News Archive

To look at the news in specific years, click the year in the table below.

December 2023

Carol and Christingle Service, with over 80 people in the congregation which was amazing. The Chapel looked amazing too however without a congregation it is meaningless so thank you!  Rev’d Kathie for delivered a wonderful service, Diane Sherwood played our Anneessens Organ organist and Sue for Stewarding and her homemade baking. A retiring collection in support of 2 local food banks raised a staggering £315.66. Thank You to everyone who gave. 


December 2023

We were delighted to host Janine and Andy’s wedding at Mount Zion. It was over 12 months in the planning and they fulfilled their vision transforming into a Winter Wonderland. If you would like your speical day at Mount Zion, find out more information here.

November 2023

Mount Zion was delighted to welcome Whitehill Community Academy over the past few days for their classes to have the experience of a Victorian School Day. A huge thanks to Tracy Brennan, Children and Schools Worker at Illingworth Moor Methodist Church for organising the events and all the volunteers that took part.

October 2023

Thank you to O&W Crawshaw Ltd for carrying out essential repair works to the lane boundary wall before the condition deteriorated further over the winter months.

For now, we have decided to continue to keep a watching brief over the tree that is causing the wall to bow out Many thanks again to the Circuit and The Methodist Church Property Team for your support and guidance.

October 2023

Mount Zion is proud to be feutured on the latest Property Matters Newsletter

In response to our advertisements for our Friends of Mount Zion Volunteer Day's, made possible by the North Halifax Partnership. RSA Insurance asked if they could bring one of their teams to volunteer with gardening and heritage preservation activities. At the end of the day, the RSA Team were able to experience:

  • Connect with nature in our rural chapel graveyard grounds
  • Team-building
  • Self-Fulfilment and Achievement
  • Staying active- physical and mental wellbeing
  • If your organisation would be interested in volunteering with us, please get in touch.

O&W Crawshaw has worked closely with Mount Zion and the Joanne Balmforth, Conservation Officer at The Connexional Team to reset 4 unstable pre-1929 headstones, below is an example of Hs08 in the process of being reset (on the left) and the completed works (right.) The works were essential to mitigate health and safety risks to the public and visitors and to preserve and maintain the heritage and aesthetics of the property and to minimise any potential future costs if the work is not undertaken immediately.


September 2023

Thank you to everyone who supported our Macmillan Coffee Morning at Mount Zion Methodist Heritage Chapel. WE RAISED £226.65!

We also raised £30 for Chapel Funds through the sale of Judith's Mount Zion Blackberry Jam.

September 2023

A reconstruction was made using the original fragments and is on display at the Tolson Museum, Huddersfield.

Master Potter Graham Taylor, Potted History, has produced a replica of how the Urn would have been when it was originally burried.

You can read more about the history of the Collared Urn on our website click here.


September 2023

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.


September 2023

In response to our advertisements for our Friends of Mount Zion Volunteer Day's, made possible by the North Halifax Partnership. RSA Insurance asked if they could bring one of their teams to volunteer with gardening and heritage preservation activities. At the end of the day, the RSA Team were able to experience:

  • Connect with nature in our rural chapel graveyard grounds
  • Team-building
  • Self-Fulfilment and Achievement
  • Staying active- physical and mental wellbeing

If your organisation would be interested in volunteering with us, please get in touch.

September 2023

A very warm welcome to our new Minister, with Pastoral Charge, at Mount Zion Methodist Heritage Chapel, Rev'd Kathie Heathcoat.

"I'm Kathie, I'm married to Val who is a retired Secondary Maths Teacher. Before beginning training for the ministry in 1993, I worked as an insurance claims handler in Bristol, where I grew up. When I left college I was stationed in Driffield, East Yorkshire before moving to Hull, to Brough, East Yorkshire and then up to Thirsk in North Yorkshire. After 21 years of ministry, I decided it was time to complete the set and was delighted to be asked to come to work in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

I am passionate about equality for every member of society, and support Fair Trade wherever I can. I enjoy leading worship, particularly using images, poetry and music to bring people closer to God; going out into the community to meet people; engaging in schools work; sharing in Bible Study; and encouraging all people to explore the spiritual side of being human.

