In Brief

Nigerian bishop wants to help 'spiritually deficient' Britain

Woyin Karowei Dorgu is the Church of England's first black bishop for more than 20 years

The first black bishop to join the Church of England in two decades says he hopes to restore Christianity to a "spiritually deficient" Britain.

Nigerian-born Woyin Karowei Dorgu (second from right) told The Times that he considered himself a "missionary" dealing with, among other issues, "militant atheism".

Dorgu was consecrated as the Bishop of Woolwich last week when he was handed his ceremonial mitre by John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, who is the second black bishop in the church's history (Sentamu was consecrated in 1996).

Bishop Dorgu, 58, called Britain "part of a global western world that was spiritually deficient in many ways" with "self-centred tendencies".

"You see the divide between rich and poor getting wider, care for the poor and elderly is becoming more of an issue," he said.

"We are dealing with issues of youth violence and a lack of community cohesion, and domestic violence and militant atheism at levels we've never seen before.

"We want to encourage people to return to God and the values that made our nation great."

The new bishop described how his father became Christian when he met English missionaries in Nigeria. He said there was a new wave of Christians from Africa, South America and Asia who are trying to reintroduce Christian values into European societies.

Bishop Dorgu came to Britain almost 30 years ago and was ordained as a priest in 1995, serving in a north London parish for two decades.

The Church of England's third-ever black bishop said he did not believe the institution was intrinsically racist.

But he said that an "unconscious bias" might explain the lack of black bishops.

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