A History of Mount Zion
29. May 2004
Resurrection! We have celebrated Easter and the resurrection of our
Lord Jesus Christ just a few weeks ago. What a wonderful time of the
year when we celebrate the victory of rising from the dead. We rejoice – Alleluia!
Our world is going through a period of resurrection too. As we look
around us we see new life everywhere as Spring has come once again. A
few weeks ago I took a ride out to Dentdale. This is one of the secret,
hidden Dales and I approached it from Ingleton on the white knuckle ride
through the Dale. It is quite an amazing place with one side of the
Dale dark and moorland and hills and the other lush and green. As I
went along I saw a lot of new life, lambs gambolling in the fields and daffodils,
primroses and other wayside flowers. It was a sunny and warm day
and in Dent I took a walk to enjoy that beautiful creation.
Two weeks later I went to Hawes via Wharfedale and from Hubberholme over
the top to Hawes. I had lunch there at the famous Wensleydale Creamery
and then went to Aysgarth. Again I went walking. First alongside
the river to the middle and upper falls and again it was a warm and sunny
day. I then left the river and walked up to the top of the fields and
on an old railway track. I saw two of my favourite Springtime flowers. The
bluebells in a small wooded area, very reminiscent of childhood in Hardcastle
Crags, and then a much more rare wayside flower, the cowslip. How
beautiful the cowslip is and not often seen in these parts to-day.
Now the daffodils have died down, the bluebells are fading but another flower
is out in great profusion. A very beautiful and versatile flower – most
of you will call it a weed – THE DANDELION, the dauntless dandelion!!!! The
dandelion is bright, beautiful, it is seen in great numbers, it changes into
the “clock” and spreads itself on the wind and grows somewhere
else. I thought about that dauntless dandelion and thought how wonderful
it would be if we as Christians could be more like it. We should be
bright and beautiful, we should spread ourselves everywhere, we should do
that quietly but effectively. Are we spreading the Christian Gospel
everywhere we can or are we being dug up and put on the compost heap.
I hope for all of you the love of Christ, and that as Christians we can tell
the world about the Resurrection of Christ, not just at Easter but always.
With God’s blessing.
Heritage Matters . . .
There is very little to report since the last edition of “The Dial” as
it is our closed season. We are now in the process of getting quotations
for the end walls of the Chapel and Cottage to be re-limewashed. We
are hoping to get it done during the better weather. Some people
have asked why we don’t have it done with one of the new acrylic
type paints but that is not approved of by English Heritage. They
stipulate three coats of limewash. This is to preserve the building. If
modern acrylic paints are used the water seeps down behind it from the
upper part of the building and then accumulates at the bottom causing the
dampness to go inside the building and cause problems.
We are also still on the trail of having the sundial repaired but that is
more complicated. Watch this space.
We have had a full risk assessment on the buildings and graveyard and we
are most grateful to Mr. Anthony Greenwood for doing that for us and for
putting up handrails, notices, etc.
October, 2004 is the date on which we have to be seen to be providing facilities
for disabled users. We have submitted a sketch and photograph of the
outside toilet which we are hoping can be adapted for wheelchair users and
people with mobility difficulties. Again, watch this space!!
In February, 2004, I went to the Archives and History Committee and Heritage
Forum. This year we met at Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It
was a very interesting visit. After the first part of the meeting we
did a tour of the sites in Newcastle City Centre. We went to one of
the main shopping streets and saw site where the Orphan House had been,
we went to the Literary and Philosophical Society building where the
Methodist Archive is kept and then down on to the waterfront where we saw
a fountain and a mural on the wall all relating to Wesley. It was good
to see the bridges, especially the “winking eye”, although it
did not operate when we were there. We then climbed back up to Brunswick
and completed the meeting. I had not been to Newcastle before and found the
experience very rewarding. Next year we meet at Mount Zion. Help
will be needed for catering!!!!
