Miss Gorham with the Archbishop of Canterbury

Article by Yellow Advetiser: A Billericay woman has been consecrated as the Bishop of Sherborne.

Karen Gorham, 51, was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey last month, becoming one of the UK’s first female bishops since the church ruled last year to start appointing women to the posts.

The consecration was attended by roughly 1,000 people. Bishop Gorham’s father Colin, who still lives with his wife in Billericay, said:

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Colin"]We are very proud. It was a wonderful occasion. It was like a coronation.[/quote]

Miss Gorham attended Brightside Junior School and Mayflower Comprehensive School before working for BTEC and the Royal Society of Arts. She said she was 24 and running a Sunday School at Christ Church, Billericay, when the vicar there offered her a job.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Miss Gorham"]I don’t think anybody was shocked when I said I was going into the church. I was raised in a religious household and the friends I worked with in London thought it would be a good fit.[/quote]

She was ordained deacon at York Minster in 1995 and became a priest the following year. In 2007 she became Archdeacon of Buckingham.

Asked what she had found most rewarding about her work, Miss Gorham said:

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Miss Gorham"]I think for me it’s encouraging the local church to be effective in making a difference in its community – offering a range of activities, getting involved in community life, working for justice, speaking up for the poor and vulnerable.[/quote]

Miss Gorham said she felt she would remain in her post as Bishop of Sherborne for the rest of her career, but regularly visited her family in Billericay and remained in touch with many local friends.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Miss Gorham"]It was wonderful to see people from all the places I’ve worked and lived at the consecration[/quote]

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