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Bishop of Woolwich consecrated

1 year, 2 months ago


In a packed and joyful service at Southwark Cathedral on Friday 17 March the  Revd Prebendary Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu was consecrated as the 13th Bishop of Woolwich. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon. Justin Welby presided at the service and the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon. Dr John Sentamu, preached.  

Archbishop Sentamu told the congregation that the new Bishop’s baptismal name, Woyin Karowei, meant priest: servant of almighty God and he urged Bishop Karowei to take three actions from Ezekiel’s vision of the river of life.  He said, ‘Follow the river of life but look in three directions; look to the source, to where the river has come from.  Look down it to where it is going and thirdly look on the sides and see what happens on the banks as the river flows down.’

He went on, ‘On the banks there are trees and people’ and he told Bishop Karowei: ‘Yours is a duty to pray and to love and to go’.  He said that Bishop Karowei should pray for the people of the Woolwich Area, that he should love them and go out and share the Good News and he told the new Bishop to ‘love the people of Woolwich into holiness’.

‘Delight in God and the people of Woolwich’, he said that Bishop Karowei should ‘Live up to your baptismal name and be the change you want to see, so that the people of Woolwich will say of you, as they did of St Patrick:  “You are a man most blessed.  God bless you”.’

'At the end of the service - assisted by Bishop Wilfred Wood, the former Bishop of Croydon and the first black Bishop in the Church of England - The Archbishop of York presented to Bishop Karowei a bishop’s mitre - one made by the Sisters of St Peter at Woking for Bishop Winnington Ingram, a former Bishop of Stepney, then London. When Winnington Ingram retired he gave it back to the Sisters, who later gave it to Wilfred Wood when he became Bishop of Croydon. When Bishop Wilfred Wood retired he had given it to Dr Sentamu with the instruction that on his retirement he would pass it on to another ethnic minority Bishop.

Whilst not retiring, Dr Sentamu said he was passing on the mitre now to Bishop Woyin Karowei  as a sign of hope that it will not be another twenty years before he in turn passes it on to the next minority ethnic Anglican to be made bishop. 

Prior to his consecration Bishop Karowei was Vicar of St John, Upper Holloway.  Born and brought up in Nigeria, he worked as a medical doctor before ordination.  He is married to Mosun who is a Consultant Child Psychiatrist. 

Bishop Karowei is passionate about sharing the Gospel with those around him and has seen his church in Upper Holloway grow remarkably.  He has a particular heart for work with children and young people.

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.

Bishop Karowei says, ‘I am pleased and privileged to be coming to work and share with the people of the Woolwich Area and of Southwark Diocese.  In the first few weeks and months I want to visit the parishes and get to know the priests and people of the Area as we begin to share our faith and lives with each other and to consider how best to be God’s people in this time and this place.  Mosun and I are delighted to be part of the vibrant community that is South London and look forward to spending time with  all those amongst whom we live and work’        

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, comments, ‘I am glad to welcome Bishop Karowei into the Southwark Episcopal Team and wider Diocese as he becomes Bishop of Woolwich.  His love of our Lord and joyful Gospel witness will be a great blessing to us all and especially to the parishes and people of the Woolwich Episcopal Area.  He will be supported today by Bishop Wilfred Wood, the former Bishop of Croydon, and the Archbishop of York as he becomes the third black bishop to be appointed to a Church of England See and there is much rejoicing as we seek to bring the face of Church leadership into alignment with the faces in the pews. I pray for Bishop Karowei and his wife, Mosun, as they embark on this new journey to which God has called them’.

Images from the service can be seen on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTFFyqf and you can listen to Archbishop Sentamu’s sermon here: http://southwark-cathedral.jellycast.com/files/audio/SC170317A-JS.MP3