Homelessness prevention officer sacked over God advice

A homelessness prevention officer has been sacked by Wandsworth Council in London after he encouraged a terminally ill woman to look to God for help.

Duke Amachree, who has worked for the local authority for nearly 18 years, was initially suspended in January after the woman, a client with the homelessness prevention office, made a complaint against him.

She claims Mr Amachree told her during their conversation about her housing situation that “sometimes the doctors don’t have all the answers” and that she should put her faith in God.

Mr Amachree says Wandsworth Council responded to the complaint by telling him that it was inappropriate to “ever talk about God” in the workplace and that he could be sacked if he said “God bless” to clients.

Michael Phillips, a solicitor with the Christian Legal Centre who advised Mr Amachree during the council’s investigation, said his dismissal was “a clear manifestation of secular intolerance”.

Mr Amachree says Wandsworth Council’s decision effectively privatises Christian faith and goes against his human rights. He plans to challenge his dismissal in an Employment Tribunal.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the CLC said: "We are supporting Mr Amachree in this case because it is absurd and unjust to think that any public body could be in a position to enforce a policy which means that you can't even say 'God Bless' .

“This would effectively mean that faith would become entirely privatised. A Christian cannot leave faith out of any aspect of his or her life including work."