Tim Stevens

Bishop of Leicester
Bishop of Leicester (16563882315) (cropped).jpg
Stevens in 2011
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Leicester
In office1999 – 11 July 2015 (retired)
PredecessorTom Butler
SuccessorMartyn Snow
Other post(s)Bishop of Dunwich (1995–1999)
Convenor of the Lords Spiritual (November 2009 – May 2015)[1]
Personal details
Born (1946-12-31) 31 December 1946 (age 75)
Ilford, Essex, United Kingdom
ResidenceBishop's Lodge, Leicester
ParentsRalph Stevens & Ursula Plowman
SpouseWendi Price (m. 1973)
Children1 daughter, Rachel (deceased) & 1 son, Adam[2]
Alma materSelwyn College, Cambridge

Timothy John Stevens, CBE, GCStJ (born 31 December 1946) is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Dunwich from 1995 to 1999 and was Bishop of Leicester from 1999 to 2015. From 2003 to 2015, he was a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual and served as Convenor of the Lords Spiritual from 2009 to 2015.

Early life

Stevens was born in Ilford, Essex, to Ralph Stevens and Ursula Plowman. He was educated at Chigwell School. He studied classics and English at Selwyn College, Cambridge,[3] and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968; as per tradition, this was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA (Cantab)) degree in 1972.

From 1968 to 1973, Stevens worked as a senior management trainee for British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)[4] and in 1972 and 1973 as a second secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[5]

Ordained ministry

Bishop Stevens GCStJ, Prelate of the Venerable Order of St John
Bishop Stevens GCStJ, Prelate of the Venerable Order of St John

After Cambridge, Stevens studied at Ripon Hall, Oxford, where he gained a diploma in theology. He was ordained in 1976, becoming a curate in East Ham in the same year. From 1979 to 1980, he was Team Vicar of Upton Park and from 1980 to 1988 Team Rector of Canvey Island. He was the Bishop of Chelmsford's urban officer from 1988 to 1991 and the Archdeacon of West Ham from 1991 and 1995.

Stevens was consecrated a bishop by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Southwark Cathedral on 17 November 1995;[6] he became the Bishop suffragan of Dunwich in 1995 and occupied that See until 1999, when he was appointed as the Bishop of Leicester. It was announced on 18 November 2014 that Stevens was to retire in July 2015.[7] On 11 July, he led his last service as Bishop of Leicester at Leicester Cathedral.[8][9]

He took a seat in the House of Lords as one of the Lords Spiritual in 2003.[10] He was the Convenor of the Lords Spiritual from November 2009 until May 2015.[1] On 16 July 2015, he gave his last speech in the House of Lords. He was succeeded by the first female Lord Spiritual, Rachel Treweek, when parliament reconvened in the autumn.[11]

Stevens was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to the Church of England and the community in Leicestershire.[12]

On 1 September 2016, he was appointed as the Prelate of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.[13] On 11 February 2017, Stevens was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practises around sexuality.[14] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[15] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[16]

In January 2020, Stevens became interim Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge, where he had previously served as Chair of the Governing Body while a bishop.[17] He was succeeded as Principal of Westcott House by Helen Dawes in 2021.[18]

Stevens is currently Chair of the organization, Common Purpose UK.

Personal life

Stevens has been married to Wendi Kathleen Price since 1973. She died in May 2020. They had one daughter, now deceased, and have one son.



  1. ^ a b Church of England — New Convenor of the Lords Spiritual announced (Accessed 16 June 2015)
  2. ^ "Diocese of Leicester - The Church of England in Leicester and Leicestershire". Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  3. ^ "The Right Reverend Timothy Stevens (Chair of Trustees)". Common Purpose. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  4. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, Debrett's, 2008 ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
  6. ^ "picture caption". Church Times. No. 6928. 24 November 1995. p. 2. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 17 April 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  7. ^ Diocese of Leicester – Bishop Tim announces retirement (Accessed 18 November 2014)
  8. ^ "Leicester Bishop Rt Rev Tim Stevens holds last service". BBC News. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Bishop Tim retirement". Diocese of Leicester. 30 June 2015. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Dod Finance – Top financial news and advice". Archived from the original on 8 December 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  11. ^ The Lord Bishop of Leicester (Valedictory Speech) (16 July 2015). "Freedom of Religion and Belief". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Lords. col. 779–780.
  12. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B10.
  13. ^ "Appointment of Great Officers". stjohninternational.org. n.d. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  14. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter Archived 12 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Laurie Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Stephen Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  15. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures Archived 18 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  16. ^ The Guardian — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  17. ^ "'Westcott has had to face questions about its future'". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  18. ^ "New Principal for Westcott House Appointed". Westcott House. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 9 March 2021.