I also enjoy making music; walking Pippa, my over-excitable springer spaniel; reading; writing; and photography. We have a OO gauge model railway that Val and I have built together, and we have a canoe in which we explore the rivers and lakes when on holiday."


August 2023

As the Connexial Year draws to an end, 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.

At our last meeting Ros was warmly thanked for all her efforts, cake was served and Ros was presented with a card and a bouquet of flowers by Rev'd Kathie Heathcoat as a gesture of thanks and appreciation. We thank Ros for everything she has done for Mount Zion over the years.


August 2023

O&W Crawshaw has worked closely with Mount Zion and the Joanne Balmforth, Conservation Officer at The Connexional Team to reset 4 unstable pre-1929 headstones, below is an example of Hs08 in the process of being reset (on the left) and the completed works (right.) The works were essential to mitigate health and safety risks to the public and visitors and to preserve and maintain the heritage and aesthetics of the property and to minimise any potential future costs if the work is not undertaken immediately.


August 2023

Local mastercraftsman Ken Judson has been onsite since last week at Mount Zion Methodist Heritage Chapel, preparing for our Special service to celebrate 250 years of Heritage at Mount Zion on Sunday 10th September 2:30pm. In the pictures below, Ken Judson is splicing the bottom 8 inches of all 6 timber legs on the 3 front external doors, repairing, painting, and resealing the door threshold strips. Ken Judson will also be repairing the chapel windows, completing essential joinery work inside the chapel, and repainting the toilets. Thank you to Joanne Balmforth, Conservation Officer at The Methodist Church, for your guidance. Supporting our mission statement: "For Mount Zion to be enjoyed by everyone as a place of heritage, culture, spirituality and beauty whilst supporting our local community."



August 2023

J. M. Spink Ltd - Organ builders and tuners, a family business, has tuned our beautiful Anneessens Organ in preparation for our Special service to celebrate 250 years of Heritage at Mount Zion on Sunday 10th September. In the Halifax Guardian on the 8th August, 1891 there was an entry: The erection of a new organ at Mount Zion Chapel, Ovenden, is now completed, the workmen of Messrs. Anneessens & Sons of Belgium, the builders, tested the instrument yesterday. You can read more by clicking here.


June 2023

We welcomed the Nazarene Theological Society, led by Georden Hammond, the Director of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, with a delegation of postgraduate researchers to Mount Zion Methodist Heritage Chapel. We are delighted that everyone enjoyed their tour, particularly the unique Hird Collection, Prophet's Chamber, Anneessens Organ, and The Dial. If you are from an academic/historical/antiquity society and would like to arrange a visit, get in touch with us to find out more information.

May 2023

We had a very special cream tea afternoon today as we said thank you to two of our volunteers who have retired after many years of service to the chapel

Our Property Steward Anthony Greenwood who has taken care of the building and grounds for 25 years and Pamela Spring who has organised our volunteer groups and made so many scones for our cream teas. Thank you to everyone who came to wish them both a very happy retirement.

March 2023

We want to thank O & W Crawshaw Ltd – Building & Joinery Contractors, the Calderdale Methodist Circuit, The Methodist Church Property Support Team and Mount Zion Property Steward- Matthew Townsend, for supporting with the essential pointing works at Mount Zion.

We are also very appreciative of the grant from Community Foundation for Calderdale on behalf of Yorkshire Wind Power Ltd (YWPL), which contributed towards the building costs. In addition to all of our visitors who have supported Mount Zion by attending our events and services.

Did you know, what is pointing? The technique of repairing mortar joints between bricks or other masonry elements. When ageing mortar joints crack and disintegrate, the defective mortar is removed by hand or power tool and replaced with fresh mortar, preferably of the same composition as the original.

The technical specification of the mortar used for the building and pointing stonework was Hydraulic lime mortar, comprising 1 part St. Astier NHL3.5 Hydraulic Lime: 2.5 parts sand, comprising 2 parts Leighton Buzzard sand: 1 part Nosterfield sand.


November 2022

Mount Zion held a Pies and Peas evening on Bonfire Night for our members and volunteers. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication towards the upkeep of the Heritage Chapel.

September 2022

Mount Zion held a Heritage Open Day (the first since COVID-19) as part of England's largest festival of history and culture. It was an oppotunity to share with visitors, the vast history of Mount Zion. Notably, in the late 18th Century when John Wesley came to visit Mount Zion and stayed in the cottage. Volunteers provided guided tours of the chapel and graveyard, and cream teas were served in the cottage.

