Bishop of Sherborne (currently on sabbatical)

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham became the Bishop of Sherborne in March 2016 and was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 24 February 2016. 

The Bishop of Sherborne is responsible for the Dorset parts of the diocese and works alongside the Bishop of Sailsbury and Bishop of Ramsbury to lead the Diocese of Salisbury. 

Bishop Karen holds a BA from the University of Bristol and trained for the ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. She is a Fellow of the RSA. 

She served her title at Northallerton with Kirby Sigston in the Diocese of York from 1995 to 1999. Then went on to become Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s, Maidstone in the Diocese of Canterbury. During this time, she was also Assistant Director of Ordinands and Area Dean of Maidstone. In 2006 she became an Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. 

She was Archdeacon of Buckingham from 2007 until her appointment as Bishop, a member of the Church of England General Synod for twelve years, and from 2013 - 2016 served as a member of the Panel of Chairs. 

Prior to ordination, Bishop Karen worked as an administrator with BTEC and the Royal Society of Arts, and as a Pastoral Assistant in Essex and Hull. 

With a commitment of bringing Church and Society together, she holds a number of Breakfast meetings each year for the community, business and church leaders around the County. Bishop Karen is also patron of a number of local charities including Routes to Roots homeless charity in Poole, the Sherborne Abbey Festival, and the Dorset Community Foundation. 

Bishop Karen’s personal interests include travel, and walking. She has undertaken a number of long-distance walks and is pleased to be following in the footsteps of Aldhelm, the first Bishop of Sherborne. 

As Bishop of Sherborne, Bishop Karen supports the Mission and Ministry of the Anglican churches in Dorset, and acts on behalf of the diocese in that County. Bishop Karen also has responsibility for:

Lay Ministry and Chaplaincy across the diocese. She is Warden of Licensed Lay Ministers too.

She chairs diocesan several groups, including the Rural Hope Steering Group, the Diocesan Communication Group, and the Aldhelm Mission Fund Group.

In the wider Diocese Bishop Karen is Chair of Trustees for the Dorset and Wiltshire Deaf and Hard of Hearing Trust and is Chair of DSAT Member.

Bishop Karen is one of the female participant observers in the House of Bishops and is a member of the House of Bishop’s Delegation Committee.

In Dorset, Bishop Karen is a Governor of Sherborne Girls School, is on the Dorset Police Ethics Committee and was Chair of Churches Together in Dorset from 2017-2019.

She supports clergy through appointment processes, regularly visits to churches and is committed to new ways of being church including pioneer ministry, mission initiatives and pilgrimage.


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Contact the Sherborne Bishop's Office

Senior Administrative Secretary to the Bishop of Sherborne

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