The 36th Bishop of Sherborne the Ven Karen Gorham has been consecrated at a prestigious ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Ms Gorham was admitted to Salisbury Cathedral's College of Canons at Evensong on Thursday following the formal service at the abbey the previous day.

She is the 9th Bishop in modern times and will be responsible for parishes in Dorset having now been introduced to the Diocese of Salisbury.

“I am delighted to be joining the College of Canons and playing my part in the life of the cathedral and diocese," she said. "I enjoy the variety that ministry offers, and look forward to representing the interests of members of the diocese within the college.

“I am committed to enabling the local church to flourish and grow and I am very much looking forward to getting involved in the work of the diocese, particularly encouraging ministry and mission in Dorset, and developing lay ministry for which I will have a particular responsibility.”

Karen grew up in Billericay, Essex, where she and her family were part of the Anglican church. The BA graduate, from the University of Bristol, then rained for the ordained ministry there at Trinity College.

Prior to her 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 curacy in Northallerton in the York diocese after ordination in 1995 and in 1999 returned to the south 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. She has been a member of the Church of England General Synod for 12 years, and for the last two has been serving as a member of the Panel of Chairs.

The Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, added: “The last year has been a significant year for women in the ministry of the Church of England and this is a historic moment for the Diocese of Salisbury as its welcomes its first woman bishop. It is a very great pleasure to admit the new Bishop of Sherborne into our College of Canons. Karen brings with her a wealth of experience and passion for ministry across the diocese, particularly ministry of lay people. She will be a valuable addition to the college and we will benefit from her wisdom.”