The Revd Robert Geoffrey Green: 1948-2021
Former police officer who trained as a minister and would later become a chaplain to the force
Bob was born on 18 December 1948 in West Bromwich, the only child of Winifred and Owen Green. The family soon moved to Worcester where he spent his school years. Bob did not like school but he did enjoy learning. When he was 16 he joined the police cadets in Worcester. He loved it and discovered that when you enjoy what you do it is possible to pass exams! At 18 years old he transferred to the Met in London and began his training as a police constable.
Bob was baptised in an Anglican church which he attended regularly with his parents and he became a Christian through a Crusaders group when he was 16. He continued to attend church when he joined the Met and as his faith developed he decided to do some theological study and over a number of years managed to obtain a Theology degree. He was also baptised by immersion during this time in a skip at a Christian Convention! He later undertook some training to become a non-stipendiary URC minister and helped look after a church in Hertfordshire.
During his early years in London, Bob married and had two children Stephen and Cathy. He was very proud of all they achieved as they engaged with their studies, went to university and developed their careers.
Bob had a successful 30-year career as a police officer. He had a number of different roles during that time including training police constables to be sergeants, issuing firearms licences and being a custody sergeant. While working as a police officer he undertook some training to become a non-stipendiary URC minister and helped look after a church in Hertfordshire for a few years.
He retired when he was 49 and took some time out to consider what to do with the rest of his life as by that time he was single again. Bob and I met on a Christian holiday in Kos shortly after his retirement. I had gone to learn to sail and he had gone to brush up his sailing skills. Our friendship grew after the holiday and we married a year later in 1999.
Bob had a lot of interests – he loved history and also pursued his family history. His mother’s brother, Harold Milford, was one of the soldiers in the Great Escape who was rounded up and then shot. He visited the area where this occurred, shortly before we married and it had a profound effect on him.
He loved travel and meals out and we had many interesting holidays abroad together over the 22 years of our marriage including a trip to China to visit his son who was working there at the time. He also came with me on one of my many trips to Uganda and enjoyed the opportunity to work at a children’s centre in Kampala and preaching in some of the villages.
Sport was also a real interest of Bob’s. As a young man he played rugby, cycled a lot and ran a number of marathons; as he aged I would often find him watching rugby, cricket, Olympic cycling races and the Tour de France at relevant times of the year!
He was delighted when Cathy and Matt gave us two beautiful grandchildren and he became a grandfather. He was Grandpa Green to Nate and Wren, a role he took to very well!
When we married Bob transferred his accreditation from the URC to the Baptist denomination and then worked as a police chaplain with Thames Valley Police, based in Milton Keynes. It was a voluntary role but he found great fulfilment in bringing together the experience of his Police career and his sense of calling to ministry.
Sadly in 2013 Bob was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. He managed to remain at home until 2019 but at that point he became too difficult for me to manage alone and he moved into a residential care home. The last few months of his life were spent in and out of hospital and for his final days he was moved to a nursing home. He died three days before his 73rd birthday on 15 December.
I am grateful for the years we had together, very sad but also relieved that Bob is free from his suffering and now fully enjoying the presence of the Saviour he loved and served.
The Revd Jacqui Green