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. 

Building community links

Since her arrival in December 2017 Karen has been busy building community links in and around Hampton Hill, looking at ways St James can support the work in surrounding schools, churches, playgroups and other charities that seek to reach out to those who are isolated. "It is only by working in partnership with each other that we can bring hope through actions to those around us. We will be following the example of Jesus, who brings healing, restores hope, and includes the outsider by bringing them into community.

Feel free to drop in one Sunday either to Shell Seekers in the hall during our 09.30 service or to our Together at Eleven family service. We have a great team of people who would be happy to welcome you."

Her objectives for the first three months from Jan – March 2018 were as follows;
 To support and add resources to the existing children’s work with St James’s (Shell Seekers, the Ark playgroup, and the Together at eleven service).
 To get to know the community and amongst those with children, or work with children.
 To formulate a development plan regarding children and families’ events – what is possible now, and this year.
 To be an active member of the church and so integrate Children’s Work in the wider church ministry (where practical)

Karen's background

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