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Mount Zion Timeline (1738-Present)
1738 Conversion of John Wesley
1748 John Wesley preaches at the Old Market Cross in Halifax. James Riley of Bradshaw hears him and begins Methodist meetings in his house.
1772 Rev'd Atley preaches at Bradshaw. He is detained there by heavy snow, and the congregation decide a Chapel might be built at Tod-moor green.
1773 The Chapel and adjoining cottage was opened in 1773, by the Rev. Thomas Taylor, and was known as Mount Zion, Bradshaw. The Chapel was the same height as the Chapel house. It was also known as Bradshaw Chapel.

The front room downstairs is now used for meetings. The wall between this room and the chapel is all that remains of the original building of 1773. Behind the plaster are bricked up windows which were in the end wall of the first chapel. Some time between 1773 and 1790 the Cottage was built onto this wall. In 1815 the old chapel was demolished and then rebuilt whilst the cottage remained to give the present shape to the building.

1774 22nd April Wesley came to visit and stayed in the cottage on the Wesley "rode and walked to Bradshaw House (Mount Zion), standing alone in a dreary waste. But although it was a cold and stormy day the people flocked from all quarters"
1778 1st burials? Susannah and David Spencer of Ovenden.
1979 Wesley visited Halifax to settle a dispute over the angel blowing a trumpet over pulpit sounding board. Removed!
1784-1824 Mr James Butterfield, Chapel Keeper.
1784 Sabbath School founded at Mount Zion? Was in the old chapel, until 1816.
1790 John Wesley paid his last visit to Halifax and preached at Mount Zion. He was then a frail 87 years old.
1791 Death of John Wesley.
1792 Problems about whom could administer the sacrement
1796 Kilamite Agitation' causes a split in Methodism. Rev. Taylor excluded from the pulpit at Mount Zion.
1797 A small group left the Wesleyans and became New Connexion under the leadership of Alexander Kilham.  At Mount Zion the Kilhamites were very strong and they ousted the Wesleyans who went to a barn across the road.
1801 Death of Joshua Cockroft, the author of the well known hymn - 'This is the field, the world below.' - Buried in an un-named grave by the sextons door.
1805 13th April Conveyance Timothy Akroyd to James Akroyd, Jonathan Akroyd & Others.
1811 The 'Primitive Methodist Church' founded.
1815 The 1773 church was demolished and the present building was put in its place
1816 The first Sunday School was built and the lower storey was a day school. There was a staircase on the outside.
1824-1848 Benjamin Bates Doorkeeper. Died aged 60. Joseph Wilson assisted
1828 Graveyard extended.
1830 1830 The number of scholars had risen to nearly 600. These would be adults as well as children but it is quite remarkable that in an area which is semi-rural there would be so many attending. Many must have walked long distances to get there. Church membership over 200.
1834 22nd June Trust Deed of Brockholes Chapel - Methodist New Connexion Chapel.
1840 In Christopher Stell's Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting Houses in the North of England, it makes reference to the apse being added in c.1840 to provide a vestry with singers' gallery above. 
1841 There was another split at Mount Zion when a small number of Barkerites left the society. About 60 members left.
1850-1890 Sexton and Chapel Keeper. Simeon Priestley. Lots about him in Told By The Dial.
1870 Day school transferred to Bradshaw School.
1873 The Sunday School had 264 scholars and 46 teachers.
1873 31st December Conveyance -An Allotment or parcel of land.Trustees of Dr Hall's Charities to Mount Zion Chapel.
1873 The Church’s centenary services were held on 1st, 2nd and 3rd June, 1873 (Whitsuntide) when the Rev. E. Gratton preached at the Sunday morning service, his text on that occasion being the last four verses of Psalm 48, verse 11 commencing “Let Mount Zion rejoice”.  Celebrations continued on the Monday with a performance of Handel’s Messiah and on Tuesday a large procession paraded the district for two hours with a subsequent meeting in the Church in the evening.  On this occasion there was, apart from the centenary, great satisfaction to record that the Church was free from debt.
