Changing Attitude England
Press release – for immediate use
03 September 2016
Changing Attitude England welcomes Bishop Nick Chamberlain’s openness
The trustees and supporters of Changing Attitude England welcome the news that Nick Chamberlain, the Bishop of Grantham, has spoken openly and honestly about being a gay man in a long term relationship. We also welcome the news that Archbishop Justin Welby endorsed his appointment, fully aware that Bishop Nick is gay and in a long-term, committed relationship. We value the support given to Nick by his diocesan bishop, Christopher Lowson. Bishop Christopher has written to the diocese of Lincoln saying the fact that Bishop Nicholas is gay is not, and has never been a determining factor [in his appointment].
Changing Attitude England condemns the continuing antipathy to LGBTI people revealed in the withholding of information about Bishop Nick’s partnered status when his appointment was formally announced. The announcement when heterosexual bishops are appointed always refers to their spouse.
The House of Bishops guidelines on appointing bishops in civil partnerships appeared to be designed to prevent a gay bishop in a relationship from being appointed. Bishop Nick’s statement shows that this is not true. Being gay and in a loving long-term relationship need no longer prevent other gay partnered candidates from being appointed.
Jeremy Timm, the Convenor of Changing Attitude England, said:
“The readiness of Bishop Nick to talk openly about being gay and in a relationship marks a significant change for the Church of England. He is the first of many gay bishops to talk openly about himself. He said he did so with the express intention of acting in the best interests of the Diocese of Lincoln and of the Church of England. He has also acted in the best interests of the whole Christian community, including her lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members, becoming a role model for us and for greater honesty and transparency in the College and House of Bishops.
“Please pray for him and his partner as they weather the media storm and church debate. We hope that Bishop Nick’s honesty and openness will encourage other gay and lesbian bishops to be equally honest and confident in their faith and their God-given sexuality.”