Nicholas Chamberlain, the Church of England bishop of Grantham, has admitted that he is in a gay relationship, but says it is a celibate one, in line with Church rules.
The bishop says he obeys the Church rules which say he must be celibate, but that his relationship is long-term and committed.
Justin Welby, who is the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that he knew about Chamberlain’s gay status when consecrating him bishop last year.
Welby has 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”.
It appears that Bishop Chamberlain gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper, because an exposé on himself and his relationship was about to be printed by another newspaper.
Chamberlain says he did not intend to make a big thing about coming out, and told the Guardian:
“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 said of his long-term relationship:
“It is faithful, loving, we are like-minded, we enjoy each other’s company and we share each other’s life”.
He added that he hoped to be judged by his actions as a parish priest, a bishop and “by the Lord ultimately”.