Gay bishop should never been appointed, says Anglican group

Gay bishop should never been appointed, says Anglican group

The appointment of the bishop of Grantham, Nicholas Chamberlain, above, was a ‘major error’, according to the conservative Anglican group Gafcon.

Chamberlain revealed he was gay and in relationship on Friday.

He was consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby – who has said he knew about the bishop’s sexuality.

But according to the BBC, Gafcon, a group which includes conservative Anglicans around the world, said there had been an “element of secrecy” in his appointment.

A statement from Gafcon said Chamberlain’s sexuality would “exacerbate” divisions within the Church of England and the wider Anglican world.

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.

It said the “element of secrecy” in Bishop Chamberlain’s appointment gave the impression:

That it has been arranged with the aim of presenting the Church with a ‘fait accompli’, rather than engaging with possible opposition.


The statement was signed by the Most Reverend Peter Jensen, above, former archbishop of Sydney who is the group’s general secretary, and Canon Andy Lines, who is the chairman of Gafcon’s UK task force.

A while back Jensen drew fire in Australia for warning of the “health risks” of homosexuality.

Bishop Chamberlain’s sexuality was disclosed 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.

In an interview with BBC News Chamberlain said he understood the Church guidelines, which say gay clergy must remain celibate.

I never thought that I would be on the front page of a newspaper or indeed in the news in this way, because my sexuality is part of who I am, rather than the whole of who I am.

He also said he had been open about his sexuality prior to becoming a bishop.

Asked about those who were uncomfortable about his appointment as bishop, he said:

I very much understand and respect their feelings and convictions and I hope that we are all part of God’s people together.

Welby said:

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.

The Gafcon statement also took the opportunity to criticise the church’s outlook on same-sex relationships.

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.

But 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.

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

The dean of St Albans, the Very Reverend Jeffrey John, withdrew from the selection process to become bishop of Reading in 2003 after an angry reaction from traditionalist Anglicans about his sexuality.

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.

The Rev Sally Hitchiner, who is gay and runs the LGBT support group Diverse Church, told the BBC she was looking forward to the day that a bishop’s sexuality was not a news story.

He’s being very clear that he’s sticking within the Church of England guidelines and being celibate. Most of us in the Church do know about people who are gay in high office.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

17 responses to “Gay bishop should never been appointed, says Anglican group”

  1. Broga says:

    ” for biblically orthodox Anglicans around the world, ” Maybe these bigots should be forced to confront what bible orthodoxy means. Just how much of the savagery, slaughter and contradictions do they chose to ignore. Hypocrites.

  2. barriejohn says:

    No doubt Stephen Green will soon be bashing the bishop as well, as he has posted TWO MORE articles about homosexuality recently, returning to the subject of Tom Daley’s performance and relationship yet again. “Obsessed? Not me!”

    The papers loved the relentless opportunities he gave them to photograph him with his twice-as-old boyfriend. There were pictures of Daley and Black holding hands, going shopping, eating out, being on the cover of sodomy magazines, kissing (yuk), talking about being ‘engaged’ to be gay-married, even about ‘having children’ together (which thing can’t biologically be done, but let that pass)…

    So do I believe Tom Daley would be a better diver if he turned to Christ and renounced his homosexuality as a result of conviction of sin? Of course I do! By harnessing the power of prayer, he would find the Lord would help to focus his mind before every dive. God can do that, you know!

    In addition, although Tom Daley would be persecuted by the gays for betrayal, he would have the peace of God in his heart. He would have the blessed assurance, as the hymn puts it, of salvation. I believe he would be a better diver, but even if I’m wrong in that, the sweet knowledge of salvation outweighs everything else this life affords.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    A major error? Surely their god had a hand in guiding the decision they took to make Chamberlain a bishop? Or are Gafcon members now openly admitting that there is complete and utter radio silence from above and that there is no divine influence in anything they do?

