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Southwark Diocesan Communications
UK News

Church of England consecrates first black bishop in 21 years

Dr Karowei is the first black bishop to be consecrated in the Church of England for 21 years.

The service took place at Southwark Cathedral on Friday.

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

Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK also attended the service.

Dr John Sentamu told the congregation that the new Bishop's baptismal name, Woyin Karowei, meant priest: servant of almighty God and he urged Dr 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."

Southwark Diocesan Communications

Bishops pray over Dr Karowei

At the end of the service - assisted Bishop Wilfred Wood, the former Bishop of Croydon and first black bishop in the Church of England - The Archbishop of York presented Dr Karowei a bishop's mitre.

The mitre was given to Bishop Wood when he was consecrated. When he retired he gifted it to Dr Sentamu with the instruction that he should pass it on to another BAME bishop.

Southwark Diocesan Communications

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

Dr Karowei was raised in Nigeria but was ordained in the UK in 1995.

He previously worked as a GP and is married to Mosun, a doctor. The pair have two grown up children.

Southwark Diocesan Communications

Dr Karowei with his wife and children after the ceremony

Dr Karowei said: "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."

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