Wilfrid Westall

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Wilfrid Arthur Edmund Westall (20 November 1900 - 22 February 1982) was an English Anglican suffragan bishop in the 20th century. He served as Archdeacon of Exeter and as Bishop of Crediton.

Early life[edit]

Westall was born on 20 November 1900 into a clerical family. His father was the Revd A. St Leger Westal. He was a great-grandson of the artist William Westall ARA (1781–1850).[1] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, an all-boys public school in the City of London.[1] He went on to study theology at St Chad's College, Durham University, graduating with a distinction.[2]


Westall was ordained into the Church of England in 1925.[3] He was a curate in Birmingham and at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Brighton. In 1930, he was appointed vicar of St Wilfrid's Church, Brighton.[4][5] He further served as a Vicar at Hawnby and Shaldon. He was appointed Archdeacon of Exeter in 1951,[2] and a canon residentiary of Exeter Cathedral.[6] Late in his life he wrote The Life of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Exeter. On 18 October 1954, he was consecrated into the episcopate as Bishop of Crediton.[7] In 1958, he resigned as archdeacon and canon of Exeter to concentrate on his duties as Bishop.[8] He retired on 29 June 1974.[9]

For many years, he frequently appeared on the panel of the radio programme Any Questions?.[1][10] He was keenly interested in railways and the nickname of "God's Wonderful Railway" for the Great Western Railway has been attributed to him.[11]

Later life[edit]

He died on 22 February 1982, at the age of 81.[1] A memorial service was held at Exeter Cathedral on 3 April 1982.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 1927, Westall married Ruth Evans. Together they had four children; a son and three daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Right Rev W. A. E. Westall". The Times. 26 February 1982.
  2. ^ a b "Catholic Congress will hear Bishop". Palm Beach Daily News. 13 April 1964. p. 4.
  3. ^ Who was Who 1897-2007, London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  4. ^ "Ecclesiastical News". The Times. 1 May 1930. p. 18.
  5. ^ Westall’s correspondence while Vicar of St Wilfrid’s Brighton
  6. ^ "Church Appointments". The Times. 1 August 1951. p. 8.
  7. ^ "A Medieval Tenement In Cyprus". The Times. 19 October 1954. p. 14.
  8. ^ "Ecclesiastical News". The Times. 13 March 1958. p. 12.
  9. ^ "New bishop appointed". The Times. 23 May 1974. p. 18.
  10. ^ Robert C. Westall (1995) Just As I Am: a life of Bishop Wilfrid Westall, London, Additional Curates Society.
  11. ^ "Friends' News - Friends of Exeter Cathedral" (PDF) (December 2008): 6. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  12. ^ "Deaths". The Times. 5 March 1982. p. 22.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
William Frederick Surtees
Bishop of Crediton
1954 – 1974
Succeeded by
Philip John Pasterfield