Meet Karen

Hello Everyone!

As I write I am preparing for life with you in Cornwall. I’m hoping that being a Celt will hold me in good stead, even though I am of the Irish persuasion. I have to say every time I tell someone where I am moving to, and that I am moving on my own, the reaction is the same … “Scary!” My response is that courage and fear go hand in hand and that I have taken courage from the unanimous invitation you have given me.

Relocation is nothing new to me as from the age of one I began travelling around the world. My first was from Belfast, N. Ireland, to Karachi, Pakistan, via the Suez Canal with my missionary parents. I like to say I grew up under a tree in the Sindh desert speaking Punjabi before I spoke English, but I’m sure I lived in a mud hut, a caravan as well as some British Raj style houses too along the way. I went on to live on Mahé in the Seychelles, then Delhi, India, and finally I went to an international boarding school in Mussoorie, in the foothills of Himalayan mountains for my high school education.

When I was eighteen I returned to N. Ireland for university, completing my first degree in Graphic Illustration. I spent a lot of my free time involved in Rostrevor Christian Renewal Centre, led by Cecil Kerr, a Church of Ireland priest with a passion for the Peace Process and reconciliation between Catholic’s and Protestants.

I moved to England with my husband and started a bespoke bridal business while serving alongside him in his first curacy in Kent, his second curacy in Hampshire, in NW London and then Bristol. We had three beautiful children together, one of whom died and is buried along the coast in Hampshire. Sadly our marriage came to an end in 2015 after many attempts to work on and save it. I understand now why scripture says that God hates divorce … so do I … it is horrendous … but it is a severe mercy, from which each of us in our small fragmented family are slowly recovering from. My daughter is nearly twenty-seven, working in the West End of London, and my son is twenty-three and completing the final year of his degree in Gloucestershire.

I was ordained in 2006, my first year of curacy being in an Anglo Catholic Church in NW London, which I loved. Before ordination I was co-director of Ignite Trust Charity, overseeing an Anglican fresh expression of church, running projects for young people with a team of eight youth workers at one stage. If you ever saw BBC 2’s “No Sex Please, We’re Teenagers” a few years ago, that was one of the initiatives that came from that period of ministry.

Needless to say, I have always loved working with young people, especially 11-14 year olds and I hope to again. I wrote my Babe’s Bible novels aimed at aged seventeen plus, as my daughter once said to me that she thought the Bible was boring and she’d heard it all before. I set out to prove otherwise.

My last roles were as Officiating Chaplain to the Military in Bristol, and House for Duty Priest in the Cotswolds. I took a couple of months study leave at the beginning of this year to complete a psychotherapy diploma and now here I am, about to come to you! I love being sociable, especially over a good glass of wine, so please don’t hesitate to pop in or invite me round. Looking forward to meeting you!