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Friday, June 23, 2006

Prayer for Bishop Kenneth Stevenson

Bishop Kenneth Stevenon of Portsmouth has been a very influential person on my journey, particularly in the area of sacramental theology. The news has been made public about the return of his leukaemia and I am writing here to ask that all of my readers please join me in prayer for Bishop Kenneth. He is hopefully to be my external examiner for my PhD and it would be an honour for me to have him be a part of the team. Please pray for Bishop Kenneth and his health as well as his family, diocese and staff. What follows is an announcement from the C of E News.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Kenneth Stevenson, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday after he was diagnosed again with leukaemia. Bishop Stevenson, 56, was undergoing a routine hospital check-up on Monday June 19 when doctors discovered his leukaemia had returned. He went into hospital for further tests the following day and was admitted to hospital for treatment on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the diocese said he is likely to undergo two separate courses of chemotherapy over the summer before doctors reassess his condition. Each course of chemotherapy – including both the treatment and the recovery time – takes four weeks, so he will be off work for at least the next two months. The bishop was previously diagnosed with leukaemia last September and went through four courses of chemotherapy before returning to work just before Easter. Although the disease was said to be “in remission”, there was always a chance that it could return. His appointments for the next two months are being cancelled and his diary is now closed for the foreseeable future. The Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Anglican Bishop of Basingstoke, will undertake some of the bishop’s appointments while his other responsibilities will be handled by his senior staff.

The bishop and his family would welcome the prayers of churchgoers and others, but won’t be able to receive visitors for the foreseeable future. Well-wishers are also asked not to send flowers, as they carry a risk of infection. Bishop Kenneth has been Bishop of Portsmouth – a diocese that includes 142 parishes in south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – since 1995. He sits in the House of Lords and is the chairman of the Church of England’s national Board of Education.
O God, who knowest the needs of all thy children, look with compasssion upon thy servant Bishop Stevenson for whom our prayers are offered; give him courage and confidence; bless those who minister to him of thy healing gifts and, if it be thy gracious will, restore him to that perfect health which is thine alone to give; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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