The Revd John Donald Waller, 1937-2022

The United Reformed Church (URC) is sad to announce the death of the Revd John D Waller, General Assembly Moderator 2002-2003.

John, who had celebrated his 85th birthday last month, died at the end of July.

Following his ministerial training at Westminster College, John was ordained in 1965.

He served local pastorates in Richmond, Bracknell, Derby, and Purley before becoming Moderator of the West Midlands Province from 1985 to 1995. He was then called to be Deputy General Secretary from 1995-2002 and Moderator of the URC General Assembly 2002-2003.

With a passion for ecumenism, John founded the Bracknell Christian Council, and served as President of the Croydon Free Church Council, President of the Croydon Free Church Council, and as Free Church President of the Birmingham Council of Christian Churches.

John married Margaret in 1966 and they had two children, Simon and Katharine, and six grandchildren of whom one sadly died.

The Revd Tony Burnham, URC General Secretary 1992-2001, said: “John and I got to know each other when we served together as Synod Moderators. Though he was formerly Presbyterian and I was Congregational, we had in common that each had spent 20 years in a variety of pastorates. Then in 1995 he joined me in serving the General Assembly as Deputy General Secretary.

“His pastoral gifts enabled him to care for other members of staff and he always gave wise advice and sound leadership. Though our personalities differed, we worked well together and he was a true deputy, not an assistant.

“For six years it was a happy partnership until I retired. After a year assisting David Cornick to settle in as General Secretary, John began his retirement by serving as Assembly Moderator. His Moderator’s address displayed his forthright and honest personality as he dealt with the realities of church and world on the basis of a deep biblical faith.

“We thank God for John, a good man, a loving husband, father and grandfather, a friend to many, a wise leader and a caring pastor in every part of the Church where he served. He was, above all, a faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ.”