Robin Woods

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Robin Woods

Bishop of Worcester
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Worcester
In office1971 to 1982
Ordination1938 (deacon)
1939 (priest)
Consecrationc. 1971
Personal details
Birth nameRobert Wilmer Woods
Born(1914-02-14)14 February 1914
Died20 October 1997(1997-10-20) (aged 83)
EducationGresham's School
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1942–1946
RankChaplain to the Forces
Service number239275
UnitRoyal Army Chaplains' Department
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsMentioned in Dispatches

Robert Wilmer Woods, KCMG, KCVO (14 February 1914 – 20 October 1997), known as Robin Woods, was an English Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Worcester from 1971 to 1982. He previously served as Archdeacon of Sheffield from 1958 to 1962, and as Dean of Windsor from 1962 to 1970.

Early life and education[edit]

Woods was the youngest son of the Right Reverend Edward Sydney Woods (1877–1953), Bishop of Lichfield, and Clemence Barclay. He was the brother of Samuel Woods, an archdeacon in New Zealand, and Frank Woods, Archbishop of Melbourne, and a nephew of Theodore Woods, who had served as Bishop of Winchester.

He was educated at The New Beacon, Gresham's School, Holt, and Trinity College, Cambridge.


Ordained ministry[edit]

Woods was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1938 and a priest in 1939. He was Assistant 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.

Military service[edit]

Woods served in the British Army during World War II from 1942 to 1946. On 26 September 1942, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Chaplains' Department as a Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class (equivalent to captain).[1] In November 1945, he was mentioned in dispatches "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy".[2]


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 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 as Registrar 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.

Other positions Woods held include:

Later life and death[edit]

Worcester Cathedral, grave of Bishop Robin Woods in the Cathedral Cloisters

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.



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 clergymen in the Church of England.

In television[edit]

Woods was portrayed by Tim McMullan in the Netflix series The Crown, although his appointment as Dean of Windsor appears to be set around the time of the first Moon landing in 1969.


  • Lord of All, Hear Our Prayer (ed.)
  • Robin Woods: an autobiography (1986) ISBN 978-0-334-02424-8


  1. ^ "No. 35716". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 September 1942. p. 4161.
  2. ^ "No. 37368". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 November 1945. pp. 5791–5817.


  • Who's Who 1993 (A. & C. Black, London, 1993) p.2063
  • Robin Woods: an autobiography (SCM Press, 1986)
  • Telegraph wills
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Douglas Harrison
Archdeacon of Sheffield
Succeeded by
Hayman Johnson
Preceded by
Eric Hamilton
Dean of Windsor
Succeeded by
Launcelot Fleming
Preceded by
Lewis Mervyn Charles-Edwards
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Philip Goodrich