1881 In Christopher Stell's Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting Houses in the North of England, it makes reference to the apse being added in c.1840 to provide a vestry with singers' gallery above. The interior was refitted in c.1881 by Leeming and Leeming of Halifax. It continues, 'There is a gallery around three sides with angled corners. The singers' gallery has a plaster semi-dome with moulded dentil cornice and swag decoration now largely concealed by the organ..' The chapel was repewed.New heating apparatus was installed on a low pressure hot water system, the previous hot air arrangement having been in operation for 35 years. The alterations agreed in 1880 cost £655 of which £400 was raised at the time. The debt of £255 on the Chapel was cleared in 1887 by Ald. Robinson. Organ installed. 'If you peep behind the organ you can see the decorative plaster apse in which the pulpit was set until the refitting of the Chapel in 1881'
1883 The Bazaar made £159.14s.2d
1883 12 Sankey Hymn Books £2. 1s. + 4d carriage
1887 Mount Zion Dolmen discovered. Piped water brought in. Instead of well water.
1887 Mr Enoch Robinson gave £500 the interest bringing £20 a year towards the Minister's salary.
1887 Foundation stones laid for new Sunday School by Miss Robinson, Mr W Simpson, Ald A Ramsden, JP Mr B Firth. Architect James Farrar. Cost £1081.
1890 “Resolved that smoking be strictly prohibited in the School and that all teachers have power to speak against.”
1890-98 Sexton William Mitchell. Followed by George Cope.
1891 It appears that gas was put to the premisses as Squire Chapmen was paid for gas fittings.
1892 The organ in the present building was built, by Charles Anneessens et fils, Grommont, Belgique.
1899 Graveyard extended. William Walker, Minister at Mount Zion
1901 44 lengths of old railings sold.
1902 Conveyance - Boothtown Charity Trustees to Trustees Mo0unt Zion Chapel. Four closes of land. See photostat. In old blue treasurers account book.
1903 New burial ground
1904 New heating system.
1907 Organists salary £1.15s.6d
1907 Methodist New Connection, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Church, unite to form the 'United Methodist Church'.
1909 The 150th Anniversary Celebrations were held, the Rev. William Walker being the chief speaker.  Rev. Mr. Johnson, who was minister at time, describes this as a “never to be forgotten” occasion, for at the Saturday gathering it was announced that a further gift of £500 from Mr. Enoch Robinson was to be made, this principal to be invested and the interest to be used for maintenance of the fabric of the buildings.  At the Sunday services, special music by the Choir conducted by Mr. T. B. Amiss, included “Gloria” and “The Radiant Morn”.  The tune “Accepted Widdop” by the old Illingworth composer, John Thomas, was sung.  Mr. Thomas was said to have been the first conductor at Mount Zion in 1773.
1911 Mr Enoch Robinson presented with a solid silver rose bowl, in recognition of his previous generosity.
1914 Dog Notice
1915 First wedding Services held at Mount Zion? The Sunday School had 123 scholars and 22 teachers.
1932 Methodists reunite to form the present Methodist Church.
1935 19th Oct 1935. The cost of the installation of this electric organ blower was defrayed by portion of the legacy left to the trustees of this chapel by the late Mellissa Watson.
1938 The Bi-Centenary celebrations of Wesley Day saw a pageant in the quarry at Mount Zion, organised by the Halifax Circuits, of never-to-be-forgotten splendour.
1962 Circuit amalgamation. Halifax North, Ebenezer, Halifax West. Churches: Ebenezer, Bank Top, Salem, St Thomas St, Northowram, Rhodes St, Trinity, Mount Tabor, Pellon, Bethel, Wheatley, Nursery Lane, Illingworth, Mount Zion, Bradshaw, Denholme Clough, Boothtown Rd, Ackroyden, Ambler Thorn, Queensbury.
1947-1953 Rev'd & Mrs Pendlebury.
1958-1965 Mr Joseph Kenneth Jenkin and family in cottage. Joseph the Sexton and Margaret the Caretaker.
1965 Illingworth Moor and Mount Zion asked to 'consider their position regarding advisability of separate witness'.
1968 Illingworth Moor request that consideration should be given to uniting the churches in a new building. MZ decide it is not opportune at this time.
1969 Father Charles Annessens, the grandson of the organ maker visited.
1972 Proposal: That Illingworth and Mount Zion should seek to come together and form one Society. Mount Zion refused.
1973 Week of celebrations commemorating 200 years of worship.
