Matthew Townsend is now fully in control of the Mount Zion mower! Feel freee to stop him for a chat if you see him in the graveyard.
Many thanks to the amazing team of volunteers from Nestle who came up to Mount Zion today to help clean and spruce up the chapel and grounds.
Matthew Townsend has volunteered to help out with mowing the graveyard and other projects. Brilliant!
BT have just installed a new broadband line to the chapel. The funds to do this were kindly donated by Nestle, with the help of Alison Hillman.
Graham Wood has been doing some quinquenial repairs to Mount Zion, including repainting the outside doors red. Replacing shed guttering and pointing, A new latch board to gate. A new frame to shed doorway. Also replacing a plug socket and fitting coathooks in the cottage. Repairing rotten wood in cottage window. Also a repair to the pulpit wooden decoration.
17th October 2016
Mount Zion has received a gift of three boxes of duplicate books from the Wesley Historical Society Library at Oxford John Brooke's University.
These include histories of Methodism, many written by former Halifax Circuit Superintendent Minister the Revd John Munsey Turner, and books focusing on the Methodist New Connection, Nonconformist chapels, and Methodism's engagement with children and young people.
There is also a complete set of John Wesley's Christian Library for reference during retreats and quiet days.
14th October 2016
Paula has brought The Dial up to date with a new summer edition
The Cottage Boiler has been replaced with a new BAXI boiler
Frid/Sat/Sunday Sept 9th/11th 2016
We had three Heritage Open Days this weekend. There were flowers and plants in the chapel, around the front of the chapel and in Irene's Garden. These were provided by our local plant nursery, Gardenius Nursery.
Children were encouraged to make flower fairies in Irene's Garden, led by Candoart.
The Rev. Ruth Crompton, Superintendent of the Airedale Circuit was the preacher at the Sunday Afternoon Service completing a very successful weekend.
Refreshments were provided by the ladies.
Sunday Sept 4th 2016
The restored plaster is being painted
Saturday June 25th 2016
Scaffolding erected ready for work to waterproof the exterior of the Apse. Then to stabilise and repair the plasterwork.
Saturday June 11th 2016
Today we celebrated the Queen's 90th Birthday. Can do Art, Bouncy Castle, games and Tombola
June 8th 2016
Today, Mount Zion was visited by five ladies who were married at the chapel. John Warton organised the day. Mavis Wilkinson was also invited, as she was known to all of them as a teacher in the Sunday School. Many happy memories!
May 25th 2016
A visit from the Illingworth Girls Brigade. A drawing workshop.
May 13/14/15 2016
Here are a couple of photos of the Weaving Women's Wisdom exhibition inside Mount Zion Chapel.
May 3rd - 2016
Keighley Tree Services removed various trees which were growing in graves, or pushing the walls down.
April 9th - 2016
An Art Exhibition of Pencil Drawings by Joan Batty of Queensbury. All the drawings were for sale, half the profits for Mt Zion. Joan brought us her 'Pencil Box' for anyone who wanted to have a go at creating their own masterpiece. Refreshments were available in the cottage as usual.
Sept 11th - 13th 2015
A Wedding Dress Display Art Workshop by Candida Wood of Can Do Art A Wedding Themed Service, Renewal of Wedding Vows and a Celebration of 200 years of Worship in the present building.
100 Years of Marriages at Mount Zion.
Led by Rev. Paul Welch.
Organist, Stephen Illingworth.
Welcome & Prayers By Rev. Dr Roger Walton.
An Uplifting Sermon by Dr Jill Barber, Vice President of the Methodist Conference.
Thanks to the many folk who helped with this successful weekend.
Sept 5th 2015 The wall at the top of the graveyard has been tidied up.
July 21st 2015 Inspecting the damp getting in to the ceiling plasterwork above the organ. What needs doing?
July 11th 2015
June 2015 Ken Gelder starts helping to mow the graveyard.
May 21st 2015
The Vice President of conference Gill Dascombe came to visit the bus project today as well as Mount Zion Heritage Chapel. Old and news ways of mission standing alongside each other!
