The Bishop of Grantham, pictured below, has become the first in the Church of England to declare that he is in a gay relationship.
Nicholas Chamberlain, 52, has been with his partner for many years and added that they are in a ‘faithful’ and ‘loving’ relationship.
He was ordained last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, 60, who added that he was aware about his sexuality.
Bishop Chamberlain made the disclosure after learning that details about his private life were going to be revealed by an unnamed UK Sunday newspaper. He then spoke to the Guardian and added that
he didn’t want to make ‘a big thing’ about coming out.
He was made suffragan in the Lincoln diocese in 2015 and obeys Church guidelines which say gay clergy must remain celibate and not marry.
The bishop told the newspaper:
‘It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out. People know I’m gay, but it’s not the first thing I’d say to anyone. Sexuality is part of who I am, but it’s my ministry that I want to focus on.’
‘I hope I’ll be able to be a standard-bearer for all people as a gay man. And I really hope that I’ll be able to help us move on beyond matters of sexuality.’
He said that both he and his partner ‘enjoy each other’s company’ and ‘share each other’s life’ during their ‘faithful’ and ‘loving’ relationship.
It is believed that he has become the first bishop to reveal that they are a homosexual.
Defending Bishop Chamberlain, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said:
‘His appointment as Bishop of Grantham was made on the basis of his skills and calling to serve the church in the Diocese of Lincoln.
‘He lives within the Bishops’ guidelines and his sexuality is completely irrelevant to his office.’
A Church of England spokesman said:
‘Nicholas has not misled anyone and has been open and truthful if asked. The matter is not secret, although it is private as is the case with all partnerships/relationships.’
|Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby|
The C of E has been divided over the topic of sexuality and a heated debate has been launched over whether it can continue holding the belief that marriage is solely the union of a man and a woman.