Born in Central Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon serves as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and Bishop of Kaduna, Nigeria. He joined the Nigerian military school Zaria at the age of 14. It was here, when witnessing brutality within some soldiers’ families and contrasting that with his own loving, Christian home, that he was converted to Christ in 1964. This was coupled with the strong conviction that he should become a priest. He obtained a sympathetic discharge from the army.
He studied at Ibadan College, Nigeria, and St. John’s College, Durham. He earned a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations from Birmingham University. He has studied Arabic at Amman University, Jordan, and earned his Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. He completed a PhD in sociology and earned a postgraduate diploma in education at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria.
Beliving that God has called him to be a bridge-builder between Christians and Muslims, Archbishop Idowu-Fearon established a Centre for Islamic Studies in his diocese. He is a visiting lecturer at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, and Canterbury International Study Centre, where young Anglican scholars attend a summer school. Archbishop Rowan Williams appointed him as a Six Preacher of Canterbury Cathedral in 2006. In recognition of his promotion of Christian-Muslim dialogue across the world, Archbishop Justin Welby awarded him the Cross of St. Augustine in 2013. He chairs the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa and is a member of the Religious Advisory Council of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
The Secretary General is now an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of London, where he will carry out episcopal functions as time permits. He has also accepted an invitation from the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral to be an Honorary Provincial Canon and an Honorary Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.
In 1977, while studying in Durham, Archbishop Idowu-Fearon married Comfort. They had two sons, Ibrahim and Dauda, and one daughter, Ninma. In 2008, Dauda died of meningitis, contracted at Bristol Medical School, U.K., at the age of 24.
The archbishop is a keen squash player.