Support the Café
Search our site

Bishop of Grantham comes out as gay and in a relationship (Updated)

Bishop of Grantham comes out as gay and in a relationship (Updated)

With rumors and threats of “outing,” the Bishop of Grantham, Nicholas Chamberlain has made a public statement on his sexual identity. According to him, he remains celibate and will not marry as per the Church of England rules.

From The Guardian:

Chamberlain was consecrated last November, and all those involved in his appointment – including Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury – were aware of his personal situation. During the process of being appointed as suffragan bishop of Grantham, he said, “I was myself. Those making the appointment knew about my sexual identity.” His appointment was made by the diocesan (senior) bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, and endorsed by Welby.

In a statement, 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.”

In a letter to parishes in his diocese, Lowson said: “I am satisfied now, as I was at the time of his appointment, that Bishop Nicholas fully understands, and lives by, the House of Bishops’ guidance on issues in human sexuality. For me, and for those who assisted in his appointment, the fact that Bishop Nicholas is gay is not, and has never been, a determining factor.”

 

UPDATE –

GAFCON has waded into the situation and published its opinion on the matter;

GAFCON STATEMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF THE BISHOP OF GRANTHAM

We note with prayerful concern the revelation that Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham, is in a same sex relationship.

Our understanding is that the nature of his relationship conforms to the guidelines set out by the Bishops, and that he has not been campaigning publicly for a change in the church’s teaching on sex and marriage. We do not doubt that he has many gifts as a leader and pastor.

However there are aspects of this appointment which are a serious cause for concern for biblically orthodox Anglicans around the world, and therefore we believe that this appointment is a major error.

In 2003, Jeffrey John’s candidacy for the post of Bishop of Reading caused deep divisions within the Diocese of Oxford and beyond, and this news about Nicholas Chamberlain will exacerbate the same divisions within the Church of England and throughout the wider Anglican Communion.

In this case the element of secrecy in the appointment to the episcopacy of a man in a same sex relationship gives the impression that it has been arranged with the aim of presenting the church with a ‘fait accompli’, rather than engaging with possible opposition in the spirit of the ‘shared conversations’.

We remain opposed to the guidelines for clergy and Bishops, permitting them to be in same sex relationships as long as they publicly declare that the relationship is not sexual. This creates confusion in terms of the church’s teaching on the nature of sex and marriage, and it is not modelling a helpful way to live, given the reality of our humanity, and temptation to sexual sin.

This news story will be seen by many orthodox Anglicans as yet more evidence that the clear biblical teaching in the Church of England on sin and salvation, human personhood, singleness, sex and marriage is being eroded and conformed to the values of secular society. While we pray for Bishop Chamberlain, our confidence in the processes by which he was appointed in are sadly, further diminished.

GAFCON UK exists to provide fellowship and if necessary, an alternative oversight for Anglicans committed to biblical orthodoxy in England, Scotland and Wales, from a range of ecclesial traditions, evangelical and catholic, with special focus on those who are losing confidence in local and national church structures to maintain faithfulness to doctrinal and ethical norms.

The Most Rev. Peter Jensen
General Secretary of Gafcon Global

The Rev Canon Andy Lines
Chairman of the Gafcon UK Task Force

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

24 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob Stuhlmann

What a pure waste of time and energy. Leave the man and his mate alone and let him be a light for inclusiveness. Or is the church simply there to keep in the holier than thou and keep out those who aren't. What an insufferable bunch we then become. Love one another. Blessings to Nicholas and to the Archbishop for taking a risk.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Prof. Christopher Seitz

If I read it correctly this Bishop is saying publically he will support the present teaching of the church in respect of marriage. So it is hard to understand whether this is something the LGBTI movement is celebrating or is dismayed by.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Cynthia Katsarelis

There's some outrage that he was blackmailed into "outing" himself. Though others think "outing" is good, I think that's a minority.

It does bring up the hypocrisy of the CoE in requiring LGBT couples to be celibate and not requiring that of straight couples. Which, of course, depends on your view, but it is the majority view in CoE at this point, obviously in TEC. Also, the secrecy of it is disturbing, he was appointed and consecrated in the full knowledge of church leadership, but they wouldn't announce it as they do the marriages of straight bishops. If he's within the teaching of the church, why the secrecy?

Whether celibacy is the wish and call of this bishop is really his business. But the matter brings up a range of issues.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Cynthia Katsarelis

"and this news about Nicholas Chamberlain will exacerbate the same divisions within the Church of England and throughout the wider Anglican Communion."

It will exacerbate the divisions if you guys stir it up and get all hateful about it. Duh.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Jeremy Bates

So will the Archbishop of Canterbury now invite all bishops in the Communion to the next Lambeth Conference?

Or will the good Archbishop continue to discriminate?

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Paul Woodrum

Rie, the answer is "rarely." Some may expect it, but it's not a requirement for ordination.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Rie Linton

Do single priests take a vow of celibacy until married?

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Fr. Will McQueen

Not a vow of celibacy but the understanding is that a priest be chaste in singleness. Otherwise there's a pretty good Biblical word for that lifestyle and it's fornicator. And yes, the Bible says a good deal about fornication.

Regarding the bishop in question, Jesus wept.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
David Allen

But since he isn't a fornicator, why is +Nick even on Jesus' sinnerscope?

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café