The Mytholmroyd Historical Society members had their summer outing to Mount
Zion on 15th May, 2004. I had spoken at the Historical Society Meeting
about Mount Zion and the Hird Collection and last year spoke at the Hebden
Bridge Historical Society about Wesley and the Calder Valley. As a
result it was suggested that one of the summer outings could be to Mount
Zion. It was a lovely evening, quite balmy for Mount Zion and they
thoroughly enjoyed the evening. One of the things which was said to
me afterwards by so many of the visitors was how well-loved Mount Zion must
be to be in the condition it is. They felt it was warm and welcoming. Actually
their visit coincided with the heating being on in both Chapel and Cottage. It
is set to come on for about one hour each day and that is early evening!!!!!!!!!
Rev. Donald Ryan has visited on a number of occasions to re-catalogue the
Hird Collection. A bound annotated catalogue will be published in the
near future. This will be a large publication as the Hird Collection
contains a great number of items. Donald photographed and measured
all the items and needed to do this outside. It proved to be a very
exciting and challenging job. The first day it was dry but very windy
and as all the artefacts in the reserve collection are covered with acid
free tissue it was difficult keeping hold of the paper and keeping the ceramics
still --what did we do before blu-tack. They are all kept in the prophets
chamber, so that entailed a lot of step work. Thanks go to Donald for
all his hard work in doing this cataloguing. It will be interesting
to see the finished article.
We are looking forward to the Open Days this season which are on Saturday
19th June, 17th July, 21st August and 18th September and for the Heritage
Open Days, on the Saturday 11th September we shall be open from 2 p.m.
to 4 p.m. We cannot open on the Sunday because the building is being
used for worship by Illingworth Moor.
PEOPLE . . . .
GORDON MADDY – It is with great sadness that we record the death of
Gordon Maddy. Gordon and Doreen were very much part of Mount Zion whilst
Doreen played the organ for us once each month. Gordon was very solicitous
in caring for Doreen . He brought her into Church and sat with her
during the service. We were indeed sorry when we learned of his illness
and the subsequent time of various treatments. Gordon was a very accomplished
man in many ways. He was a great musician and had a love of brass instruments
through his, and his family’s, long association with the Salvation
Army. He was very accomplished also in his work with wood. I
remember him showing me a wonderful train engine he had made from wood for
his grandson, Christopher. He was above all a very committed Christian
whose faith shone through his life and especially through his positive approach
to his illness. He will be very sadly missed and our condolences go to Doreen
and to the family and we wish Doreen well in her new home.
GEORGE YATES – We were shocked to hear of the untimely death of George
after a short illness. George had shown a great interest in Mount Zion. He
was an avid historian and collector of all sorts of things, especially Wesleyana,
and came to Mount Zion open days and gave to us a number of things. One
of these was the lovely autograph album which we have on display on Open
Days. George was originally a member at Bethel, Ovenden, but on his
marriage to Susan (daughter of Gladney and Freda Robinson of Illingworth
Moor) they went to live in Brighouse where they attended Lane Head and then
Central. Our condolences and sympathy go to Susan and all the family.
JACK ILLINGWORTH – We were sorry to hear that Jack had to have surgery
for cancer in his mouth and face shortly after Christmas. At the moment
he is completing radiotherapy treatment so is quite unwell. We all
send him our greetings and assure him of our prayers. We trust that
the surgery and treatment will mean that he will recover and once again come
and join us at Mount Zion. Our greetings also go to Stephen who cares
for Jack at the moment and to Charlotte and her family too.
TREVOR HOYLE – Trevor underwent further surgery on his hip but he is
now out and about – dancing, etc. We are glad to see that he
is recovering well and send him our greetings.
PAT VARNEY – Pat had a hip replacement just about a year ago but now
needs to have the other hip done and we hope that she will soon be able to
have that and will then have a better quality of life and can eventually
throw away that stick. All good wishes to her.
STUART AND JILL MCARTHUR (supported by ALICE) – Congratulations on
becoming Members of the Methodist Church. We re-welcome you to our
Church Family. You have been part of it for a long time and we are
really pleased that you have taken the step of becoming members. Stuart
has submitted a “free” item to “The Dial” which you
will read later.
ALL THOSE BIRTHDAYS:
This is a special year for the big ‘0’s – Mavis Wilkinson,
Mary Ayrton, Mary Dixon, Ros Greenwood, Dennis Fryer, Betty Jagger, John
Lambert – 60’s, 70’s, 80’s – I’ll leave
it to you to work out which for each!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the parties,
etc. Sorry we did not get an invite to Kenya with John and Sue, but
you can’t have everything. I think Mavis will still be celebrating
when she is 90 as things are going!!!!!! Greetings, congratulations
and good wishes for many years to come.
