Born Kathleen Margaret Fountain on 24 February 1938, she trained in religious education at Stockwell College and entered the Wesley Deaconess Order in 1961. Resigning on marriage in 1964, she worked as pastoral assistant in a Methodist/Anglican Church in Stevenage. Accepted for the ministry in 1976, she trained at Wesley House and was ordained in 1980. In 1987 she became the first woman appointed to a District Chair (West Yorkshire) and in 1992 the first woman President of the Conference. In 1995 she became Co-ordinating Secretary for Inter-church and Other Relationships and in 1998 was the first ordained woman to enter the Lords as a life peer, sitting on the cross benches.