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Bishop Reveals He Is Homosexual

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The Church of England has welcomed its first gay bishop.

A British bishop of the mother-church of the worldwide Anglican faith, announced that he is homosexual in an interview published Saturday.

The bishop of Grantham, central England, Nicholas Chamberlain, disclosed to the UK Guardian newspaper that he was in a long-term relationship with his undisclosed male partner.

“It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out,” he said, adding that he adhered to church guidelines which stipulated that gay clergy must be celibate.

“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 the church knew he was gay when he became a bishop last year.

“I was myself. Those making the appointment knew about my sexual identity”, he said.

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.”

Bishop Chamberlain’s sexuality emerged in an interview with the Guardian, and it has been reported that he gave the interview because his private life was about to be exposed by a Sunday newspaper.

“It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out,” he told the newspaper.

“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.”

Susie Leafe, the chairwoman of the conservative evangelical group Reform, said she sympathised with Bishop Chamberlain for having been “hounded by the secular press and forced into making a statement”.

“All human beings have a range of complex desires, who he is attracted to should not make any difference to his ability to do the job of a bishop,” she added.

It is thought no serving bishop has ever before gone public about their sexuality. The former archbishop of York, Lord Hope, said in 1995 that his sexuality was a “grey area”.

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