May 2022

Matthew Townsend has been busy in the graveyard. He has cut down some lower tree branches and is now removing some of the ivy which is growing again in the closed middle graveyard. This will enable us to take better quality photos of the graves.

April/May 2022

The gardening group have been scattering the seeds that will grow in our meadow area. We want to thank everyone from our gardening group, for the effort that they have put in transforming a very overgrown area of the graveyard into the beginnings of a wildflower meadow. We will be continuing the work and also carrying on clearing some of our more overgrown graves. If you are free on Wednesdays 11am to 2pm why not pop up and join us?

December 2021

Watch The Flower Waterfall Journey on Facebook

A slideshow of the Flower Waterfall’s creation at Mount Zion Heritage Chapel and it's journey to Illingworth Moor Methodist Church. It was to remember those we lost, and celebrate the people who helped during the pandemic

November 2021

A new set of Victorian Sunday School Teachers, ready for the Whitehill School visit.

July 2021

Pamela Spring invited a few folk to a cream tea practice in the hope of restarting them soon.

May 2021

Anthony had another try with Calderdale and West Yorkshire Archives to find out what MZ records they have. Particularly looking for the pre 1897 Burial Books. No luck. This document summarises the records with them.

April 2021

Quinquennial carried out by Richard Storah of Storah Architecture. Chapel in excellent condition. Just a few bits of maintenance required.

February 2021

A view inside.

December 2020

See the slideshow of the relaying of the pathway flagstones and the disabled access ramp at the front gate.

December 2020

The new railings at the front gate have been erected. They look terrific!

October 2020


Gary Mowing

September 2020

Liz has been tidying in the graveyard again.
She was challenged by the late Irene Cunliffe to do a whole row.
And now she has fully tidied row J!
Well done. It is a credit


Row J

September 2020

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. The Heritage Committee thank John for all he has managed to do whilst working with us. He will continue to take an interest in Mount Zion and Heptonstall and hope that in the longer term they will get the investment they need to preserve and promote their rich heritage.

Photo of John Wilson

September 2020

Many graves unearthed for the first time.



August 2020.

The pathway lights have been installed.


Pathway Lights

July 2020.

Ramsay Clay Ltd finish painting the exterior of the Chapel.

Chapel Exterior
Chapel Exterior


June 2020

Ramsay Clay Ltd painting the exterior of the Chapel.



April 10th 2020 Mavis Wilkinson

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Mavis Wilkinson, aged 96 years.

Mavis was a lifelong member of Mount Zion. She was the church treasurer for 33 years up until 2014.

As Mavis Ambler she was a teacher in the Sunday School.



Mavis retirement



March 2020

Work continues relaying the flagstones at the front of the chapel.

flagstones flagstones


March 2020

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, we have had to cancel the Mount Zion Cakewalk and path opening event we had planned for Saturday, April 18. We do it with a heavy heart but in the circumstances we have little alternative. The most important thing is that people stay safe - we can always bake more cakes at a later date. We will look to update you on this and other future events once the picture becomes clearer, so keep watching out for new posts. In the meantime, stay safe and look after your loved ones.

February 2020 Mary Dixon

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Mary Dixon aged 95 years. Mary was a lifelong member of Mount Zion. She was the church secretary for many years.



Jan - March 2020

Thieves have visited three times at night to try and steal our lawnmower from the sheds. They have done some damage, but did not really get away with anything.

December 2019

Mount Zion held their first Christmas Tree Festival, an idea instigated by our Circuit Heritage Officer, John Wilson. Many folk came to vote for their favourite tree, sing carols and have a cup of tea and a mince pie. Lots of money raised in donations to the charities and for Mount Zion.

Photos taken inside the church.


November 2019

A series of three Victorian Sunday School experience days were held for pupils of Whitehill School. The photo shows some of the teaching staff.



Friday 25th October 2019

A photo showing the rowans in Irene's garden in their autumn colours.

Irene's Garden Rowans


Friday 28th September 2019

A BIG Thankyou to everyone who attended our Macmillan coffee morning. In just 2 hours we raised a massive £270!

Tues 27th August 2019

Busoasis, had their new Calderdale Methodist Church community resource bus dedicated at a special service today held at Mount Zion Chapel. Here are a few photographs of the event.

