Farewell to our Archdeacon who is becoming a Bishop

Buckinghamshire’s clay pigeon-shooting archdeacon has got a promotion – becoming one of the UK’s first-ever female bishops.

By Hayley O’Keeffe
Wednesday, 9th December 2015, 1:33 pm

The Venerable Karen Gorham, who lives in Stone, has been the Archdeacon of Buckingham for the past eight years.

But now she will move to Dorest to become the 38th Bishop of Sherborne.

Archdeacon Karen is the eighth woman in the UK to be appointed bishop, after the rules were changed last year.

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She said: “I am both excited and daunted by the prospect.

“I look forward to the day when bishops are not referred to by their gender, however being one of the first eight does mean that we are still rare.

“It is only a year since the Church of England agreed to having woman bishops.

“I hope that by seeing men and women thrive at all levels of church life, as bishops, proests and deacons, it will make the church more 
reflective of the world in which we live.

“Christians believe that Christ welcomes all, and that God gives us all gifts and 
talents to use. I hope that more young people discover that there is a place in the church for them.”

And speaking about her approach to the role Archdeacon Karen said: “As an archdeacon I have tried to make myself accesible to the clergy 
serving our churches and to congregations up and down the country.

“I hope to do that as bishop, to walk alongside, sharing the Christian story and helping 
churches and Christian 
communities make a real 
difference in the world today.”

As well as her church 
duties, she loves walking and travel and during her time in Buckinghamshire took up the ‘expensive but fun’ hobby of clay pigeon-shooting.

Archdeacon Karen will be consecrated as a bishop on February 24 in a service 
at Westminster Abbey in 

Her appointment was 
announced by Number 10 Downing Street.

A farewell service will be held for her on January 17 at All Sainst Church in High 
Wycombe at 3pm.

Archdeacon Karen added: “I have had a love of Dorest 
since childhood holidays and so it is with much joy that I 
respond to a call there to be part of God’s mission as part of the Salisbury team.

“There is much to do in the weeks ahead, please pray 
for me in this transition as I pray.”

The Acting Bishop of 
Oxford Colin Fletcher, said: “As a bishops’ staff we will miss Karen’s presence very badly.

“Her passion for mission 
and her acute analytical 
ability, coupled with her 
concern for clergy well-being and her creativity have 
contributed a great deal to our life together.

“We and the diocese as a whole, owe her a tremendous amount.

“Our loss is Salisbury’s gain and we wish her well in her new role.”

You can find out more about Archdeacon’s Karen’s new role by visiting www.gov.uk/government/announcements