1977 Horace Hird's widow left, in his memory, to the Methodist Conference his collection of Wesleyana.
1978 Rev'd R Gollins
1980 Proposed and agreed to close the Sunday School.
1981 Residential planning permission sought for Sunday School.
1982 South graveyard closed for interrments. Sunday School for sale.
1983 Sunday School sold to 'Mr Haley' for £13500 for use as a dwelling. Dry rot had been found and was too expensive to treat. Mrs Mavis Wilkinson voted in as Treasurer.
1984 Rev Will Morrey
1984 10th April Sale of Sunday School and land.
1984 8th January Conveyance - to Andrew Dennis Haley. strip of land on Northerly and Westerly sides of Sunday School plot.
1986 Graveyard very overgrown. Endeavouring to keep the paths clear. Brian Chatburn in Cottage?
1987 Rev'd Tim Macquiban
1988 MZ Baptisms, Burials and Marriage records given to Mr. Alan Betteridge of Calderdale Archives for safe keeping. These went back to the opening of the Chapel.
1988 The Wesley Safari in the Summer of 1988 
1989 The state of the cottage causing major concern. Uninhabitable. Likewise, many problems in the fabric of the Church.
1989 The rhododendrons by the path in the graveyard are getting overgrown. If they were cut back, there would be a much clearer view of the Chapel.
1989-1990 The renovation work on the chapel 1989/90 partially funded by English Heritage 
1990 Rev'd Stan Brown in post. Alarm fitted to chapel.
1990 Struggling to find a person to fill Organist vacancy.
1990 Proposed to split cottage to flat upstairs and museum downstairs. New underground electricity supply.
1990 First issue of the twice-yearly Mount Zion magazine "The Dial", prepared by Murial Jagger, Friends of MZ secretary and treasurer.
1990 Asbestos removed from boiler house. Local farmer objects to trees overhanging field.
1990 East chapel wall cement rendered to stop rain getting in.
1990 Ian Robinson becomes Sexton.
1990 Theft of flagstones, telephone and lawnmower.
1991 26th October Hird Collection arrives at Mount Zion
1992 April First Open Day, Irene Cunliffe acted as guide.
1993 Miss Irene Cunliffe to be invited to perform the ceremony at the re-openoing of the cottage.
1993 Outside toilets vandalised. Outside lights broken. Slates from outhouse thrown about. Chapel windows broken.
1994 Miss Irene Cunliffe to help with any pastoral or Heritage problems.
1996 13th October Commemorating 200 years since Mount Zion and Illingworth Moor seperated.
1996 November. An equestrian statue of John Wesley was presented to MZ in memory of Mr A.A. Jagger & Mrs E.N. Jagger by their daughters Muriel & Betty, & son David. The gift was formally received and dedicated in the service on 24th Nov. (More info in Dial November.)
1996 Miss Irene Cunliffe minuted as present at meeting to report on Heritage.
1997 Rev. John Lambert
1998 May. Church building upgraded to Grade 11
1998 12 year tidying up of graveyard commmenced.
1998 250 years Celebration of Methodism.
1998 December. Boiler condemned. Future Services held in the cottage.
2000 March. Mrs Edith Reeve, a Mount Zion member for 60 yearts, died age 90. (More info in Dial April 2000). She left a substantial legacy to Mount Zion for the re-roofing and upkeep of the building, which meant the Chapel could be re-roofed, general repairs carried out, and redecorating inside and out.
2000 June. New central heating boiler fitted. October. New roof completed.
2001 February. Muriel Jagger died suddenly so sadly was not able to see refurbishment completed. Irene took over as 'Dial' editor. (Dial, Dec 2001, May 2001 & May 1994)
2001 March. Repairs, internal and external painting completed. Carpet fitted. Dial May 2001.
2001 Thursday 24th May. Aldersgate Day Service, rededication & re-opening of Church after 18 months repair and refurbishment. (Dial May 2001)
2001 Website for Mount Zion. (Dial November 2001)
2001-2002 Chapel refurbished using inheritance money. Worship in the Cottage. Chapel reconsecrated at Aldersgate Service, 24th May.
2002 28th April. Gift Day & Songs of Praise. Dedication of kneeler in memory of Muriel & Flower & Advent ring stand in memory of Mrs Reeve. (Dial April & November 2002)
2002 Last service by Rev. John Lambert. Rev Lisa Quamby takes over.
2002 40 (yes forty) members of the North Lancashire Wesley Historical Society came to visit. They were given a lecture about Mount Zion, then had their AGM, looked round and had tea. They were extremely interested in the Wesley Display and Mount Zion Heritage and they enjoyed their tea, when they filled the cottage. Forty is the limit for a sit down tea!!
