The Bishop of Grantham becomes the first in the Church of England to reveal that he is gay and in a relationship.

Mr Nicholas Chamberlain is in a long-term, celibate relationship with a male partner

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.”

Bishop Chamberlain made the disclosure in an interview with the Guardian, and it has been reported that he gave the interview because his private life was about to be exposed by a Sunday newspaper.

“It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out,” he told the newspaper.

“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.”

He was consecrated last November and said everyone involved in his elevation to the clergy was aware of his sexuality.

In a statement, Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I am and have been fully aware of Bishop Nick’s long-term, committed relationship. 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.”

 

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