Woyin Karowei Dorgu (27 June 1958 – 8 September 2023) was a Nigerian-born Church of England bishop and medical doctor. He served as the Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark from his consecration on 17 March 2017 until his passing.
Early Life and Education
Born on 27 June 1958 in Burutu, Nigeria, Dorgu pursued medical studies at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos from 1979 to 1985. He graduated with Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degrees and initially worked as a general practitioner (GP).
In 1987, he moved to the United Kingdom. Between 1990 and 1993, he attended London Bible College, an evangelical theological college located in Northwood, Greater London. There, he earned several diplomas and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in theology. In 1993, he entered Oak Hill College to train for ordained ministry, leaving two years later to be ordained in the Church of England.
Dorgu was ordained as a deacon by David Hope, Bishop of London, on 1 July 1995 at St Paul’s Cathedral. He became a priest in 1996. His early ministry was served at St Mark’s Church, Tollington Park, Islington in the Diocese of London from 1995 to 1998. He then joined St. John the Evangelist Church, Upper Holloway, where he served in various roles until 2012, when he became the Vicar. On 6 March 2016, he was made a prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral.
On 20 December 2016, it was announced that Dorgu would be the next Bishop of Woolwich. He was consecrated by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during a service at Southwark Cathedral on 17 March 2017. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, gifted him a mitre that had originally belonged to Wilfred Wood, the Church of England’s first black bishop. Dorgu thus became the first Nigerian bishop in the Church of England and the only black bishop to be consecrated in the Church since Sentamu in 1996.
Dorgu identified with the evangelical tradition of the Church of England. He supported the Church’s stance on human sexuality, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and requires gay clergy to be celibate. In 2023, he signed an open letter opposing the Church’s proposals for blessing same-sex relationships.
Personal Life and Death
Dorgu was married to Mosun, who is also a medical doctor, specializing as a consultant child psychiatrist. They had two children. After a long struggle with his health, Dorgu passed away on 8 September 2023 at King’s College Hospital, London, England; he was 65 years old.