Children and Families’ Work Leader

Karen Roach"I have a passion to see children know God’s love and to grow in their knowledge and experience of him. I hope that I will become an ambassador in demonstrating this love to the children and families I will come in contact with at St James’s and in the surrounding community." Karen first experienced God when she was a child and this is the key influence of her work.

The new Children and Families’ Work Leader, Karen Roach, is based in the church office during the week, when not out and about the parish. 

Karen was born in Jamaica and has been living in the UK for the past 30 years. In 2004, after years of working in professional services as a client relationship manager, she felt a call to go to theological college and took a three-year career break to do a degree in Christian Life and Ministry, including counselling, at the London School of Theology.

She has always played an active role in church life as well as in the community. After her theological training she returned to work in professional services, but later accepted voluntary redundancy in 2009. Since then she's  worked briefly in two primary schools as a teaching assistant - in conjunction with their inclusion department and supporting children with special needs. She has also held various Church of England posts, including parish administrator, pastoral assistant and Children and Families Minister.

Her passion is to reach out to the community, demonstrating God’s love through action, and bringing hope. She has set up a low-cost community counselling service, as well as developing a community outreach through a craft workshop for the under 5s and their parents. 

Karen has run several London marathons and half-marathons to raise funds for charities including Cancer Research, Action4ME and a local women’s refuge. Unfortunately due to an injury in 2012, her running days are over and she now settles for swimming and cycling, and she's an avid reader. She also has an interest in sacred art and helped organise the Stations of the Cross - Art & Passion exhibition in London during Lent in 2016, endorsed by the then Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. 

In 2014 and 2016 Karen went on two mission trips to Cape Town, South Africa, spending a year and a half working with the homeless, helping to feed and rehabilitate them back into society, counselling young women at a YWCA and working with churches to provide humanitarian support in various townships. This included building jungle gyms for primary schools. You can read more about her missions at: missiontosa.yolasite.com.

Contact

Karen on 07471 101 487