  4. Hooray ... CoE is going down. says:

    This is just fabulously delicious and entertaining. The pious are ripping themselves apart in confusion and befuddlement. No divine guidance has been forthcoming for the simple reason that there is no god to tell them what is right and wrong. It’s just a load of pious fuckwits bickering and buggering about whilst telling the rest of us, who are being mightily entertained by the whole fiasco, how to live. The CoE is going down … and how I ache for the rcc and the muslims to go down the same toilet.

  5. Broga says:

    Hooray: ” for the simple reason that there is no god to tell them what is right and wrong.”

    Absence of evidence, is evidence of absence regarding God – in my opinion.

  6. John the Drunkard says:

    Oh, to have a magic glass that would reveal how many gay bishops the Anglicans have had over the centuries.

    Someone said a while back that if the gay clergy did a ‘sick out’ the whole Church would grind to a halt.

  7. barriejohn says:

    John the Drunkard: Funny you should say that…Mervyn Stockwood was one (Bishop of Southwark, 1959/80). Here he is, flashing his bling, alongside Malcolm Muggeridge of all people, in 1979, discussing some controversial new film!

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    The. Angelican Church was for slavery until they were against it. Like most Christian groups, they are against changes originating in secular society, then rush to the front of the crowd and crow about how they led the change all along. Just you watch as the Angelicans crow about being supportive of gay people as if they had been all along. In the lifetime of some of those reading this, this will happen.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Fourteen Church of England clergy in same-sex marriages have called on bishops to do more to include gay people in the life of the Church.

    In a letter to the Sunday Times, they said they wanted to eventually see gay couples allowed to marry in Church.

    Some of the clergy signing the letter were revealing they were gay and married for the first time publicly.

    More here:

  10. Hooray ... CoE is going down. says:

    Duuuuhuuuhuhhh … well done broga … go to the head of the class … I never thought of that … !!!

  11. Hooray ... CoE is going down. says:

    A christian celibate homosexual. That’s one totally fucked up person. What the point of being a celibate homosexual … if indeed there can possibly be such a thing. And how can a homosexual claim to be a christian when not so long ago christians killed homosexuals for being ungodly abominations?

    I love it … it’s so entertaining to watch these people bickering and buggering about. Much better sport than footer, the olympics, f1, cricket …

  12. andym says:

    @ Trevor Blake. I suspect that it will be in most of our lifetimes. First they’ll claim to be in the forefront , then gradually their role will become exclusive.

    All this while Welby is taking great care to keep the homophobes onside.
    Nothing that happened within this anachronism would matter one jot to the rest of us but for it’s power and particular it’s stranglehold over large parts of education.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Hooray: What the point of being a celibate homosexual

    What’s the point of being a celibate heterosexual, then? I was a great admirer of Gore Vidal, but I could never go along with his claim that there is no such thing as a homosexual person, only homosexual acts, as I knew that I was gay long before I even imagined that gay sex existed, and never had the least interest in heterosexual relationships. Just because you’ve never had gay sex doesn’t make you any less gay, though I do agree that sexuality is often fluid, and that perhaps all animals are potentially bisexual, as evolution might suggest.

    “[T]here is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices, and what anyone does with a willing partner is of no social or cosmic significance.” (Essays)

    And this:

  14. Stuart H. says:

    ‘GAFCON’. That’s some well thought out name. So which is it? A gaffe or a con?

    Just the kind of unfortunate mistake you’d expect from a bunch of faith- debased Miss Havershams chuntering on about a world that has left them behind.

  15. Matthew Carr says:

    “The Rev Sally Hitchiner, who is gay and runs the LGBT support group Diverse Church, told the BBC she was looking forward to the day that a bishop’s sexuality was not a news story.”

    Obviously this is entirely a media creation. The church never had an issue with homosexuality before now.

  16. Celibate says:

    Celibate: So you do not get a “Stork on” when you lie with the one you love.

    Well, If friction causes heat?
    How many fucks to boil a kettle.?

  17. barriejohn says:

    Celibate: I’ve had that argument with these idiots many times, and they get really irate when you quote the following verse to them, and claim that it’s not relevant at all.

    “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28)

    In other words, there’s no such thing as celibate!