May 12th 2015
Lloyds Volunteers came to do lots of jobs. See the photo of some of the 18 graves they uncovered!
May 11th 2015
Tricia Atkinson receives the Civic Trust award from the Mayor of Halifax, Patricia Allen.
May 1st 2015
Irene's Garden wins a Halifax Civic Trust Commended award. This is what the Courier said:
April 5th 2015
Lots of folk turned up on a beautiful day for the Easter Day Communion Service led by Rev. Paul Welch. The service was nearly held in Irene's Garden as it was such a perfect day!
Photographs showing the overgrown Mount Zion Graveyard in 1998 can be seen
Mount Zion held its Harvest Festival service, today. The congregation brought a variety of goods for the New Ebenezer Food Support Drop -In.
Our Minister, the Rev. Paul Welch, led the service of Holy Communion.
Afterwards, the congregation assembled for a ‘team photo’ before retreating to the cottage for tea and biscuits.
John Wharton, an ex Sunday School pupil, has sent us some photographs of the choir trips, pupils and teachers on the sunday school page!
Mrs Rosalind Greenwood dressed in her teacher's uniform, ready for a school visit!
At the circuit meeting on 25th June, it was agreed that Mount Zion could go ahead with it’s plans to cease to meet.
Mount Zion will retain it’s worship status as the trusteeship has passed from the members to new heritage trustees on behalf of the circuit.
Dominic Wood now helps to mow the graveyard.
We are wondering if anyone can put names to the numbers on this 1978 photo of Pat Varney's, taken in the field by Mount Zion. If you can, please let Anthony or Rosalind Greenwood, or Pat Varney.
24th May 2014 Open Day
Rev. Roger Dalton, Chair of West Yorkshire District officially opened Irene's Garden. On a very wet afternoon!
Followed by a video on the making of the garden:
Dr John A Hargreaves gave us a new talk about ‘Aldersgate, John and Charles Wesley and Mount Zion .
Simeon Wood entertained us with 2 hours of very accomplished flute playing.
A very busy day!
16th May 2014 Lloyds Volunteering Day
4th May 2014 Sunday Service.
The Rev. Brian Brown led our service today, to almost a chapel full of folk! Afterwards, although it was a little cool, we assembled in Irene's Garden for a team photo!
8th April 2014 Heritage Meeting.
Luddenden Chapel Great War Memorial
Lunch before Heritage Meeting
5th April 2014
Our Treasurer, Mrs Mavis Wilkinson, celebrated her 90th birthday with 40 of her family and friends, at Windmill Court, Ogden.
20th March 2014
Work has started on creating Irene's Garden. David, Nick, Nigel and Tom building.
2nd Feb 2014
Tricia Atkinson donated an 1836/7 Preaching Plan found at St Andrew's Methodist Church, Halifax.
Tricia Atkinson writes:
I can tell you how I came to have the Preacher’s plan but confess I do not know a great deal about it.
No one knows how it came to be at St Andrew’s as obviously our church is far too young to have any connection with it.
It surfaced when we were having a general sort out of cupboards in the various rooms of church. It was folded up and had obviously been posted by someone due to visit Halifax. Along the fold lines it was split and so I had it framed so that it wouldn’t get damaged any more. It caused quite a bit of interest among some of the congregation who obviously remembered some of the now lost places of worship. It is interesting not just because of the list of preachers, but also because it gives good information about distances they had to travel etc.
After a lot of discussion it was decided that it would be better to give it to Mount Zion to be used with the all the other items from the collections and memorabilia.
A letter and address is written on the back of the plan.
We welcomed some new attendees at our Heritage meeting, Margaret and Rodney Collinge from Luddenden and Pamela Spring from Illingworth Moor. We had very positve reactions to the moves forward to create a new MZ from October!
Rev. Paul Welch and Margaret & Rodney Collinge
24th January 2014
Rev. John Hoyle writes: I'm sorry Mount Zion is 'closing' for regular services but this has been expected for a long time. When I first preached there in 2003(?) there were 12 present! The news stimulated me to re-check the graveyard info and I now know the grave where one set of great grandparents are buried. Last time I checked, the actual grave wasn't stated. Still don't know where the great great grandparents grave is - one of the unknown graves. Lived at Upper Brockholes in 1851.
