London: The Church of England has appointed its first black bishop after 20 years in a move that significantly increases its handful of minority ethnic clergy in senior leadership positions.
Downing Street announced that Nigeria-born Woyin Karowei Dorgu would be the 13th Bishop of Woolwich, a town in south-east London. He will be consecrated in March, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.
Dorgu's appointment makes him the first black and ethnic minority (BME) appointment in the Church of England since that of John Sentamu, now Archbishop of York, more than two decades ago.
At a press conference at Southwark cathedral, Dorgu said one of his priorities as bishop would be to celebrate the racial diversity of Woolwich. Dorgu said he intends to "encourage black and minority ethnic vocations and more participation in ministry".
"I will celebrate the diversity in race, ability, gender, sexuality and class. Celebrating our differences is a gift," he said.
Dorgu trained as a medical doctor in Lagos, Nigeria, before being ordained. He was brought up in a Christian family but said as a teenager he rebelled against the gospel and left the church.