chaplin, 54, took the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital to an employment tribunal, claiming that taking off a necklace bearing a crucifix would ”violate her faith”.

The trust said the move was not specifically about the crucifix, but about health and safety concerns about patients grabbing necklaces.

John Hollow, the chairman of the employment tribunal panel, found against Mrs Chaplin, who had worn the emblem throughout her 30 years as a nurse.

Mr Hollow ruled the trust had acted in a ”reasonable” manner in trying to reach a compromise.

He said the damage to her was ‘’slight” and noted that wearing a crucifix was not a requirment of the Christian faith.

In a 71-point statement, Mrs Chaplin, who wore the crucifix to the hearing in her home city of Exeter, said she was ”personally convicted” to wear the emblem, given to her as a confirmation gift in 1971.

She said: ”I have been a nurse for roughly 30 years and throughout that time I have worn my crucifix. The crucifix is an exceptionally important expression of my faith and my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

”To deliberately remove or hide my crucifix or to treat it disrespectfully would violate my faith.”

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