Apart from my family connections, there are strong links between Salem and Mt Zion. Kilhamites from Mt Zion supported the first building at Salem in 1797-8 and Jonathon Akroyd moved to live down in Halifax from Ogden for his bigger mill. He bought land from Salem for his premises in North Parade, where there is still a street called Akroyd Place. Jonathon was a big worker at Salem though his son, Francis, turned to C of E, built All Souls and hence the suburb Akroyden.
The link to Salem continued of course through the Meth New Connexion Circuit. Probably as a result of this long-standing relationship, Salem Sunday School Whitsuntide Treat was held in the field above the Mt Zion graveyard. In 1946, 7 and 8 I remember 2 or 3 double deck buses taking the scholars a run round and ending at Mt Zion. We had games and races in the field, then strong coffee and 'school buns' in the Sunday School (as was then). Prizes for the races were very simple homemade toys. The buns were gorgeous sticky currant and sultana teacakes, with butter, made by Butters Confectioners which had a bakery just 100 yards from the present Salem building - now used as a bathroom sales place I think. There is only Jack Uttley left who will remember these SS Treats apart from me. The last one was in 1948 because the BB Company started holding Whit Camps in 1949 and so took teachers and lads away. My father (BB Captain) regretted this effect but decided the 4 day camp had priority over a one afternoon treat and certainly Bible Class at camp was a highlight in my Christian awakening as well as for other lads.
23rd January 2014
A meeting was held to finalise details for the new Irene Cunliffe Garden. Work will commence in mid March and is expected to take 4 to 5 weeks. David Griffiths is in charge of the project. It might be possible to officially open the garden at our Easter Service if all goes well.
9th January 2014
Gordon Terry presented this picture to Mount Zion in January 2014.
This is a picture of the Holy Club, a group of students at Oxford University who met for several years from about 1729. Membership changed as students arrived and left. It was here that its members were first called Methodists. John Wesley addressing his friends. He is standing at the end of the table. Immediately on his right is George Whitefield, with Hervey the author of Meditations, beside him. The figure whose hands rest upon the closed bible at the other end of the table is Ingham, who founded the Inghamites [and came from Ossett]. Immediately on his left is Charles Wesley. Morgan, visitor of prisons, is seated at Charles's left hand. [That bit baffles me. It looks to me like an empty chair. Or is he next but one to Charles and the left hand of the two men leaning towards each other?] Broughton is seated at the extreme right of the picture.'
The picture came from the Methodist Church at Birstall, where the first Preaching House in this area was opened in 1751. This was a result of the leadership of John Nelson, a local stone mason who was converted after hearing John Wesley preaching in London.
15th December 2013. Carol Service.
The congregation was led by Mrs Paula Prosser for our Carol Service to celebrate the story of the birth of Jesus. The organist was Stephen Illingworth.
Afterwards the Cottage was jam-packed with mince pie eaters!
26th October 2013.
The marriage of Luke and Emma Worle.
22nd October. Heritage Meeting to discuss Mount Zion future now that formal worship will cease in October 2014.
27th Sept 2013. Planning and Heritage consent received for 'Irene's Garden'.
11th Sept EGM. Unanimously, but reluctantly, we agreed to cease worship at Mount Zion on the occasion of the Chapel anniversary on October 5th 2014
13th July 2.013. Special Open Day.
The most recent open day at Mount Zion, on the hottest day of the year to date, was very well attended by many who had not previously visited the historic chapel and graveyard. Arriving from 12.30 p.m. they were able to view the exhibitions in the chapel and listen to the celebrated Belgian organ being played by Stephen Illingwprth. At 1.00 p.m. Dr John Hargreaves, General Secretary of the Wesley Historical Society, gave a talk about Mount Zion's place in Methodist history to an audience of over 35, which was followed by wide-ranging questions and discussion, encompassing the differences between Wesleyan Methodism and the Methodist New Connexion, the process of re-union, the role of women and young people in Methodism and the influence of the hymns of Charles Wesley. He was thanked by the minister, the Revd Paul Welch. The discussion then continued in the cottage afterwards with everyone enjoying the hospitality of a strawberry tea and cakes provided by the ladies in the cottage.
