Born Elisabeth Tham, May 1942 in Lulea, North Sweden
Early Life and Education
Elisabeth grew up in the south of Sweden, living there from the age of two until nineteen, along with her extended family and four siblings. She completed her schooling to A –level standards in her chosen topics of languages.
After finishing school, Elisabeth undertook a gap year in England and France. Her English experiences inspired a desire to return. After training as a multi-lingual PA, she joined the Foreign Office in Sweden. In July 1966, she was sent to Swedish Embassy in London and, on being recalled after five years, she decided to stay in the UK. Desiring a career change, and after attending psycho-spiritual lectures and workshops, she trained as a psycho-dynamic counsellor at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. She went on to become a supervisor and her speciality became short focussed therapy and gave workshops on the subject aimed at qualified, long-term therapists.
Elisabeth’s parents were conventional Lutheran church-goers and she was confirmed at the age of 15. In England, she attended the Swedish Church on a regular basis. Meeting a charismatic Anglican priest, who she says, “helped to transform my life”, Elisabeth was inspired to help those less fortunate than her. During this time she met her future husband, Barry Taylor, who introduced her to Transpersonal Therapy. It was two years later when Elisabeth began her own psycho-dynamic counsellor training.
Coming to Glastonbury
After spending a lot of time visiting, she and Barry moved to reside in Glastonbury in 1996. It was her husband’s desire to permanently reside in the town and so Elisabeth states she was’ brought’ rather than ‘drawn’ here.
For six years, Elisabeth continued to work part-time in London both at here training institute and privately. In 1995, she worked for a year as a counsellor in Dr. Roy Welford’s surgery in Glastonbury for no payment. She also spent four years working as a supervisor in Frome for trainee therapists whilst continuing with private counselling. Over time, Elisabeth became involved with groups working towards a similar aim of sharing experiences on their different belief paths and how to bring people together on differing spiritual paths. In 1998, she became involved with The Sanctuary project and joined a small group of people whose aim was to build a magnificent Sanctuary in the Abbey Grounds. After a year the group disbanded.
In 2003, she joined the Glaston Group with one of their key aims being to manifest a Pilgrim Reception Centre. This has been attempted by others in the past but had always fizzled out. Elisabeth took on the task but after a frustrating year, and as people came and went, it looked like the idea would again return to the ethers. However, encouraged by Ingelise Jensen and Susanna Dobson, Elisabeth hung on and placed one last advert in the Glastonbury Oracle. Morgana West and Pauline Ross responded and before too long, a new team was built and the Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre manifested in 2008.