The Church of England has appointed Nigerian clergyman Revd Dr, Woyin Karowei Dorgu as the first black bishop in 20 years. On Tuesday, December 20th, Downing Street announced that the Revd Prebendary Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu, currently Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Upper Holloway, and Woolwich and a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral, will be the new Bishop of Woolwich.
He succeeds the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave who is now the 99th Bishop of Lichfield. He will be consecrated in Southwark Cathedral on St Patrick’s Day 17th March 2017.
Dr Dorgu was ordained Deacon in 1995 and Priest in 1996 and has serve all his ministry in the Diocese of London. His curacy was at St Mark, Tollington Park and since 1998 he has been building the community of faith at St John, Upper Holloway.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Dr Dorgu worked as a medical doctor before ordination. He has a deep concern for mission and regularly leads open-air evangelism in his parish and has seen his church grow remarkably. He is much involved in the life of the Church Primary School in the parish where he has been Chair of Governors and supports staff and pupils.
He is married to Mosun who is a Consultant Child Psychiatrist. His interests include personal fitness, reading and cooking for others. He enjoys travel and discovering new places and cultures. He plays tennis, cycles and visits the gym. He is a keen supporter of Arsenal Football Club.
Commenting on his appointment Dr Dorgu says,
‘Mosun and I are delighted that Southwark, under the visionary leadership of Bishop Christopher and the Area Bishops, is a dynamic Diocese of clergy and laity working hard for the Gospel of salvation for all through Jesus Christ.
We are greatly honoured to be invited to share and contribute to this dynamic ministry of bringing God’s love to the people of Woolwich and the Diocese. I look forward to getting to know the clergy, people and churches of the Area in the coming months.’
The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, comments, ‘I am delighted that Karowei Dorgu is joining the Episcopal team in Southwark Diocese as Bishop of Woolwich. He brings a wealth of experience of urban parish ministry and has a real passion for evangelism and reaching out to those who are not churched with the love of Christ. I look forward to working with him and to welcoming Karowei and Mosun to the Diocese.”
Dorgu, known to some of his congregation as Brother K, trained as a medical doctor in Lagos. before being ordained.. He was brought up in a Christian family but said a teenager he rebelled against the gospel and left the church.
After encountering Christian students at university, he decided to accept Jesus as his personal saviour in his early 20s. He arrived the UK in 1987 and was ordained as a priest in 1996.
He described himself as an evangelical but added
“I will fly no party colours…I will promote unity, respect, integrity and collaboration among different traditions.”