Mike and Rev. Bob Jackson also visited and brought a picture of their father outside Mount Zion in 1990
July 2013. Tricia Atkinson and Paula Prosser arranged heritage school visits to Mount Zion. These seemed to be very successful, and it is hoped the Circuit might put arrangements in place for them to continue on a professional footing. This would also include adult visits too.
Tricia Atkinson reports as follows:
It was decided that Mount Zion was a perfect venue to introduce Children to the Church, the work of the Wesleys and to look at the social history of life in the 17th Century.
All of these topics complement the history, RE and citizenship work that the children already cover.
It is envisaged that as more schools get involved we will be able to expand the initial idea.
To this end it was decided to focus on "Pastimes in Wesley's time". As a starting point we looked at the sort of things we could offer and a package was put together to be trialled and then offered to the schools. It is divided into three main study areas, namely Learning, Playing and Making.
Obviously all of the available options could not be covered by the three schools who came as "guinea pigs!" They were all told about all of the options on offer.
The feedback received has given much food for thought already and was very favourable. The teachers who came were full of ideas as to how the building and the topics could be expanded to offer even greater help and support for their curriculum studies. So we will now present to the full Heritage committee before we hope to market the package properly.
Keighley Tree Services have pruned or removed some trees. Those growing out of graves and affecting others, and some of those which threaten to destroy the cemented wall around the front graveyard.
Mount Zion is awarded a 2013 Halifax Civic Trust Commendation for the work in restoring the Sundial.
Rosalind Greenwood, John Hargreaves, John Hardy (Mayor), Lord (Hugh) Somerleyton.
Rosalind Greenwood, John Hardy
Mount Zion Chapel, Ogden, Halifax has been awarded a Halifax Civic Trust Commendation for the restoration of the Sundial.
With the help of a grant from Methodist Heritage, it was decided to restore the sundial in 2011/12.
The sundial dates from the time the first chapel opened in 1773.
When the chapel was rebuilt in 1815, the sundial was placed in a prominent position on the façade.
After nearly 240 years exposed to the Pennine weather, the sundial was in very poor condition. It had broken into six pieces and was in danger of falling off the wall.
Andy Barraclough of Crossley Stonecraft was called in do the restoration. He removed the six chunks of sundial from the wall and transferred them to his workshop. There he first removed the many layers of old paint. This exposed the very fine original carved detail hidden underneath.
The six pieces of stone were then painstakingly stitched together using stainless steel rods inserted into holes drilled from the top of the sundial and filled with an epoxy resin. The lettering was repainted black and the gnomon was cleaned, repaired and repainted.
The sundial was returned to it’s place on the façade, and rededicated at a special service in July 2012 by the Rev. John Lambert.
A timely restoration of a precious piece of Methodist history which may well last another 240 years!
We were visited by members of Unison. Andrew Mitchell in charge and speaking.
Plans for Irene's Garden are taking shape.
The Chapel windows and gutters have been repaired and repainted. Thanks to a grant from Methodist Heritage. The flakey paint inside the chapel has also been touched up.
1st Dec 2012.
Halifax Civic Trust, celebrating its golden jubilee in 2012, visited Mount Zion on Saturday 1 December, before holding its jubilee dinner at the nearby Moorlands Restaurant.
Arriving for coffee and home made biscuits at 10.00 a.m. about forty members and guests enjoyed the hospitality of the cottage and then explored the chapel interior before listening to a lecture by the Halifax Civic Trust Chairman, Dr John Hargreaves on the history of Mount Zion and its role as a Centre of Methodist Heritage.
Halifax Civic Trust strapline is celebrating, enhancing and safeguarding Halifax's outstanding built and natural environment, and members were particularly interested in the recently restored Sundial, the Leeming Brothers' re-furbished chapel interior, the rare Belgian Annessens organ and the Hird collection of ceramics.
For some it was their first visit to Mount Zion and they were impressed with the quality of its preservation.
