Edward Woods (bishop)

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Bust of Woods, by Jacob Epstein, in Lichfield Cathedral
Memorial to Edward Sydney Woods in Lichfield Cathedral

Edward Sydney Woods (1 November 1877 – 11 January 1953) was an Anglican bishop, the second Suffragan Bishop of Croydon from 1930 until 1937 and, from then until his death, the 94th Bishop of Lichfield.[1]

Bishop Woods' mother Alice Fry was granddaughter of the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, and his wife Clemence Barclay was great granddaughter of Thomas Fowell Buxton. Son of the Rev Frank Woods his grandfather was civil engineer Edward Woods.

Woods was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] He was ordained priest in 1902 and married Clemence Barclay the following year.[3] He was Chaplain, Lecturer then Vice Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge followed by wartime service at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[4] When peace returned he became Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge. From there he moved to Croydon where he was successively vicar, rural dean, archdeacon and suffragan bishop.[5] In 1937 he became the diocesan Bishop of Lichfield.[6] He had the distinction of being one of two survivors of a German air raid by hiding under a dining table with Ann Charteris, the future wife of Ian Fleming.

Woods was Lord High Almoner from 1946 to 1953.

A prolific author, he died in office on 11 January 1953,[7] his wife having died a year earlier.[1] He was commemorated posthumously in a collection of appreciations.[8]

He is commemorated in Lichfield Cathedral by a bust, the work of Jacob Epstein (1958).


  • Forgiveness of Sins, London, SPCK, 1916
  • (with Very Rev. F. B. Macnutt) Theodore, Bishop of Winchester, London, SPCK, 1933
  • How stands religion?, Cambridge, Lutterworth, 1949


  1. ^ a b Who was Who 1897-1990 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  2. ^ "Woods, Edward Sydney (WDS896ES)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ The Times, Saturday, 1 Aug 1903; pg. 1; Issue 37148; col A Woods; Barclay
  4. ^ The Times, Monday, 17 Jun 1918; pg. 11; Issue 41818; col B Royal Pavilion, Aldershot camp
  5. ^ The Times, Friday, 2 May 1930; pg. 19; Issue 45502; col D Bishop Of Croydon Consecrated Service In The Abbey
  6. ^ The See Of Lichfield Translation Of The Bishop Of Croydon (Official Appointments and Notices), The Times Thursday, 4 Mar 1937; pg. 14; Issue 47624; col C
  7. ^ The Times, 12 January 1953, p1, "Death of Bishop of Lichfield"
  8. ^ Edward Sydney Woods: 94th Bishop of Lichfield, London, Gollanz, 1954