New bus dedication photos


13th August 2019

At midnight thieves were spotted with a van up Chapel Lane. They had readied about 15 top stones and flags for removal.

Volunteers spent much of the following day refixing and laying the stones. Our thanks to them!

Photo of the top stones


8th July 2019

Singspiration Choir. 'A friendly fun choir who enjoy singing.

Choir singing


July 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.

Photo of John Wilson

Sat 22 June 2019

Lots of MZ supporters helped to create a very enjoyable Garden Party to raise funds for Mount Zion. A very welcome visitor was our new Heritage Officer, John Wilson. A total of around £200 was raised.

Garden Party photo


March 2019

The Heritage Committee meet again to help the Circuit look after Mount Zion for the future.

Some of the hetiage team


October 2018

A new aerial photo has surfaced, of Mount Zion in 1973.

1973 photo of Mount Zion


September 2018 The whole of the exterior of the cottage is now repainted. Three windows replaced.

cottage repainted


September 2018 Painting the render

Photos showing the scaffolding for the render painting


Sunday 23rd September 2018

The President of Methodist Conference Rev Michaela Youngson led the Circuit Service held at Mount Zion.

Rev. Michaela Youngson preaching at Mount Zion

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

July 2018

This is what happens when it does not rain for 2 months.

Photo showing the parched graveyard


July 2018

A Party of volunteers from Nestlé worked tirelessly to clear the graveyard. All the paths were tidied and the adjacent graves strimmed.

Graveyard Tidy


June 2018

Well what a beautiful day we have had at our very first small scale wedding open day. 

The weather was glorious, the stalls were brilliant and the turn out was marvellous. It really did showcase the chapel at its best. 
Thank you to everyone who visited. We look forward to holding more weddings in the future!

The stalls in the chapel


May 2018

The Chapel and Cottage render urgently require repainting.

Photo of Cottage Render


April 2018

Volunteers from Nestlé did a great job strimming the front graveyard. This is the first time it has been done.

Anthony is going to weedkill the brambles and we hope that perhaps the volunteers might return to do all the front graveyard.

Trouble is it will probably need doing 2 or 3 times a year!

Graveyard after strimming
Graveyard after strimming
Graveyard after strimming


October 2017

The Illingworth Moor Steinway has found a new home.




August 2017

Tuesday Afternoon Cream Tea and Sam Townsend, who told us of the joys of photography.

Many visitors sat in Irene's Garden in the sun. Must have been 40 or 50 folk!

Photography Talk
Photography Talk



August 2017

What a super job Matthew Townsend has made of a new rockery garden by the cottage.

Come and admire it at one of the cream tea open afternoons, every Tuesday (tomorrow!) in August.July 2017

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden


Irene's Garden is now beginning to look as if it has always been there!

Irenes Garden


June 2017

New flagged Toilet Path

Matthew Townsend and Son's have replaced the uneven cracked flags of the outside toilet path. Also pebbled the edge.


April 2017

Richard Whittaker and colleague installing a new bench donated by David Langley and his Family in memory of Susan.

Langley Bench


April 2017

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.

Matthew Mowing


April 2017

Many thanks to the amazing team of volunteers from Nestle.

They came up to Mount Zion today to help clean and spruce up the chapel and grounds.



March 2017

Matthew Townsend has volunteered to help out with mowing the graveyard and other projects. Brilliant!


March 2017

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.

Broadband InstallationBroadband Installation


November 2016

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.


Collage of repairs


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.


Photo of Methodist History Books


14th October 2016

Paula has brought The Dial up to date with a new summer edition

October 2016

Plasterwork in the Apse has now been repaired. It was made possible by a grant from The Roof Repair Fund for Listed Places of Worship

 A Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund


September 2016

The Cottage Boiler has been replaced with a new BAXI boiler

Old BoilerNew Boiler


September 2016

We had three Heritage Open Days this weekend 9th/10th/11th.

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.

Refreshments were provided by the ladies.

Open dayOpen DayOpen Day

Open DayOpen Day


September 2016

Sunday 4th Spetember, the restored plaster is being painted.

The restored plaster is being paintedThe restored plaster is being painted


June 2016

Saturday 26th June Scaffolding erected ready for work to waterproof the exterior of the Apse.

