My name is Karen Blackburn and I have been married to my wonderful huband, John for nearly 15 years. I am originally from London, but moved to Coventry in 1991 to study BA (Hons) Applied Social Science at Coventry University.

In 1992 I joined the church that My husband and I now pastor www.heartbeatcc.org and met many wonderful people, making lasting friendships. Some of these people have since gone to their Heavenly home, but i’ll see them again.

I graduated in 1994 and decided to stay in Coventry, worked in the City Council Housing Department in various locations for a while and then for AWMI.net. Before having my daughter I was working in the Maths & Information Sciences Department at Coventry University, but gave up paid employment to be a stay at home mum, and then later a home-educator. Together with helping John lead the church, these are the two main ‘jobs’ I have now.

I have been interested in music since an early age. I remember that the Vicar of my local CofE church wouldn’t allow me to join the choir because I was a girl, but the (female) organist spent the next 3 years trying to persuade him. After issuing him a ‘she joins or I leave’ ultimatum he relented and so started my appreciation of all things choral. In a relatively short time I was head chorister, and also a member of the Royal School of Church Music’s Nicholson Girls Choir. This gave an opportunity for girls to sing in cathedrals back in the day when it was ‘boys only’. Salisbury Cathedral was the first to install a permanent girl’s choir in 1991, but we sang there in the late 80’s.

Spring forward 20 years and I am now singing in University of Warwick Chorus, which I really enjoy. I am also having piano lessons, currently practicing for a Grade 4 exam (not easy, but getting there!)

I met John for the first time in Stokholm Airport in 1993. He was studying at Livets Ord Bible Centre and I had gone with some friends to see if studying at Bible School was something God was directing me to do after my degree. He met us at the airport and took us to our accomodation, showed us round for the week etc. It wasn’t love at first sight, but after he graduated and returned to Coventry we got to know each other as friends attending the same church and several years later God informed me that he was my husband. he didn’t tell John until over a year later, so that was a time to develop some patience and faith!

As I said we have now been married almost 15 years, and it has been great to share the journey with a wonderful man of God. Not always easy, we have been through some stuff, but I love him now more than ever before.

We have a beautiful 12 year old daughter who keeps us on our toes as she matures into the person God has called her to be.

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