Nigel Baker

Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

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18th May 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

I.O.R.

The acronym stands for “Istituto per le Opere di Religione”, or Institute for Religious Works. A typical Pontifical Institution, you might think, running standard charitable activities on behalf of good causes. Well, the I.O.R. does that too. But it is better known, if misleadingly, as “the Vatican Bank”. This week, Ambassadors accredited to the Holy […]

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9th May 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

The Kirk in Rome

I am often asked whether my role as British Ambassador to the Holy See is to represent British Catholics. Or whether I have ex officio a particular relationship with the Catholic hierarchies of England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland (at least, the Northern Ireland end). My reply is yes. I do represent the British government, […]

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30th April 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Human Rights and Democracy

On 30 April the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launched the FCO’s Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report for 2011. This is one of the British Government’s major annual human rights events, highlighting our global human rights priorities. It is intended to increase awareness of the UK’s role in promoting human rights worldwide, as well as […]

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26th April 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Sikhs honoured by Catholics

Birmingham sits at the heart of England. It was the home of Cardinal Newman for many years. And it is also the home of many different faith communities, one of Britain’s most racially and religiously  diverse cities. Inter-religious dialogue is therefore a crucial aspect of Birmingham’s civic, social, cultural and political existence. One of the […]

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19th April 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

The Olympic spirit to build a better society

Justin Bedford, Deputy Head of Mission: The spectacle of the Olympic and Paralympic Games gives us a reminder of what sporting excellence should be all about: top-class competition, set within a spirit of friendship. This summer, just 100 days from today, the 2012 Olympic Games will open in London. The last time London hosted the […]

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4th April 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Prime Minister’s Easter message

On 3 April, I attended the Prime Minister’s reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate Easter, something that David Cameron introduced last year. British Christian representatives were there from many denominations – including Anglican, Catholic, Coptic, Orthodox, Salvation Army, Methodist – as well as participants of other faiths. And Number 10 echoed to the sound […]

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28th March 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Visiting Scotland

In a recent blog, I noted after a visit to Northern Ireland the importance for British ambassadors abroad of understanding the country they represent. I spent last weekend in Edinburgh, at the kind invitation of the Scottish Catholic Bishops Conference. My programme included: meetings with the Catholic Bishops of Scotland, including Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien; […]

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21st March 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

A European success story

The EU is not flavour of the month, or even the year. The media – including the Vatican’s l’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio – is full of stories of economic and political crisis, loss of global influence, and the problems of the euro. Even friends wonder whether “Europe”, or the EU in particular, has had […]

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14th March 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

The Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome

It is often easier to say what divides religion than what unites. And that is certainly the emphasis given by media reporting from the “front line”, be it sectarian violence in Nigeria or historic resentments in Northern Ireland. Sometimes, regrettably, religious division is real, and does lead to violence. But very often it is the […]

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6th March 2012

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

International Women’s Day: Doing Something Practical

One of the dangers of International “Days” is that they can generate a great deal of well-meaning talk, but little action. Sometimes they serve to raise public consciousness about an undeservedly forgotten issue or a neglected cause. But too often they come round on the annual calendar, and nothing much seems to change. International Women’s […]

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About Nigel Baker

Nigel was British Ambassador to the Holy See from 2011-2016. He presented his Credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on 9 September 2011, after serving 8 years in Latin America, as…

Nigel was British Ambassador to the Holy See from 2011-2016. He presented his Credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on 9 September 2011, after serving 8 years in Latin America, as Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Havana, Cuba (2003-6) and then as British Ambassador in La Paz, Bolivia (2007-11). In July 2016, Nigel finished his posting, and is currently back in London.

As the first British Ambassador to the Holy See ever to have a blog, Nigel provided a regular window on what the Embassy and the Ambassador does. The blogs covered a wide range of issues, from Royal and Ministerial visits to Diplomacy and Faith, freedom of religion, human trafficking and climate change.

More on Nigel’s career

Nigel was based in London between 1998 and 2003. He spent two years on European Union issues (for the UK 1998 EU Presidency and on European Security and Defence questions), before crossing St James’s Park to work for three years as The Assistant Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. At St James’s Palace, Nigel worked on international issues, including the management of The Prince of Wales’s overseas visits and tours, on the Commonwealth, interfaith issues, the arts and international development.

Nigel spent much of the early part of his FCO career in Central Europe, after an initial stint as Desk Officer for the Maghreb countries in the Near East and North Africa department (1990-91). Between 1992 and 1996, Nigel served in the British embassies in Prague and Bratislava, the latter being created in 1993 after the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia into the separate Czech and Slovak Republics.

Nigel joined the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) in September 1989. Between 1996 and 1998 he took a two year academic sabbatical to research and write about themes in 18th century European history, being based in Verona but also researching in Cambridge, Paris and Naples. The research followed from Nigel’s time as a student at Cambridge (1985-88) where he read history and was awarded a First Class Honours degree, followed by his MA in 1992.

Before joining the Foreign Office, Nigel worked briefly for the Conservative Research Department in London at the time of the 1989 European election campaign.

Nigel married Alexandra (Sasha) in 1997. They have one son, Benjamin, born in Bolivia in September 2008.

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