The bishop of Grantham, Nicholas Chamberlain, is now the first in the Church of England to declare that he is in a gay relationship.
The bishop revealed recently that he has been with his partner for many years and added that they are in a 'faithful' and 'loving' relationship. The 52-year-old bishop was ordained in 2015 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was said to have been aware about his sexuality.
Bishop Chamberlain revealed all these when he was told that an unnamed UK Sunday newspaper was about to blow the whistle to the public about his sexuality. He then spoke to The Guardian and added that he didn't want to make 'a big thing' about coming out.
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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.'
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.'