Background and education
Woods was the youngest son of the Right Reverend Edward Sydney Woods (died 11 January 1953), Bishop of Lichfield. His mother was Clemence Barclay (died 14 October 1952), a member of the family of Barclay of Higham.
Woods was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1938 and a priest in 1939. He was asst Secretary of the Student Christian Movement between 1937 and 1942. His first clerical position was as curate at St Edmund the King, Lombard Street, London, 1938–1939, and at Hoddesdon, 1939-1942. During the Second World War, he served as a Chaplain to the Forces (1942–1946) and was mentioned in despatches in 1944.
After the war, he was given his first benefice as Vicar of South Wigston, Leicester, in 1946, then in 1951 went to Malaya as Archdeacon of Singapore and Vicar of St Andrew's Cathedral. In 1958 he returned to England to become Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rector of Tankersley. In 1962, he was appointed Dean of Windsor and Domestic Chaplain to H.M. the Queen and played an influential part in the education of Charles, Prince of Wales. It was his recommendation to send Charles to Trinity College, Cambridge, his own old college. While at Windsor, he also served also as Register of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. In 1970, he became Bishop of Worcester and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour in the personal gift of the sovereign. He retired in 1981. His ashes are buried in the cloisters of Worcester Cathedral.
According to his obituary in The Times, Woods was the most successful Dean of Windsor in the twentieth century.
Other positions Woods held include:
- Prelate of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
- Prelate of the Order of St Michael and St George
- Secretary of the Anglican-Methodist Commission for Unity, 1965–1974
- Member of Council of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, from 1968
- Member of the Public Schools Commission, 1968–1970
- Governor of Haileybury and Imperial Service College
- Visitor of Malvern College, 1970–1981
- President and Chairman of Council of Queen's College, Birmingham, 1970–1985
- Chairman of the Windsor Festival Company, 1969–1971
- Chairman of the Churches Television Centre, 1969–79
- Director of Christian Aid, 1969
- Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, 1971
- Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, 1989
- A judge of the Templeton Prize
Woods married Henrietta ("Etta") Marian Wilson, in 1942, and they had two sons and three daughters. His widow died on 8 February 2005, at the age of 88. Through this marriage Woods became one of the wealthiest clergy in the Church of England.
- Lord of All, Hear Our Prayer (ed.)
- Robin Woods: an autobiography (1986) ISBN 978-0-334-02424-8
- Who's Who 1993 (A. & C. Black, London, 1993) page 2063
- Robin Woods: an autobiography by Robin Woods (SCM Press, 1986)
- Telegraph wills.
|Church of England titles|
|Archdeacon of Sheffield
Lewis Mervyn Charles-Edwards
|Bishop of Worcester