Bishop Kenneth Stevenson’s funeral

On 26 January Abba Seraphim, accompanied by Father Simon Smyth, attended the funeral of the late Dr. Kenneth Stevenson, who died on 12 January, in Portsmouth Cathedral.

Dr. Stevenson was born in 1949 near Edinburgh, of Scottish and Danish descent. He was ordained deacon in 1973 and priest in 1974, he served curacies at Grantham with Manthorpe in Lincolnshire 1973-76 and Boston 1976-1980 before becoming Chaplain of the University of Manchester, where he also lectured: 1980-1986. He was visiting Professor at Notre Dame University, Indiana, USA in 1983. From there he became Rector of Holy Trinity, Guildford before his consecration as eighth bishop of Portsmouth in 1995. He resigned his see in 2009 following a long period of illness, battling with leukaemia.

He collaborated with the Bishop in Europe, Geoffrey Rowell, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in editing Love’s Redeeming Work, an anthology of Anglican spirituality and theology which has become a best-seller.  His latest books are Rooted in Detachment: Living the Transfiguration (2007), and an Advent book entitled Watching and Waiting (2007).

He welcomed the use by the British Orthodox Church of St. Peter & Paul at Wymering and more recently St. Faith’s Portsmouth. As literary executor to Geoffrey J. Cuming (1917-1988) he was responsible for the publication in 1990 of Cuming’s Liturgy of St. Mark and had great respect for the Alexandrian tradition. He also shared with Abba Seraphim a family history in the Catholic Apostolic Church and his doctoral thesis at the University of Southampton (1973) was on the Catholic Apostolic Eucharist. He gladly joined the council of the Albury Society, of which  Abba Seraphim is the chairman. He and Abba Seraphim also corresponded on liturgical matters, notably the Coptic devotion to the Four Living Creatures. Shortly before his retirement he passed to Abba Seraphim the stewardship of three cherished items: the nineteenth century tabernacle from the Catholic Apostolic Church in Southwark; an original oil painting (1875) of the Catholic Apostolic Liturgy being celebrated at the church in Edinburgh and a nineteenth century brass Ethiopian censer which had been brought from Egypt by General Sir Reginald Wingate, Sirdar of the Egyptian Army.