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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Retiring bishop slams Big Brother
The Rt Rev Wilfred Wood
The bishop has worked tirelessly for racial justice
The Church of England's first black bishop has condemned TV's Big Brother as "humiliating".

The Right Reverend Wilfred Wood, who retired as Bishop of Croydon on Wednesday, raised concerns about the trend of reality television at a party to celebrate his career.

In an interview with BBC London Mr Wood said he had not seen Channel 4's Big Brother but was worried about TV focusing on "cheap entertainment".

Mr Wood, who has campaigned tirelessly on race relations and asylum issues, was retiring after 17 years in the job.


We sit and watch the humiliation of these people and all that viciousness of human beings

Bishop of Croydon, Wilfred Wood
He officially leaves his post on 30 September but there was a celebration of his career at Southwark Cathedral in south London on Wednesday.

Mr Wood said: "What I dislike about what passes for television is the use of the humiliation of human beings to entertain other human beings.

"So we sit and watch the humiliation of these people and all that viciousness of human beings.

"The world would be a better place if we were encouraged to see the good that is in other people."

The Bishop, who came to the UK from Barbados in the 1960s, also gave his reaction to a survey by Christian Research that suggests a third of Church of England clergy doubt or disbelieve in the physical resurrection of Christ.

Southwark Cathedral
A party was held for the bishop at Southwark Cathedral
"I don't believe that a third of the clergy doubt the resurrection of Christ. What is sometimes a bone of contention is how it happened," he said.

"Those people seeing him crucified and buried, those people who had a relationship with him found after his resurrection that they were walking and talking with him and that this relationship which strengthened them had returned."

Before he was Bishop of Croydon Mr Wood championed racial justice.

Race relations

In 1968 the Wilson government planned to replace the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants with a community relations commission.

Mr Wood and his colleagues submitted plans that became known as the "Wood Proposals" calling for some members to be directly elected by minority ethnic associations.

He has been honoured for his work in race relations in the UK and was awarded the Knight of St Andrew (Order of Barbados) in 2000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC London talks to the Rt Rev Wilfred Wood
"Faith is a way of life and quite often you grow into it"

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