It is with deep sadness that the Diocesan Board of Finance shares the news that our Diocesan Lay Chair, Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks CB, DSC, DL , passed away on 10 April 2023.
The Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford said: "We are deeply saddened to hear news about Philip. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.
It was a great privilege to work with Philip as Lay Chair of Bishop’s Council. Philip was very well known and respected locally."
Philip served in the Royal Navy and was highly decorated for his long and distinguished career. Some of his many achievements included serving on the frigate HMS Ambuscade during the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, where his ship survived an Exocet missile attack. He kindly shared his reflection on this time last year when we marked the 40th anniversary.
In 1989 he assumed command of the destroyer HMS Gloucester and in 1990, during this appointment, the Gloucester served in support of the first Gulf War. He will be fondly remembered by those who served alongside him.
After retirement from the Navy, Philip set up his own leadership consultancy and was an active and engaged member of his community. He continued to represent the navy at county celebrations across Herefordshire and always wore his uniform with great pride. His service to the Church of England was as exemplary as his naval career. He served as churchwarden at Dore Abbey, where he and his wife, Kym, worshipped regularly. He remained lay co-chair of Abbeydore Deanery and in 2012, became a member of the Bishops Council for the Diocese of Hereford. In 2018, he was appointed chairman of the board of Governors of Hereford Cathedral School.
The Bishop added: "His commitment to service in all areas of his life reflected his quiet and deeply held Christian faith. Despite his recent ill health, he remained committed to prayer and regularly encouraged others. He played a huge role in shaping the Church of England across the Diocese of Hereford, and I am privileged to have known him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory."