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Nicholas Chamberlain, the First Openly Gay Bishop of the Church of England
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of September 5, 2016) Nicholas Chamberlain is the first Anglican bishop to have come out of the closet. When a British tabloid newspaper threatened to reveal the 52-year-old bishop’s homosexuality, he stepped ahead an publicly declared that he is gay and has been sharing his life with a man for many years.
Chamberlain, the bishop of Grantham added that everyone involved in his ordination on November 19, 2015 was aware that he was gay, including the archbishop of Canterbury.
In this BBC interview, Chamberlain speaks about his coming-out, his homosexuality and his faith.
His superior, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, finds that Nicholas Chamberlain “respects the episcopal rules and his sexuality has nothing to do with his function.”
Bishop Chamberlain regrets that his coming-out has been causing such a stir in the media because he first and foremost considers himself as a minister of religion.
“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.”
In August 2016, 14 Anglican ministers (and 8 of their partners) criticized the official position of the Anglican Church and confirmed their same-sex marriages in an open letter. They all would like the Church of England to marry same-sex couples and ordinate gay ministers and bishops.
Here is a British TV report and discussion on the subject:
The official position of the Anglican Church, as represented by Justin Welby (Canterbury) and John Sentamu (York), does not allow its gay ministers same-sex marriages and does not consider them for promotions – although there have already been some exceptions.
During the next episcopal synod mid-September 2016, the position of the Church of England on sexuality in general, on homosexuality and same-sex marriages for members and the clergy of the Anglican Church will be on the agenda.
Of course there have already been Anglican gay pastors who have received the episcopal ordination – however, they kept their homosexuality more or less a secret.
Nicholas Chamberlain is the first Anglican bishop to have come out although not the first Protestant. The American Gene Robinson, member of the Episcopalian Church, was the first pastor who was ordained as a bishop, married his partner and even got divorced again.
Frank-S / MensGo
Main source: The Guardian, September 2, 2016
Other sources: The Guardian of August 21, 2016.