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Bishop of Grantham first Church of England bishop to announce same-sex partner

Nicholas Chamberlain has revealed he is in a same-sex relationship Credit: Church of England

The Bishop of Grantham has become the first Church of England Bishop to publicly come out as gay and in a relationship.

Nicholas Chamberlain revealed that he is in a long-term relationship with another man, after a Sunday newspaper reportedly threatened to out him.

He spoke to the Guardian, saying: "It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out.

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."

Chamberlain was consecrated last November by archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who fully supports him and says his sexuality is "completely irrelevant" to his office.

Welby said in a statement: "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."

Chamberlain said of his relationship: "It is faithful, loving, we are like-minded, we enjoy each other's company and we share each other's life."