Nicholas Chamberlain

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Nicholas Alan "Nick" Chamberlain (born 25 November 1963) is an Anglican bishop. On 19 November 2015, he became the suffragan Bishop of Grantham in the Diocese of Lincoln.[1] He had been vicar of the parish of St George and St Hilda, Jesmond, in the Diocese of Newcastle since 2006. Chamberlain was the first bishop in the Church of England to come out as gay on 2 September 2016.

Early life and education

Chamberlain was born in Staines and educated at Christleton High School.[2] He then studied English and American Literature at St Chad's College, Durham,[3] and graduated with a BA degree in 1985.[4]

In 1988, Chamberlain entered Edinburgh Theological College, an Anglican theological college, to train for ordination.[4] During this time his also studied theology at New College, Edinburgh (graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1991) and undertook postgraduate research in American Literature at St Chad's College (completing his PhD degree in 1991).[4]

Ordained ministry

He was ordained deacon at Durham Cathedral in 1991. He then served in the parish of St Mary, Cockerton, in the Diocese of Durham, where he was ordained priest in 1992. He served as curate of St Francis' Church, Newton Aycliffe, in 1994 before becoming team vicar there in 1995. The team became the Great Aycliffe Team Ministry when the parish of St Andrew, Great Aycliffe was added the following year.

In 1998, he became priest in charge of St Barnabas' Burnmoor, also taking up the post of officer for Continuing Ministerial Education and Post Ordination Training in the Diocese of Durham.

On 19 November 2015, Chamberlain was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.[5]

Personal life

Chamberlain was the first bishop in the Church of England to come out as gay on 2 September 2016, following threats of an outing from an unnamed Sunday newspaper. He said he was in a celibate same-sex relationship,[6] as required by the bishops' guidelines, under which gay clergy must assure bishops that they are celibate, and may not marry.[7][8][9][10] Gay bishops are, however, permitted to enter into civil partnerships.[11] Chamberlain also described his relationship with his partner and their commitment. "Chamberlain said he had been with his partner for many years. 'It is faithful, loving, we are like-minded, we enjoy each other’s company and we share each other’s life,' he said."[12]


  1. Thinking Anglicans blog. Next Bishop of Grantham announced (Accessed 6 October 2015)
  2. New Bishop of Grantham Announced, Diocese of Lincoln. 8 September 2015
  3. Governors – Newcastle High School for Girls. Retrieved on 19 November 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Nicholas Alan Chamberlain", Crockford
  5. "Diocese of Lincoln — New Bishop of Grantham announced" Template:Webarchive (Accessed 8 September 2015)
  6. The term "celibate relationship" is currently used in the Church of England to mean sexual abstinence; this usage is disputed.
  7. Harriet Sherwood [ of Grantham first C of E bishop to declare he is in gay relationship|work=The Guardian|date=2 September 2016|accessdate=2 September 2016}}
  8. The Telegraph — Bishop of Grantham becomes first Church of England bishop to come out publicly as gay (Accessed 3 September 2016)
  9. Press release — Changing Attitude England welcomes Bishop Nick Chamberlain’s openness Template:Webarchive (Accessed 3 September 2016)
  10. Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement — The Bishop of Grantham (Accessed 3 September 2016)
  11. [ of England rules gay men in civil partnerships can become bishops|last=Walker|first=Peter|date=2013-01-04|newspaper=The Guardian|language=en-GB|issn=0261-3077|access-date=2016-09-16}}
  12. [ of Grantham first C of E bishop to declare he is in gay relationship|last=correspondent|first=Harriet Sherwood Religion|date=2016-09-02|work=The Guardian|access-date=2017-10-28|language=en-GB|issn=0261-3077}}