2003 VISIT OF HALIFAX ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY - TUESDAY 4TH MARCH, 2003 - ANNUAL LECTURE - DR. JOHN HARGREAVES. It was good to have the Antiquarian Society to visit Mount Zion. It was a very good attendance and they were very interested in what was to be seen at Mount Zion. There were about eighty present to hear a lecture by Dr. John Hargreaves which was about the history of education and ;its relationship with the Church. It is always good to hear the social and educational input to society of the Church. Mount Zion had in its first Sunday School a day school. There is a photograph of that building in the collection. It was a forerunner of Bradshaw School. During the lecture we were presented with a "parlour" game which had been used at Mount Zion just before the first World War. It was very interesting as Dr. John gave us some of the things which it had included. This rests in the Archives at Halifax Public Library.
2003 John Wesley, Tercentenary Celebration at Mount Zion
2003 Handrails fitted to staircases.
2004 Illingworth Moor use Mount Zion for worship, as their new Church is built.
2004 The gable walls were limewashed, but unfortunately the limewash has all come off and we are trying to find out what the rendering is made from. It has been suggested that the wall needs a bonding agent and then masonry paint but English Heritage will not allow that. These walls are open to the prevailing winds and stormy weather so are very vulnerable. We press on.
2005 New Loop System installed.
2005 Think Cottage was reopened after refurb, about now.
2005 Rakeover Landscapes refix faulty crosses on graves.
2006 Standing microphone used for first time.
2006 Rev Albert Gayle joins Halifax Circuit as Superintendent Minister.
2006 Irene Cunliffe completed 40 years as a Local Preacher, all in the Halifax Circuit. Irene came on to the plan from Rhodes Methodist Church which was in the then Halifax West Circuit. A service was held at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church when Rev. Brian Hoare, past President of the Methodist Conference presented the Certificate and preached. The service was well attended and was a wonderful event. Irene thanks all those who attended, sent cards and gifts.
2007 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!
2007 June Dial. Ideas floated for extension of graveyard and a possible memorial garden.
2007 Rev Brian Brown takes over from Rev Lisa.
2008 Saturday 28th June Mount Zion was the venue for the Wesley Historical Society Annual Meeting and Lecture
2008 Keighley Tree Services came to tidy up Mount Zion graveyard trees. They removed lower and overhanging branches, and thinned out their crowns as neccessary.
2008 March - May Rev. Pete Taljaard came from South Africa to take Rev. Brian's place while on holiday in South Africa.
2008 Rev. Paul Welch.
2009 Exterior doors repainted red.
2009 Kitchen Sink replaced.
2009 Congregation diminishing. What is to happen with the Chapel?
2010 Very sad news of the death of Miss Irene Cunliffe, Mount Zion's staunchest worker and promoter of our history and Connexional heritage.
2010 The British Institute of Organ Studies awarded a certificate Grade 11, in recognition of it being a fine example of an instrument by Charles Annessens 1891, substantially in original condition.
2010 Toro Lawnmower stolen from shed.
2010 1st September MZ and other churches form new amalgamated Calderdale Circuit.
2010 17th Spetember Boiler House flooded from rusty circulation pipe
2011 7th June Minibus trip to Englesea Brook.
2011 July Permission to extend the graveyard.
2011 Some windows replaced in cottage. New secondhand cooker. July/August.
2011 October/November New wall to extend the graveyard completed.
2011 December/January The Dial taken down to refurbish.
2012 Feburary New carpet in upstairs meeting room.
2012 March The Dial re-erected after refurbishment.
2012 April External cement render to chapel and cottage repainted white.
2012 April New carpet edgings fitted.
2012 July Restored Sundial re-dedicated, With Rev. John Lambert.
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
2013 11th September, EGM. Unanimously, but reluctantly, we agreed to cease worship at Mount Zion on November 2nd 2014

