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Secretary General of Anglican Communion
02/04/15
Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (centre) with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Bishop James Tengatenga

The Most Revd Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon has been appointed to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Dr Idowu-Fearon currently serves as Bishop of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria, a link diocese with Coventry, where he has earned a global reputation in the Church for his expertise in Christian-Muslim relations.

Bishop Josiah was selected out of an initial field of applicants from Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. On hearing of the appointment, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev'd Dr Christopher Cocksworth said,

"Josiah Idowa-Fearon is a great friend of the Diocese of Coventry. We have been linked to his Diocese of Kaduna for several years and relationships have grown deep between us. Bishop Josiah is a remarkable Christian leader whose faithful witness to Christ and determined commitment to build-bridges between peoples has been a constant inspiration. We delight in his appointment as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, rejoicing that he not only wears the Coventry Cross of Nails but lives its story of peace and reconciliation."

Since 1998 the Most Revd Dr Idowu-Fearon has been Bishop of Kaduna, and he is the current Director of the Kaduna Anglican Study Centre. Before that he served as Bishop of Sokoto, Warden at St Francis of Assisi Theological College in Wusasa, and Provost of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kaduna.

Responding to his appointment, Dr Idowu-Fearon said,

"I am excited to take up the post of Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and to continue the fine work undertaken by my predecessors in this office.  It is a privilege to be so honoured and recognised by the Communion for this leadership position. I look forward to serving the Anglican family with my future colleagues at the Anglican Communion Office and the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury."

Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Bishop James Tengatenga warmly welcomed the appointment saying,

"I am delighted that Bishop Josiah has accepted the position. He will bring a vital new perspective on the Anglican Communion, its life and ministry. His experience and expertise in Christian-Muslim relations is particularly welcome at this time."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said,

"I warmly welcome the appointment of Bishop Josiah and look forward to working closely with him in the renewal of the Anglican Communion amidst the global challenges facing us today."

Bishop Josiah has a PhD (Sociology) and Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University, an MA in Islamic Theology from the UK’s Birmingham University, and a BA in Theology from Durham University in the UK.

He has lectured and been published widely on the subject of Christian-Muslim relations. He serves on a variety of national inter-religious bodies and has previously worked with the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace on several projects.

Bishop Josiah has been awarded the Officer of the Order of the Niger, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Cross of St. Augustine's Award, and is a Canterbury Six Preacher.

The person specification for the role of Secretary General indicated that the next incumbent should assist the Communion to become even more faithful to, and engaged in, God’s mission of reconciliation.

"The successful candidate will be a committed Christian, a person of deep faith and prayer, a visionary ambassador for Christ and his Church, a bridge-builder to effect healing amongst the churches of the Anglican Communion, a creative and imaginative thinker, and an inspirational leader who will help to renew the witness and effectiveness of the Communion, its structures, and its programmes."

Bishop Josiah, who is married to Comfort and has two children, Ibrahim and Ninma, is expected to take up the role in July 2015.