Nigel Baker

Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

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28th January 2016

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Syria: rejecting indifference

There has been war in Syria throughout Pope Francis’s pontificate. It has been the principal foreign policy concern of the Holy See since his election, and continues to be so. His Holiness has spoken out many times about the need for action to stop the war in Syria, and it is reasonable to suppose that […]

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19th January 2016

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Life Chances: Laudato Si’ half a year on

Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato Si’  – On Care for our Common Home was released to the public seven months ago. A lot has happened in the interim. Most important was an ambitious new global climate agreement secured in Paris in December, welcomed and pushed for by the British government, at which 180 countries representing […]

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8th January 2016

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

History and healing: remembering the Stuarts

On 8 January, with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, I laid a wreath at the tomb in the crypt of St Peter’s Basilica of James Francis Edward Stuart, 250 years after his burial there. The message on the wreath was very simple: “In memoriam – James Francis Edward Stuart – ‘The Chevalier’ […]

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30th December 2015

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

A Third World War?

Pope Francis has spoken frequently of his belief that the current state of instability in the world, overlain by the global threat of terrorism, is something akin to a “third world war fought piecemeal”. In his message for the World Day of Peace, he noted that, “sadly, war and terrorism, accompanied by kidnapping, ethnic or […]

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21st December 2015

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Remembering Middle-Eastern Christians

As we celebrate Christmas, it is right to think of those Christian families who will find it difficult to enjoy the good cheer that we take for granted at this time. They are those who are being persecuted or discriminated against for their faith, who are refugees because they were forced to flee for their […]

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10th December 2015

Stephen Townsend

Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy to the Holy See

Entering the Holy Door of Mercy

Pope Francis formally inaugurated the Holy Year of Mercy in Rome when he opened the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica on 8 December.  He was the first through the Door, followed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the assembled throngs of cardinals, bishops and clergy.  We diplomats were also fortunate enough to be allowed […]

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30th November 2015

Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick

Rector, Pontifical Scots College in Rome

Celebrating St. Andrew, Scotland in Rome

The celebration of the Feast Day of the apostle St Andrew, brother of St Peter, is one of the high points in the Scots College year. It is an opportunity to invite many friends in the city, as well as some from home, to join the community in celebrating both the College and Scotland. The […]

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25th November 2015

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Hope and determination in eliminating violence against women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Between now and 10 December, Human Rights Day, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office – led by the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Baroness Anelay – will be focusing on our work to prevent sexual violence against women. […]

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23rd November 2015

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Rewarding achievement

Last week, I presided over a small ceremony at my Residence to present, on behalf of The Queen, the British Empire Medal to my colleague at the embassy, Helen Beggs Frigieri. The medal was awarded for services to relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See. I was very pleased that Holy See officials […]

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10th November 2015

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Parliament at the Holy See

One important element in the bilateral relationship between Britain and the Holy See is Parliament. Since 2004, an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Holy See has existed, in its words, “to monitor the relationship between the UK and the Holy See and call representatives of faith communities and the foreign/diplomatic service to brief […]

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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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