Then to stabilise and repair the plasterwork.

Apse ScaffoldingApse Scaffolding

Saturday June 11th 2016

Today we celebrated the Queen's 90th Birthday. Can do Art, Bouncy Castle, games and Tombola

Bouncy Castle etc


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!

5 Ladies who were married at Mount Zion


May 2016

A visit from the Illingworth Girls Brigade. A drawing workshop.

Children taking partDrawing of an Angel



May 2016

The Weaving Women's Wisdom exhibition inside Mount Zion Chapel.

Rug Exhibition

Rug photo


May 3rd - 2016

Keighley Tree Services removed various trees which were growing in graves, or pushing the walls down.

Trees removedTrees removed


April 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.

Joan Batty Pencil Drawing Exhibition



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.

Wedding DressBrides


September 2015

The wall at the top of the graveyard has been tidied up.

Wall PhotoWall Photo


July 2015

Inspecting the damp getting in to the ceiling plasterwork above the organ. What needs doing?

Apse roof inspection


July 2015

Open day and Candoart


June 2015

Ken Gelder starts helping to mow the graveyard.


May 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!

Gill Dascombe VisitBusoasis Crew


May 12th 2015

Lloyds Volunteers came to do lots of jobs. See the photo of some of the 18 graves they uncovered!

Uncovered graves


May 11th 2015

Tricia Atkinson receives the Civic Trust award from the Mayor of Halifax, Patricia Allen.

award certificate


May 1st 2015

Irene's Garden wins a Halifax Civic Trust Commended award. This is what the Courier said:

Newspaper Article


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!



March 2015

Photographs showing the overgrown Mount Zion Graveyard in 1998 can be seen here


5th Feb 2015

Decorating the Prophet's Chamber

Prophets ChamberProphets Chamber


12th November 2014

Afternoon Tea at Holdsworth House to recognise Mavis's retirement from 23 years as Mount Zion Treasurer.

afternoon tea


November 2014

John Wharton has donated a 1946 Sunday School photo, courtesy of David Patchett originally of Brookhouse Farm.

sunday school

sunday school


Sunday November 2nd 2014

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. Read the service sheet



Here is what the Halifax Courier said:

Mount Zion Interior

September 14th 2014

Stonemason redoing the lettering of a grave.

engraving grave


September 7th 2014

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.



August 2014

John Wharton, an ex Sunday School pupil, has sent us some photographs of the choir trips, pupils and teachers on the sunday school page!

Click here to see them

choir trip

Photo Credit: Authour Unknown

July 2014

Mrs Rosalind Greenwood dressed in her teacher's uniform, ready for a school visit!


June 2014

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.


June 2014

Dominic Wood now helps to mow the graveyard.

Mowing photo Mowing photo
Mowing photo


June 2014

team photo


May 24th 2014

Open Day

Rev'd Roger Dalton, Chair of West Yorkshire District officially opened Irene's Garden. On a very wet afternoon!

service sheet

service sheet

Irene's Garden opening

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 .

John Hargreaves photo

Simeon Wood entertained us with 2 hours of very accomplished flute playing.

A very busy day!

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

May 16h 2014

Lloyds Volunteering Day

Lloyds Photo

Lloyds Photo

Lloyds Photo

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

May 4th 2014

Sunday Service led by Rev. Brian Brown to almost a chapel full of folk! Afterwards, although it was a little cool, we assembled in Irene's Garden for a team photo!

congregation photo

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

8th April 2014

Heritage Meeting.

War Memorial Photo

Meeting Photo
Luddenden Chapel Great War Memorial Lunch before Heritage Meeting


April 5th 2014

Our Treasurer, Mrs Mavis Wilkinson, celebrated her 90th birthday with 40 of her family and friends, at Windmill Court, Ogden.
Mavis photo

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

March 20th 2014

Work has started on creating Irene's Garden. David, Nick, Nigel and Tom building.

Garden Photo
Garden Photo


February 2nd 2014

Tricia Atkinson donated an 1836/7 Preaching Plan found at St Andrew's Methodist Church, Halifax.

Plan Photo


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.

28th Jan 2014

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!

Photo of Collinge
Photo of Pamela
Rev. Paul Welch and Margaret & Rodney Collinge
Pamela Spring


January 24th 2014

Rev'd 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.


