Kathleen Richardson, Baroness Richardson of Calow

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The Baroness Richardson
of Calow

Official portrait of Baroness Richardson of Calow crop 2.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
In office
3 August 1998 – 20 December 2018
Nominated byTony Blair
Appointed byElizabeth II
President of the Methodist Conference
In office
Vice PresidentDr Edmund Marshall MP
Preceded byRonald W. C. Hoar
Succeeded byBrian Beck
Personal details
Kathleen Margaret Fountain

(1938-02-24) 24 February 1938 (age 83)
EducationSt Helena School, Chesterfield
Alma mater
  • Stockwell College
  • Deaconess College, Ilkley
  • Wesley House, Cambridge
Known forFirst woman president of the British Methodist Conference

Kathleen Margaret Richardson, Baroness Richardson of Calow, OBE (born 24 February 1938) is a British Methodist Minister. Created a life peer in 1998,[1] she was a crossbench member of the House of Lords until her retirement in 2018.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Richardson was born on 24 February 1938 to Francis and Margaret Fountain. She was educated at St Helena School, an all-girls secondary school in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She then attended Stockwell College, a teacher training college where she completed a Certificate in Education. She trained for ordained ministry at the Deaconess College in Ilkley and at Wesley House in Cambridge.[3]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Richardson was made a deaconess in 1961 and ordained as a presbyter in 1980.[3]

Richardson was the first woman to become a Chair of District within the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Later she became the first female President of the Methodist Conference from 1992 to 1993.[4] She was the moderator of the Free Churches Federal Council from 1995 to 1999.[1]

My Death My Decision[edit]

Richardson is a Patron of the right to die organization, My Death My Decision. My Death My Decision wants to see a more compassionate approach to dying in the UK, including giving people the legal right to a medically assisted death if that is their persistent wish [5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1964, the then Kathleen Fountain married Ian David Godfrey Richardson. Together they have had three daughters.[3]


In the 1996 New Year Honours, Richardson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to the Methodist community".[6] On 3 August 1998 she was made a Life peer as Baroness Richardson of Calow, of Calow in the County of Derbyshire.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b "Baroness Kathleen Richardson of Calow". actionforchildren.org.uk. Action for Children. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Baroness Richardson of Calow". UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c 'RICHARDSON OF CALOW', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 18 Sept 2017
  4. ^ "The role of women within Methodism (The University of Manchester Library)". library.manchester.ac.uk. The University of Manchester Library. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  5. ^ "About Us". mydeath-decision.org. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  6. ^ "No. 54255". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1995. p. 13.
  7. ^ "No. 55217". The London Gazette. 6 August 1998. p. 8583.
  8. ^ Announcement of her introduction at the House of Lords House of Lords minutes of proceedings, 12 October 1998