Rev Basil Simms who led the work of rebuilding the church after the war.
Ceremony of laying the foundation stone April 1955.
Coming to Redland Park in 1948, when worship was still in the Hall, and the ruins of the old church stood stark and untouched, surrounded with a growth of weeds which had germinated within it, was a great challenge which Mr Sims took up with optimism and enthusiasm. Indeed a young man of energy was needed at this juncture and Basil Sims had plenty. He was a keen sportsman, playing cricket, hockey and tennis, later turning to golf. The way he walked, the way he talked, showing his superabundant energy.
The first challenge was to work towards the re-building of the church. There was a great deal of planning and negotiating needed with the War Damage Commission, with the insurance company, with the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and with the local authorities.
Negotiations were needed, too, with other bombed churches of Redland and Clifton, as to who would have the first priority when licences were at last granted and precious building materials released.
No doubt all this meant many headaches for Mr Sims and the church officers. Then, of course, finances were a major consideration. Building up a sufficient sum of money, whilst at the same time putting some aside to help smaller and poorer churches similarly hit, was an enormous task.
Going through the church magazine, The Recorder, for the years 1948-1957, the first nine of Mr Sims' ministry, one is struck by the variety and the ingenuity of the methods used to collect money for the Reconstruction Fund.
The Church was solidly behind Mr Sims in this and he frequently gave praise and thanks to individuals and organisations for all they were doing.
To try listing everything which was done would be tedious. Suffice to say that, in addition to straightforward giving of money, which was often "on a sacrificial scale" (his words), every possible way of getting money out of people was used, short of robbery or armed compulsion! There were fairs, bring and buy sales, concerts, pantomimes and plays, coffee mornings, sponsored activities, buy a brick schemes, quizzes, collecting soap powder coupons and many other ingenious ideas.