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 great-granddaughter of Sir 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