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Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Part of FCDO Outreach

15th September 2010

Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain

Pope Benedict XVI will visit the United Kingdom from 16 – 19 September. This will be the first ever official Papal Visit to the United Kingdom – the last visit by Pope John Paul II in 1982 being purely pastoral. He will be visiting both as a Head of State, and as the head of one of the world’s great churches.

As well as an opportunity for pastoral teaching and religious ecumenicism (the Pope will visit HM The Queen, official Head of the Anglican Church, and use the occasion of the visit to beatify the great English Cardinal, Cardinal Newman), the visit will also help to cement an important alliance between the government of my country and the Holy See in our common work against poverty, global warming, and in international development. We have a shared vision of working towards a successful Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit in New York later this month. Success will help keep the international community on the road to achieving the MDGs in 2015.

Bolivian readers can learn more about the visit from on our website UKinBolivia. I also invite you to read an article by my Prime Minister, David Cameron, which is published in La Razon and Los Tiempos on 16 September. Religion is sometimes seen as a force for division in this world. This visit, by contrast, should allow people of all faiths to join together in the common endeavour to work for a better world against physical and spiritual poverty.

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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