Cambridge college apology after autistic boy ‘removed’ from chapel

King's College Chapel, Cambridge Image copyright N Chadwick/Geograph
Image caption Paul Rimmer and his son Tristan, nine, who is autistic, attended Evensong on Sunday

A university dean has apologised after an autistic boy was asked to leave a service at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge.

Paul Rimmer and his son Tristan, nine, who is autistic, attended Evensong on Sunday. Tristan made loud noises and a member of staff asked them to leave.

Mr Rimmer wrote a letter of complaint that appeared on Facebook.

Now Dean of King’s College Dr Stephen Cherry has apologised and asked to meet Mr Rimmer.

Mr Rimmer said in the letter that Tristan’s expressions “are often loud and uncontainable. It is part of who he is”.

Boy ‘unwelcome’

“As a Christian, I believed worship is primarily intended to glorify God.. as an actual worship service, at which my son’s expressions must surely be pleasing to God,” he said.

Mr Rimmer said his son “isn’t even 10 years old and he knows that he is unwelcome”.

In a letter to Mr Rimmer, Revd Dr Cherry wrote he was “devastated” to hear about the incident.

“Every week we welcome thousands of people to services in King’s Chapel and we do our best to meet all their various needs and expectations,” he said.

“Sometimes we fail and I realise that we especially failed you and Tristan on Sunday afternoon. I apologise for that most sincerely.

He added that “that there is more that we can do to support and help… staff” welcoming worshippers.



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