The Revd Ronald Smy: 1928-2019
In loving memory of Ronald Smy who sadly passed away on 23 March 2019 after a lifetime serving God
Born in 1928 to a working class family in Bradford Yorkshire, Ronald was 1 of 10 children. After completing a poor education, on leaving school he went to work in a local mill as was the expectation of all his siblings.
After working at the mill for a short time he left to train with the Protestant Truth Society as a Wickcliffe Preacher, driving around the UK towing a caravan and preaching at various places. After three years he moved to Belfast to work for the National Union of Protestants. After four years working in Belfast, he returned to England and got married in Cambridgeshire in 1954.
On returning to Bradford, Ronald and his new wife settled down to start a family, and attended Eccleshill Baptist Church in Bradford. He took a variety of jobs, and during this time, was asked by the minister of a local church if he would become their Lay Pastor. After a meeting with the Deacons and the Church he agreed to take up the role of student Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Shipley. He remained there for seven years.
In 1968 Bethel Church merged with the Baptists worshipping at Rosse Street. He then became Student Pastor at Scapegoat Hill, Huddersfield. During his time at Scapegoat Hill he was ordained into the ministry and took up the role of full time minister, and he remained there for six years. He then accepted a call to Wallingford Baptist Church in Oxfordshire, concluding his ministry there after four years.
His next calling was to Wymondham Baptist Church in Norfolk. He spent five years working there leading a growing congregation, but eventually felt they needed a younger family man to become their minister. His next move was to the Dagenham Group, East London, which took him to the large urban sprawl of the Becontree Estate. Here he was tasked by the Superintendent to disband the failing group and allow the four Baptist churches to once again become independent.
In 1990 he decided to make one final move before his retirement and accepted a call to Marlborough Baptist Church in Devon. He spent his final years of work taking it a little bit easier, in a small, but nevertheless busy church.
At the age of 65 he retired and moved to Braintree, Essex to be housed by the Retired Baptist Ministers Housing Society. After a few years in Braintree he relocated to Romford, East London. During this time his wife’s health began to decline and he also suffered a stroke, so once again the Society rehoused them both to Dorset to be closer to his son. His wife passed away in 2013.
In November 2018 Ronald reached his 90th birthday, but it was clear that his health was declining. And so on 23 March 2019, after a lifetime of serving God, he passed away peacefully in Poole Hospital. Ronald leaves behind two children, Beverley and Andrew; three grandchildren, Polly, Harriet and Leo; and two great grandchildren, Rosie and Evie.