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Tributes paid ahead of the funeral of the Right Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich

Posted on: September 27, 2023 10:16 AM
The Right Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu

The Bishop of Woolwich in the Church of England’s Diocese of Southwark, the Right Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, died peacefully after a long struggle with his health earlier this month in the presence of his family at King’s College Hospital, London. Bishop Karowei’s funderal will take place on Thursday 28 September at Southwark Cathedral at 12.00 pm BST (11.00 am GMT). It will be live-streamed on Southwark Cathedral’s YouTube Channel. 

Bishop Karowei was ordained deacon in 1995 and priest in 1996. His served his curacy at Saint Mark, Tollington Park, followed by, in 1998, building the community of faith at Saint John, Upper Holloway, before being consecrated Bishop of Woolwich in 2017. 

Born and brought up in Nigeria, Bishop Karowei worked as a medical doctor before ordination. He studied theology (BA Hons) at London Bible College. He trained for ordained ministry at Oak Hill College, Southgate, and undertook his postgraduate theological research for MA Missiology at All Nations College, Ware. 

He was always keen to share the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He had a deep concern for mission and regularly led open-air evangelism in his parish which saw his church grow remarkably. 

Bishop Karowei also had a keen interest in training candidates for lay and ordained ministry, offering his expertise as a tutor on a number of training programmes. He was for many years Assistant Director of Post Ordination Training in the Stepney Area of London. Prior to his appointment as Bishop of Woolwich, he was a Prebendary of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby paid tribute, saying: “Bishop Karowei was a truly holy man, full of the Spirit and of grace, who simply radiated the joy of Christ. To be in his presence was to know a little of that joy, and so he was adored everywhere. 

“The Church will be much poorer for his loss. However, he leaves us with a great legacy. May we continue to be inspired by his passionate commitment to evangelism and his passion for nurturing and developing new leaders. We know that Christ mourns with us, as we hold his family and all who loved him in our prayers.” 

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bishop Karowei. He had a Pastor’s heart and a deep love and compassion for all he served and met. His passion for evangelism and sharing the Gospel of Jesus will be his abiding legacy.” 

The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun said: “there will be a time for proper tributes to be paid in due course – but for now I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to his wife Mosun, son Timi, twin sister Collette and the whole family. I express my gratitude for Bishop Karowei’s friendship and inspirational ministry – latterly as Bishop of Woolwich – where he brought much joy in his passion for the Gospel and loving encouragement to all whom he encountered. 

“It was a privilege to join the family at his bedside and anoint him in his last hours, and I am grateful that the Archbishop of Canterbury came to pray with the family. We have lost a dear friend, brother and colleague and we will miss him greatly. I commend Bishop Karowei and his family to your prayers. May he rest in peace.” 

Bishop Karowei is survived by Mosun, a Consultant Child Psychiatrist, their adult son Timi and his twin sister Collette. 

Bishop Karowei’s body will be taken into Southwark Cathedral later today, and there will be the opportunity for prayer and silent reflection between 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm BST. 

  • Click here to download an order of service for the funeral liturgy, which can be followed on the Southwark Cathedral YouTube channel from midday BST (11.00 am GMT) on Thursday 28 September.