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Irish bishops deny pressing bishop-elect to step aside: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6. May 13, 2013

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The Ven. Leslie Stevenson was not pressured to decline consecration as Bishop of Meath & Kildare, the Archbishop of Dublin said last week.

Dr. Michael Jackson released a statement saying the three bishops who visited the Archdeacon’s home the night before he announced he would not go forward with the ceremony had visited him “in a pastoral capacity, without the expectation of a predetermined outcome to the conversation.”

On 29 April 2013 — three days before he was set to be consecrated  — Archdeacon Stevenson announced that he was declining the post in light of public turmoil over allegations of his alleged personal misconduct.  The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Richard Clarke, on 3 May 2013 responded by releasing a statement denouncing “incorrect statements of fact and unfounded allegations [that] have caused much hurt and distress.”

The House of Bishops had been “informed of circumstances in 1998 which led to the Archdeacon, then incumbent of the Parish of Donaghadee in the Diocese of Down, resigning his office. The Archdeacon has publicly referred to his relationship with a female parishioner, which he acknowledged, both by his resignation, and in recent statements, he should not have allowed.”

He added that: “Following his resignation, the Archdeacon undertook a period of personal discipline, during which he did not exercise parochial ministry. At the end of a period agreed within the House of Bishops, and following discussions both within the House of Bishops and between the Bishop of Down and Dromore and myself (then Bishop of Meath and Kildare), I subsequently instituted Mr Stevenson as incumbent of the Parish of Portarlington in the Diocese of Kildare, and some ten years later as archdeacon.”

Dr. Jackson explained that the bishops’ visit to the Portarlington Rectory was undertaken to express “their personal concern for Leslie”.

“The bishops were not representing the House of Bishops, nor were they seeking to revoke the decision of the House of Bishops who had previously confirmed his election,” he said, adding that “Archdeacon Stevenson, by his own decision, withdrew from the forthcoming consecration.”

Irish bishop-elect stands down: The Church of England Newspaper, May 5, 2013 p 6. May 5, 2013

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Archdeacon Leslie Stevenson

The Archdeacon of Meath and Kildare has declined the appointment as bishop of the border diocese after concerns over his suitability were raised – three days before his consecration.

On 28 Jan 2013 the Ven. Leslie Stevenson was selected by the Episcopal Electoral College for Meath and Kildare to succeed Archbishop Richard Clarke as bishop.  Questions over his suitability for the episcopate were soon raised as in 1999 Mr. Stevenson — who would have become Ireland’s first divorced and remarried bishop — resigned from his parish post under a cloud. The bishop-elect’s past became the topic of newspaper scrutiny and speculation on the internet about his moral integrity made his position untenable, sources tell CEN.

Married in 1984 while serving as a curate in East Belfast, Archdeacon Stevenson was divorced in 1992. In 1998 he married a second time while serving as rector of Donaghadee in the Diocese of Down and Dromore. While he was away on his honeymoon, revelations of a “relationship” with a female parishioner were made public – leading to his resignation from the parish and a six month period of “personal discipline” where he left the parish ministry. In 1999 Mr. Stevenson was subsequently appointed rector of Portarlington in the Diocese of Meath and Kildare and archdeacon in 2009.

On 28 April 2013 he released a statement saying:

“I am honoured to have been elected Bishop of Meath and Kildare and appreciate the support and goodwill offered to me by many people from the dioceses and the wider Church of Ireland over recent months. My positive concern for the Church, to which I remain loyal, now leads me to decline the appointment. I wish to broaden and deepen my ministry in the parish and diocese in which I have been called to serve.”

Bishop Harold Miller of Down and Dromore was not able to attend the January election meeting, but subsequently wrote to the bishops expressing his concern. The fracas will likely have wider implications sources tell CEN and may haunt the archbishop, Dr. Clarke, who had full knowledge of the archdeacon’s past.

Bishop of Meath & Kildare elected: The Church of England Newspaper, February 14, 2013 March 15, 2013

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Bishop-elect Leslie Stevenson of Meath & Kildare

The Archdeacon of Meath and Kildare, the Ven. Leslie Stevenson, has been elected Bishop of Meath and Kildare at a meeting of the diocesan electoral college held at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on 28 Jan 2013.

Archdeacon Stevenson (53) the Rector of Portarlington in Kildare will succeed Archbishop Richard Clarke as bishop, following his translation to Armagh last December.

Educated at the University of Ulster and the Church of Ireland Theological College, Bishop-elect Stevenson served in Northern Ireland in the Diocese of Down & Dromore until his appointment to Portarlington in 1999.

In a statement released following his election, the bishop–elect said: ‘I have served in Meath and Kildare for over thirteen years and enjoyed a very happy working relationship with the now Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Clarke. Now I am about to serve the diocese in a new way as bishop. I am looking forward to working in a rural diocese which I have come to know so well and to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead as well as making a contribution to civic life. I also look forward to working with my fellow bishops in due course.’

The Church of Ireland’s House of Bishops must affirm the election and at that point a date for his consecration will be set, the Church of Ireland Press Office said.

Bishop of Meath & Kildare elected: The Church of England Newspaper, February 10, 2013 February 15, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland.
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Bishop-elect Leslie Stevenson of Meath & Kildare

The Archdeacon of Meath and Kildare, the Ven. Leslie Stevenson, has been elected Bishop of Meath and Kildare at a meeting of the diocesan electoral college held at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on 28 Jan 2013.

Archdeacon Stevenson (53) the Rector of Portarlington in Kildare will succeed Archbishop Richard Clarke as bishop, following his translation to Armagh last December.

Educated at the University of Ulster and the Church of Ireland Theological College, Bishop-elect Stevenson served in Northern Ireland in the Diocese of Down & Dromore until his appointment to Portarlington in 1999.

In a statement released following his election, the bishop–elect said: ‘I have served in Meath and Kildare for over thirteen years and enjoyed a very happy working relationship with the now Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Clarke. Now I am about to serve the diocese in a new way as bishop. I am looking forward to working in a rural diocese which I have come to know so well and to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead as well as making a contribution to civic life. I also look forward to working with my fellow bishops in due course.’

The Church of Ireland’s House of Bishops must affirm the election and at that point a date for his consecration will be set, the Church of Ireland Press Office said.

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