The Church of England has appointed its first black bishop in over two decades. Nigerian Woyin Karowi Dorgu is set to be the 13th bishop of Woolwich.
The move by the Church is as part of efforts to significantly increase its handful of minority ethnic clergy in senior leadership roles.
Dorgu joins Ugandan John Sentamu, currently the archbishop of York, who is the only other black bishop. He is the second most powerful leader of the church and was consecrated as bishop of Stephney 20 years ago.
The trained medical doctor was born in Africa’s most populous country but was ordained in the UK. The church in a press release disclosed that Dorgu will be consecrated in the Southwark Cathedral in March 2017.
— UK in Nigeria (@UKinNigeria) December 20, 2016
Woolwich where he is to superintend over has a huge Nigerian population but the Guardian reports that most of them worship in black-majority Pentecostal churches rather than with the Church of England.
The church described him as a person who ‘‘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,’‘ they added.
Speaking on his appointment, Dorgu said his predecessor and himself have been happy to work as part of the ‘‘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,’‘ he added.