Karen Gorham is the New Bishop of Sherborne *Updated

by Gerry Lynch last modified 09 Mar, 2016 09:38 AM

New Dorset Bishop Consecrated in Westminster Ceremony

The new Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham was ‘consecrated’, or made into a bishop, at a stunning service in Westminster Abbey today. Karen is the 36th Bishop of Sherborne and the 9th in modern times. The Bishop of Sherborne works in the Diocese of Salisbury with responsibility mainly for parishes in Dorset.

Amid that world-famous architecture, with all the wonderful music, pomp and ceremony the Abbey is known for, Bishop Karen made promises to act as a pastor to the clergy and parishes under her care, to faithfully teach the Christian faith and doctrine of the Church of England, to strive for peace and to lead with gentleness and mercy. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, led the service.

UPDATE: Gallery here

Bishop Karen worked as a parish priest in Yorkshire and Kent, before taking up progressively more senior central Church posts in Kent and Buckinghamshire. She has been a member of the Church of England General Synod for twelve years. When her appointment was announced in November, she described Dorset as ‘an area I have loved since childhood holidays’.

Speaking after her consecration, Bishop Karen said, “Having had a few weeks to settle into my home in Iwerne Minster, I am looking forward to starting my life as a bishop from today. Christians are people called to tell a story of God’s love and grace. A key part of my role will be to encourage and equip Christians in this area to have the confidence to share that story.

“I am looking forward to this adventure with a mixture of excitement and trepidation trusting, as St Paul wrote that the one who calls us to follow Christ is faithful.”

During the service, Bishop Karen was presented with a traditional Dorset shepherds crook, and a specially designed ring and pectoral cross. The cross is in the shape of the one woven in straw by St Brigid of Kildare to explain the Christian Faith in her day, and is a gift from the people of Buckinghamshire, it will remind Karen of her calling to continue to share the Christian story with those she meets today.

Bishop Nicholas added, “I am delighted to welcome Bishop Karen to the Diocese and to my senior staff team – which will is now up to full strength for the first time in almost a year. My vision for the Diocese is one of Renewing Hope, and I have confidence in Karen’s ability to lead the churches and people of Dorset into a renewed hope, rooted in prayer and service of others, that will lead to growth in all sorts of ways.”

This marks the beginning of Bishop Karen's episcopal ministry; her welcome service into the Diocese of Salisbury will take place in Sherborne Abbey on Sunday 6 March at 5 pm. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

More about Bishop Karen

Bishop Karen holds a BA from the University of Bristol and trained for the ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. Prior to ordination she worked as an administrator with BTEC and the Royal Society of Arts and as a Pastoral Assistant in Essex and Hull.

She served her title at Northallerton with Kirby Sigston in the Diocese of York from 1995 to 1999. She was ordained priest in 1996 and in 1999 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 took up her current role as Archdeacon of Buckingham in 2007. Bishop Karen was a member of the Church of England General Synod for twelve years, and for the last two served as a member of the Panel of Chairs.

Her interests include travel and walking, the coast and Celtic spirituality. She enjoys days out with friends and an occasional visit to a good restaurant to sample the taster menu.

Document Actions