Thanks to Mary Dixon for this. Those halcyon days of long ago when
children had much more freedom. To-day the platform would be a Health
and Safety issue and running over the gravestones would not be an adventure
but a hazard.
(I have recently been reading “Lost Icons” by Rowan Williams,
Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of the chapters is “Lost childhood”. Very
How do people find us ???
It is amazing why people come to join us at Mount Zion. Marie and Lesley
Hollingworth saw that we had afternoon services as they passed the Church
quite often and thought they would come in. They have continued to
worship with us regularly during the summer months. It isn’t
that they are afraid of the weather (and let’s face it the time of
year does not matter at Mount Zion – it can be snowing in April or
blowing a gale in August. They are members at Salendine Nook Baptist
Church, Huddersfield and their Church has an afternoon service in winter
and evening in summer. Thank you for your presence you are always
welcome and are now certainly part of Mount Zion.
Someone else who comes regularly to service and the fellowship group is Marjorie
Spaven who tells how she came to be part of Mount Zion:
Having a curiosity for local knowledge about history, geography and customs
of local places especially Halifax and its Methodist roots, I had for my
history exam to research and write a 3000 word essay and I chose the Rev.
John Wesley, knowing quite a lot about him from my childhood, Sunday School
days, and through my life in Methodism.
I went on to the website and brought up Mount Zion. Where was this
chapel? Firstly I visited the Octagonal Methodist Chapel in Heptonstall,
a place I know well, and a chapel I have visited on previous occasions, having
friends who live in the village. This chapel it was said, was built
in the shape of an octagon so that where were no corners for the devil to
hid, but recently I have heard it was to benefit the acoustics, perhaps someone
may be able to clarify these points! During one visit to this chapel
I stayed for the service. Afterwards the Minister asked me if I was
a tourist. He seemed disappointed when I informed him I lived in Halifax. This
I later confirmed when a few days later I bumped into him at the local supermarket,
whilst he was packing his bags at the checkout. He gave me a cheery
wave and was off – what a small world.
One Sunday in May 2002 I went as usual to the morning service at the Chapel
where I am a member and included in the notices was information about John
Welsey and Mount Zion. After the service I decided to find this Mount
Zion. I was greeted by Trevor Hoyle as he was dashing up the chapel
path and Una Gill who duly introduced me to Irene Cunliffe.
I was invited to stay for the service and afterwards was given a personal
tour and history lesson on the Wesley brothers. I came away armed with
leaflets, a copy of “The Dial” and a porcelain Mount Zion beaker – since
that Sunday I have become a regular.
One of the most joyous occasions was the Tercentenary celebrations last July. What
would John Wesley have thought? Another fun time was when Irene Cunliffe
had a Sunday off and Stuart McArthur, who sits in front of me, told me to
sing up. When I told him to do the same he informed me the only singer
in his house was the old sewing machine. The other occasion was last
summer during the silence of prayer a mousetrap went off. This amused
Una and me greatly, especially when we were told that they were “great
big fat ‘uns” so even Mount Zion mice are contented.
Sunday by Sunday as I study the portraits of the Wesley brothers I ponder
as to whether I have been lead, like them to this unique Mount Zion, with
its equally unique congregation?
With best wishes from pew 37.
Saturday 18th September – Concert at the Victoria Theatre for 25 years
of the Talking Newspaper.
Sunday 3rd October – Chapel Anniversary
TO FINISH WITH:
From “A Springtime Saunter”
When Fly Flat Reservoir was being built on the high moor above Wainstalls
the workmen had to endure very severe weather conditions. On a large
boulder nearby these words were inscribed:
Whether it rains or whether it snows,
Whether it freezes or whether it thaws,
Whether it’s calm or whether it blows,
Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot,
He weathers the weather, whether or not.
Thanks to Mary Dixon for the above.
From MOUNT ZION we send you all our greetings and hope you will have a good
summer and that we will see you at Mount Zion sometime.
In the present day world of conflict and the ongoing war in the Middle East
we pray for peace and the desire to live together in harmony.