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Karen Marisa Gorham, FRSA (born 24 June 1964) is a British Church of England bishop. Since February 2016, she has been the Bishop of Sherborne, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Salisbury. From 2007 to 2016, she was the Archdeacon of Buckingham in the Diocese of Oxford.

Karen Gorham

Bishop of Sherborne
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Salisbury
In officeFebruary 2016–present
Other postsArchdeacon of Buckingham (2007–2016)
Ordination1995 (deacon)
1996 (priest)
Consecration24 February 2016
by Justin Welby
Personal details
Born (1964-06-25) 25 June 1964 (age 55)
EducationMayflower High School
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Trinity College, Bristol


Early life and educationEdit

Gorham was born on 24 June 1964.[1] She was educated at Mayflower High School, a state school in Billericay, Essex.[2] She studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Bristol and graduated in 1995.[3] She trained for ordained ministry at Trinity College, Bristol, an Anglican theological college in the evangelical tradition.[4]

Ordained ministryEdit

Gorham was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1995 and as a priest in 1996.[5] From 1995 to 1999, she served her curacy in the parish of Northallerton with Kirby Sigston in the Diocese of York.[4]

Gorham then moved to the Diocese of Canterbury and was priest in charge of St Paul's Church, Maidstone, from 1999 to 2007.[5][6] She additionally held two appointments during this time, as the Assistant Director of Ordinands from 2002 and the Area Dean of Maidstone from 2003.[3][5] In 2006, she was appointed an honorary canon of Canterbury Cathedral.[4]

In 2007, Gorham moved to the Diocese of Oxford to become the new Archdeacon of Buckingham.[4] On 6 October 2007, she was inaugurated as archdeacon at All Saints' Church, High Wycombe, by Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham.[7] She stepped down as archdeacon on 19 January 2016 in preparation for her consecration to the episcopate.[8]

Episcopal ministryEdit

On 26 November 2015, it was announced that Gorham was to be next Bishop of Sherborne, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Salisbury.[3] On 24 February 2016, she was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey.[4] On 6 March 2016, she was welcomed into the diocese during a service at Sherborne Abbey.[9]


  • Naturism and Christianity: Are They Compatible?. Grove Books. 2000. ISBN 978-1-85174-438-1. with Dave Leal.[a][11]


In 2012, Gorham was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).[3]


For further information on forms of address ("styles") traditionally given to clergy of the Church of England, see Crockford's Clerical Directory and forms of address in the United Kingdom.
Regardless of their formal style(s), a person may choose which styles to use or not use.


  1. ^ Gorham was brought up in a naturist home. Although not a naturist herself, she is a supporter of the movement. Her parents are still very involved in the naturist movement.[10]


  1. ^ Gorham, Ven. Karen Marisa, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011 ; online edn, Nov 2011 accessed 25 June 2012
  2. ^ "GORHAM, Ven. Karen Marisa". Who's Who 2016. Oxford University Press. November 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Suffragan Bishop of Sherborne: Karen Marisa Gorham". GOV.UK. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Diocese of Salisbury — Karen Gorham to be New Bishop of Sherborne (Accessed 26 November 2015)
  5. ^ a b c "Karen Marisa Gorham". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  6. ^ Church website
  7. ^ Wilson, Alan (6 October 2007). "Women's Ministry & Servant Leadership — NOT Oxymorons". Bishop Alan's Blog. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Archdeacon Karen to be Bishop of Sherborne". Diocese of Oxford. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  9. ^ "The Bishop of Sherborne". Diocese of Salisbury. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ "The bare necessities - why Christians go naked". Church Times. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  11. ^ Bonthrone, P J (29 July 2000). "Don't feel bad about nudity, vicar tells Christians". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Sheila Watson
Archdeacon of Buckingham
Succeeded by
Guy Elsmore
Preceded by
Graham Kings
Bishop of Sherborne