John A. Hargreaves
27th Nov 2012. Circuit heritage committee convene at Heptonstall Church.
The Heritage Team
Pat Varney preaching to the converted
20th November 2012. Final consent and a full grant from The Methodist Church to restore the outside of the chapel windows. Project ID: 33183
27th Sept 2012. MZ Heritage Team visit to Fulneck Moravian Church
Andrew & Samantha Mann had a sevice of Blessing in the Chapel, conducted by Deacon Liz Day
Early March 2012.
The Dial is almost ready to be refitted to Mount Zion.
More pictures showing the status of the Dial restoration. It is now re-assembled and when the gnomon has been repaired and painted black, it will be ready for installation!
A new carpet in the cottage upstairs.
The Sundial is being restored to its original condition:
21st November 2011. The scaffolding is erected to restore the Dial.
Mid November 2011. The wall is built. Mick and Matthew to fit gate and do a bit of landscaping.
October 2011. Tony Woodhead and side-kick, Tony, are rebuilding the wall around the graveyard extension. Mick and Matthew Wilkinson have re-located the wall stones and put in the gate posts. Rosalind Greenwood looking on.
October 16th. Ruth Needham Family Ceramic donation.
This plate, and the mug, were donated by Ruth Needham and Family.
The Centenary Plate and the mug belonged to their grandfather,
Mr Charles H.V.Florence, a Primitive Methodist, who was present at Mow Cop in 1907.
September 27th. Heritage Meeting.
Maintenance work has been carried out, mainly to the cottage. Many windows have been replaced. New gutters fitted.
A one year's old cooker has obtained for the kitchen, the old one kept blowing the main fuse!
The black churchyard access gates have had a new coat of hammerite as have the boiler house roof girders.
Sunday July 3rd.
Mount Zion Sunday School Reunion
We were blessed with a beautiful afternoon for our reunion. About thirty people
joined us for a service of communion led by Rev. Tony Buglass, followed by
a strawberry tea in the cottage.
Tuesday 7th June 2011.
10 People, mainly from Mount Zion went to see the Heritage
Centre at Englesea Brook. See the photographs
One of the main heating circulation pipes rusted away in the
wall down to the boiler house. Mick and his mate from Alfred Bottomley LTD.
came to the rescue in order that the Carol Service on Sunday could go ahead!
It took them a day and a half to sort it out, in freezing conditions!
5th December, 2010. A
carol singing session! Introduced by Rosalind Greenwood. Led by Stephen Illingworth,
in fine form on the organ.
£75 was raised for Action for Children.
25th September, 2010. A visit from the Pendle Circuit, led by Superintendent
Minister, Revd Andrew Turner.
30th April, 2010. Very sad news of the death
of Miss Irene Cunliffe, Mount Zion's staunchest worker and promoter
of our history and Connexional heritage.
A New Old Picture?
It was decided to restore and repaint all the outside doors. This was carried
out by Graham Wood, the son-in-law of Rosalind and Anthony Greenwood. He is a
Cabinet Maker, and expert in all things wood.
Keighley Tree Services came to tidy up Mount Zion graveyard trees. They removed
lower and overhanging branches, and thinned out their crowns as neccessary.
Saturday 28th June 2008. Wesley Historical Society Annual Meeting and
Mount Zion was the venue for the Wesley Historical Society Annual Meeting
and Lecture on Saturday 28th June 2008.
The day began with a welcome to Mount Zion by the friends and heritage secretary,
Irene Cunliffe. Dr John A Hargreaves, general secretary of the Wesley Historical
Society, then provided a brief history of Methodism at Mount Zion.
Donald Ryan spoke about the Hird Collection of Ceramics, which is on permanent
display at the centre and, following lunch the annual general meeting chaired
by John A Newton.
Tim MacQuiban introduced Prof. Edward Royle, Professor Emeritus of History at
the University of York, who gave the annual lecture entitled ‘When did
Methodists stop attending their parish churches? Some suggestions from mid-nineteenth
Thanks were given to members of Mount Zion who provided refreshments throughout
Anniversary and Reunion Service, Sunday 2nd July, 2006.
