The Revd Daniel Weller: 1932-2015
Dan was born in Guildford in Surrey at the family home called “Derryallen” which his father had built. Dan was the youngest of three children, having an older brother Jim and a sister Jenny. His father, along with his brothers formed the Auto-Carrier motor company, later renamed the AC Motor Company.
Dan was educated at the King Edward 6th Royal Grammar School, Guildford. It was here that Dan’s love of sport in general and cricket in particular was fostered. He was coached by the famous Bedser twins, Alec and Eric.
Dan came to faith in Christ through an uncle who was a missionary in China and padre at a Crusader camp which Dan attended. After two years National Service in the Royal Signals, he was accepted by his local church, Association and College as a Baptist theological student and entered Spurgeon’s College, London, in 1953.
While he was at College Dan first came to Dereham Baptist Church on a mission, and here he met Barbara Hilton. Dan and Barbara were married in August 1957
Following ordination Dan and Barbara accepted a call to London Rd Baptist Church in Westcliffe-on-Sea. They were there for six years and saw a Home Mission Fund-supported church triple in membership and the opening of a new church building. It was in Westcliffe that Dan and Barbara had the joy of becoming parents; both Tim and Andy were born here. Sadly Andy passed away aged 48 due to a brain aneurism.
In 1964 Dan and Barbara accepted a call to Wycliffe, Reading. Dan was also a chaplain at the University, and there were regular baptisms and the planting of two daughter churches.
In 1972 God led them on to Worthing, Christchurch Road Baptist Church. Highlights of this period included celebrating the church's centenary in 1978. One of the morning services, a baptismal service, was broadcast live by Southern Television. During Dan’s 10 years he officiated at over 500 funerals!
After ten years in Worthing, in 1982 Dan and Barbara accepted a call to Worchester, to Sansome Walk Baptist Church. Dan spoke about the enormous challenges of leading a church with five daughter churches as well. He said it was his most demanding pastorate simply in terms of the numbers of meetings he had to attend and lead. All of those daughter congregations are now independent churches.
From Worcester came a call to St. Annes-on-Sea in 1989. Sadly during this time Barbara was seriously ill, and Dan took the decision in 1993 to take early retirement. They moved to Nether Kellett where they became members of the Caton Baptist Church, near Lancaster.
In retirement Dan continued a very active life, moderating two churches at the same time that were facing significant challenges. In 2007 Dan and Barbara returned to Barbara’s roots in Norfolk and they became members of Dereham Baptist Church.
Dan also served the church more widely. During his second and third Pastorates he served on the Baptist Union Council, and was on a number of the Union’s sub-committees.
In 1968 he was first elected to the General Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, and he served for over 25 years. He was also on a wide variety of the Society’s sub committees, together with an additional five year period on Candidate Board. It was Dan’s great joy serve as the President of the BMS in 1984-5, the highlight of which was a six week trip to Brazil to see at first hand some of their work.
In addition, he served for 30 years as a tour leader and then in 1968 as a non-executive Director of the Baptist Holiday Fellowship. He was subsequently the Chairman of the Board of Directors. In all Dan and Barbara shared this role together for 31 years. They did 18 consecutive years on the Isle of Wight when the boys were growing up, and there are many happy memories of those days.
As if that wasn’t enough over the years Dan took an active part in community life whenever the opportunity presented itself. He enjoyed 12 years of membership of the Rotary Clubs of Worthing and Worcester. He took an active part in sports of various kinds, being a member of the Royal Lytham St. Anne’s Golf Club.
Dan passed into the presence of his Lord and Saviour on 18 April 2015
Dan was a loving husband for 57 years to Barbara, a dad, grand-dad and great grand-dad, who will be greatly missed by family and all who knew him.