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New Bishop Welcomed to Dorset

by glynch — last modified 07 Mar, 2016 05:24 PM

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham attends special Choral Evensong at Sherborne Abbey

New Bishop Welcomed to Dorset

Canon Eric Woods, Vicar of Sherborne; the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury; the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne.

The new Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, was welcomed to Dorset on Sunday evening at a special service of Choral Evensong in the magnificent Sherborne Abbey.                      

Bishop Karen preached a sermon before a packed congregation gathered to wish her well, including many figures from public life across Dorset, Poole and North Bournemouth. The service concluded with a blessing on Bishop Karen’s ministry from the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury.

In her sermon, Bishop Karen celebrated Dorset’s churches as powerhouses of Christian faith and service to the whole community.

An excerpt from Bishop Karen’s sermon follows:

“Our churches are in fact powerhouses, be they old or new, large or small. If we truly believe that God in Christ can make all things new, what goes on in our churches must be the charging up of each one of us to go out and be the people God wants us to be. The potential is enormous and we underestimate the power of God’s Word, the power of the sacraments, Jesus in bread and wine, and the power of human encounter with God's Spirit if we think otherwise.

“So today I want to encourage us to see each Christian community, be it a church, a chapel, a house group, a chaplaincy, a school, college or Christian union, anywhere Christians come together for worship and prayer, confidently declaring their faith, as vital power houses for the work of God in the world. Places to which we belong, priests and people together, expectantly knowing that there we will be resourced, equipped and given courage to go and partake in God's mission.

“One of my tasks, I see, is to encourage the local church or Christian community, to be what God has called it to be, an effective and confident body, for the celebration of God in our midst and the equipping of the saints. Power houses where change is not feared, but expected because of Christ's renewing power.

“These powerhouses are already making a significant difference to our communities, as transformation takes place by our activities, our community involvement, by our bringing about change together.”

The full text of Bishop Karen’s sermon can be read at

A gallery of photos can be found at

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