Broadmead Baptist Church, Bristol UK
                                                           "The Church Above the Shops"

Reginald William Waddelow (1897-1955)

The Revd. Reginald William Waddelow was minister of Broadmead Baptist Church from February 1947 until 1955. He came to Broadmead from Adelaide Place, Glasgow, having been originally invited in 1943 to succeed the Rev. R L Child.

When he arrived at Broadmead he was fifty, a Londoner with "a saintly mother and a father who was a person of strict honour and free thinking views, opposed to organised religion"

William Waddelow himself had been an active member of the Labour Party. He served in the First World War, was three times mentioned in dispatches and was wounded in action, losing an arm. Lying in no-man's-land he was convinced that he must devote his life fully to the service of God and after the war he began his preparation for the ministry at Manchester Baptist College.

During his sixteen years at a Glasgow city centre church he served on the City Council as a Progressive. His experience in this pastorate and his involvement in local government was invaluable when he became spokesman for Broadmead in the struggle for it to remain on its historic site when the centre of Bristol was rebuilt after the Second World War. He also shouldered responsibility for negotiating with the Corporation, the first steps in the new concept of a city centre ministry, and he served on the Bristol Education Committee and the Ministry of Labour Advisory Committee.

In addition to these tasks he never spared himself in his pastoral work. His selfless devotion to the cause of Broadmead and its people led to his being taken ill in October 1953. He was advised to rest. He died on 12th March 1955 aged 57.

In the words of Sydney Hall in Tradition and Challenge "the church owes its continued existence on the present site to his determination and courage."

Philip Dickinson 1998