2013 First, very successful school visits held, organised by Paula Prosser and Tricia Atkinson.
2013 September. Permissions obtained from Calderdale and Heritage to create 'Irene's Garden'.
2014 January Rev. Paul Welch and Paula Prosser masterminding the future of MZ for Heritage and Mission.
2014 May. Irene's Garden finished and opened.
2014 25th June At the circuit meeting, it was agreed that Mount Zion could go ahead with it’s plans to cease to meet. The members of the Heritage Committee to take control.
Mount Zion will retain it's worship status as the trusteeship has passed from the members to the Calderdale Methodist Circuit Meeting. The Circuit Heritage Team will oversee the work of Mount Zion.
2014 Sunday 2nd November Rev. Alistair Newton led a memorable circuit service to usher in the 'new era' of our Heritage Chapel. There were around 67 in the congregation when all were seated.
2014 12th November Afternoon Tea at Holdsworth House to recognise Mavis's retirement from 23 years as Mount Zion Treasurer.
2015 1st May Irene's Garden wins a Halifax Civic Trust Commended award.
2015 21st July Inspection of the damp getting in to the ceiling plasterwork above the organ.
2015 5th September The wall at the top of the graveyard has been tidied up.
2016 June Work starts on repairing Apse plasterwoork. Finished in October.
2016 September New Baxi boiler fitted in Cottage. Instant hot water!
2017 BT wifi installed in the cottage.
2017 Matthew Townsend mows the graveyard. Also installs new rockery in front of the cottage and improves the pathway to the outside toilet.
2017 New graveyard seat donated by David Langley in memory of his wife Susan.
2017 The Illingworth Moor Steinway has found a temporary home at Mount Zion.
2018 September Rendered walls repainted (as in 2012)
2018 New aerial photo of Mount Zion found. 1973. Shows the path to the sunday school.
2019 Garden Party to support Mount Zion and introduce John Wilson the new circuit heritage officer.
2019 John Wilson has joined the Circuit as the Circuit Heritage Mission Enabler.
His work will be focused on the two wonderful historic chapels in the circuit, Mount Zion and Heptonstall.
He will be working with our team of dedicated volunteers, to use these churches to tell the Christian story and to witness to the wider world.
2019 Project to relay the pathway flags and provide ramp access approved.
2020 The pathway flags and ramp access completed. The chapel exterior painted by Nathan Clay.
2020 Chapel virtually closed due to the COVID-19 virus.
2020 April Death of Mavis Wilkinson. 33 years as our treasurer.
2020 June Ramsay Clay Ltd painting the exterior of the Chapel.
2020 August Pathway lights installed.
2020 September John Wilson, who joined the circuit in July 2019 as Circuit Heritage Mission Enabler for Mount Zion and Heptonstall, has decided to tender his resignation due to COVID-19 severely restricting what he is now able to do.
2020 December New railings at the front gate installed.
2022 September Mount Zion had its first Heritage Open Day, since COVID-19, over 80 visitors from accross Calderdale and Yorkshire
2023 Re-pointing works as per the quinquennial completed by O & W Crawshaw Ltd – Building & Joinery Contractor.
2023 Property Steward Anthony Greenwood who has taken care of the building and grounds for 25 years has decided to retire. Since late 2022, Anthony has has mentored Matthew Townsend (who has supported maintaing the grounds for 5 years) in prepartion for taking over his role.

Pamela Spring who has been a longstanding member of the Heritage Comitte,organised our volunteer groups, applying for grant, archiving for over a decade has decided to retire.

2023 J. M. Spink Ltd tuned the organ.
2023 Ken Judson Mastercraftsman has completed various essential chapel joinery jobs.
2023 O&W Crawshaw Ltd has reset 4 Grade II* listed (pre-1929) headstone at the front of the chapel yard.
2023 Ros Greenwood, a lifelong member of Mount Zion and after many years of service, has decided to retire as Circuit Steward and from the Heritage Committee.
2023 Rev'd Kathie Heathcoat is now appointed Minister with Pastoral Charge at Mount Zion Methodist Heritage chapel

250 years of Mount Zion Methodist Heritage Chapel

A special celebration was had to mark this semiquincentennial! - led by Rev'd Vicky Atkins with reflections from District Chair Rev'd Kerry Tankard & Paula Prosser, who shared the significance of heritage and how it propels us forward in mission through the generations.

Hymns rang out across the valley in celebration and parkin, crumble & custard were enjoyed over memories shared.

2023 Boundary wall reapir as per the quinquennial completed by O & W Crawshaw Ltd – Building & Joinery Contractor.


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Page updated: November 08 2023
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