Oliver Tomkins

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The Rt Revd
Oliver Tomkins
Bishop of Bristol
Diocese Diocese of Bristol
Elected 1958
Term ended 1975 (retirement)
Predecessor Frederick Cockin
Successor John Tinsley
Other posts Canon at Lincoln Cathedral (1952–1959)
Warden of Lincoln Theological College (1945–1952)
Ordination 1936
Consecration c. 1959
Personal details
Born (1908-06-09)9 June 1908
Died 29 October 1992(1992-10-29) (aged 84)
Denomination Anglican
Parents Revd Leopold Tomkins
Occupation Author
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge

Oliver Stratford Tomkins (9 June 1908–29 October 1992) was an Anglican Bishop of Bristol in the third quarter of the 20th century.

Early life and education[edit]

Born into an ecclesiastical family – his father was the Revd Leopold Charles Fellows Tomkins[1] – Tomkins was educated at Trent College and Christ's College, Cambridge.

Ecclesiastical career[edit]

He was ordained in 1936,[2] after which he was assistant curate of St Mary, Prittlewell.[3] From 1940 to 1945, he was vicar of Holy Trinity, Millhouses. In 1945, he became Secretary of the World Council of Churches. In 1952 he was appointed Warden of Lincoln Theological College and a Canon at Lincoln Cathedral.

Tomkins was elevated to the episcopate in 1959 as the Bishop of Bristol,[4] a post he held for 16 years.


Tomkins was also an eminent author. His works included:[5]

  • The Universal Church in God's Design (1948)
  • The Wholeness of the Church (1949)
  • The Church in the Purpose of God (1950)
  • Intercommunion (1951)
  • Life of E. S. Woods, Bishop of Lichfield (1957)
  • A Time for Unity (1964)
  • Guarded by Faith (1971)
  • Prayer for Unity (1987)


  1. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  2. ^ Crockford's clerical directory 1976 Lambeth, Church House ISBN 0-19-200008-X
  3. ^ Church web-site
  4. ^ The Times, Thursday, Aug 14, 1958; pg. 8; Issue 54229; col C Bishopric Of Bristol Dr. O. S. Tomkins Nominated
  5. ^ British Library web site (accessed 19:25 GMT Sunday 6 December 2009)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Frederick Cockin
Bishop of Bristol
Succeeded by
John Tinsley