It was a beautiful, warm day. The congregation were reluctant to
leave the stone chair, seats and benches, outside the Chapel, to come in
for the service at 2.45 p.m!
The visiting preacher was Rev. Stan Brown who is chaplain at Kingston University,
Kingston-on-Thames. Stan was on the staff of the Halifax Methodist Circuit
some time ago and had pastoral oversight of Mount Zion. He was also Chairman
of Governors at The Ridings School and many in the community may remember
him from that.
The service had some rousing hymns, well accompanied on the organ by Stephen
Illingworth of Denholme Clough. The Bible Readings were read by members of
After the service afternoon tea was served in the cottage and on the seats
outside and many stayed on to talk to Stan and old friends. There were visitors
from Leicester and Bingley as well as many from the local area. It was a
very friendly and pleasant Reunion and the storm did not break until we had
all got home. Unfortunately it took Stan much longer to get home because of
traffic on the M1 and a fire on the M25 - 2 a.m. after a nine hour journey.
Two people from
Leicester brought photographs of Mount Zion groups, and a programme from
the Sunday School Sings, which were held in the Piece Hall in the latter
part of the 19th century.
We have recently
added to our collection of medals from the Sunday Schools sings of 1880,
1885 and 1890. We already have medals from Mount Zion, Illingworth, and Ovenden
scholars and one for "Band".
We have recently acquired more - Southowram, Salem, Miall Street (forerunner
of Trinity Methodist, Pellon Lane/Queens Road), and a "Singer" one.
We were also given
a commemorative mug from the Sing which had been found at the Hipperholme
Methodist premises. Also recently added to the collection were some Queen
Victoria Diamond Jubilee sings and a medal commemorating the Union of Methodism
in 1932. I had not seen one of those before so it was good to acquire it.
The graveyard wall has been repaired near the front gate. The trees were causing
it to bow out. It was decided after good natured local opposition, to retain
the trees, and just repair the wall. It will be interesting to see if and when
it needs repairing again!
28th/29th September 2005.
As a result of a survey carried out to check the state of the graves, it was
decided to have professional repairs done.
Paul Bonner and his memorial team from Huddersfield spent two days making
around 33 graves, mainly memorial crosses safe.
They did this by drilling a half inch hole downwards through each grave plinth,
cleaning and grouting between the plinths then fitting a stainless steel bar
down the hole. The graves should now last many years without further repair.
Paul can be contacted on 01484 311669.
Mount Zion celebrated Harvest Festival, following a successful
Heritage Open Weekend.
The Rev. Lisa Quarmby
led the service.
This was in support of the work of the Huddersfield Mission in the community
through a collection of 'dry goods', as well as fruit and flowers.
and Reunion Service was held at Mount Zion on Sunday, 3rd July, 2005 at 2.45pm.
The preacher was the Rev. Cyril Blount, an active supernumerary minister
in the Halifax Circuit.
Cyril is very interested
in the history and heritage of Methodism so was a very appropriate person
to be taking the service. He began by playing some bird song on a CD. It
was quite a surprise to many of the congregation who wondered where it was
all coming from! One lady remarked, "Oh no, - now they've got birds
in the Chapel". (I think she was considering
them in the same light as the mice!).
The Rev. Blount
spoke about our singing out the message of the Gospel, making a lot of noise
about it and using it to encourage people to come and join us.
The hymns were all
rousing - 'All hail the power to Diadem', and we did very well with that!
Perhaps the highlight was 'Come ye that love the Lord', to the Tune 'Marching
to Zion'. This is not in the Methodist Hymn Book nor Hymns and Psalms - it
is in Sacred Songs and Solos by Sankey and is one of his perhaps better known
and Reunion grew out of the old Sunday School Anniversary, but when the Sunday
School at Mount Zion was no longer there it was changed to a Reunion event.
It was enjoyed by everyone and there was a good number at the service.
The photograph below
shows some of the congregation who stayed for the 'team photo'.
2001 Stone Seat.
Members and friends
made a start in tidying the graveyard. It proved to be a far bigger job
than expected, and in fact took about 8 years!