January 23rd 2014

Irene’s Garden
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.

Drawing of Garden

January 9th 2014

Gordon Terry presented this picture to Mount Zion in January 2014.

Wesley at Oxford Holy Club

He writes:

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.


December 2013

15th December 2013, 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!

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

22nd October 2013 Heritage Meeting to discuss Mount Zion future now that formal worship will cease in October 2014.

Tean Photo


September 27th 2013

Planning and Heritage consent received for 'Irene's Garden'.


11th September 2013

Unanimously, but reluctantly, we agreed to cease worship at Mount Zion on the occasion of the Chapel anniversary on October 5th 2014


13th July 2013

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.

June 2013.

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.

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

April 2013

Mount Zion is awarded a 2013 Halifax Civic Trust Commendation for the work in restoring the Sundial.

Presentation Photo
Rosalind Greenwood, John Hargreaves, John Hardy (Mayor), Lord (Hugh) Somerleyton.

Presentation Photo

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

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.

Photo of delegates Photo of delegates
Photo of delegates Photo of delegates


April 2023

Plans for Irene's Garden are taking shape.

Irenes Garden Plan


April 2013

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.

Painted Chapel Window


December 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.

Team Photo

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



September 2012

Mount Zion Heritage Team visit to Fulneck Moravian Church

Church Photo

See all the Photos

September 2nd 2012

Harvest Service table

Harvest table photo


August 2012

Pat Varney has let us have copies of photos she took in 1998 showing the overgrown state of the graveyard.


Click here to see them all!


July 2012

Re-dedication Poster

Welcome & Introduction

Hymn : H & P 485 (vv2, 3, 5) - Christ is made the sure foundation

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

Bible Reading

Dedication of Sundial

Hymn : H & P 377 – Come to us, creative Spirit


June 2012

Two cotoneasters have been planted in front of the chapel.

Tree Photo Tree Photo



April 2012

The cottage and chapel render is repainted. Arranged by Armitage & Clegg

Cottage photo Cottage photo


March 28th 2012

The Dial is restored!

Dial Photo Chapel Photo Dial Photo

March 2012

Heritage Committee Meeting in the Cottage.

Heritage Meeting


March 2012. The Dial is coming home!

Dial before restorationDial just attached to wall

Dial FrontDial BackDial on Scaffold


March 2012

Andrew & Samantha Mann had a sevice of Blessing in the Chapel, conducted by Deacon Liz Day

Mann Photo Mann Photo
Mann Photo Mann Photo

March 2012

The Dial is almost ready to be refitted to Mount Zion.

Dial photo


February 2012

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!

dial photo

dial photodial photo


Feburary 2012

A new carpet in the cottage upstairs

Upstairs Photo

January 2012

Dial restoration:

Dial photo Gnomom photo


December/January 2012

The Sundial is being restored to its original condition:

Dial Photo Dial Photo Dial Photo


Courier Article

November 21st 2011

The scaffolding is erected to restore the Dial.

Scaffold photo

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

November 2011

The wall is built. Mick and Matthew to fit gate and do a bit of landscaping.

Graveyard Extension Photo


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.

Wall Photo

Wall photo


October 2011

16th Ocotber 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.

Plate and Mug photo


September 2011

Heritage Committee Meeting

Meeting Personnel


July/August 2011

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.


July 2011

Graveyard notice


Sunday 3rd July 2011

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'd Tony Buglass, followed by a strawberry tea in the cottage.

Mount Zion View Mount Zion View
Congregation Congregation
Congregation Congregation
Congregation Congregation

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

June 2011

Tuesday 7th June 10 People, mainly from Mount Zion went to see the Heritage Centre at Englesea Brook. See the photographs here.


Friday 17th December 2010.

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!

boiler photo pipe photo plumbers photo


December 5th 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.



September 25th 2010

A visit from the Pendle Circuit, led by Superintendent Minister, Revd Andrew Turner.

visitor photo visitor photo


30th April 30th 2010

Very sad news of the death of Miss Irene Cunliffe, Mount Zion's staunchest worker and promoter of our history and Connexional heritage.

irene article


October 2009.

A picture found of Mount Zion c1910

MZ photo


June 2009

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.

Mount Zion


August 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.

Trees photo Trees photo


July 2008

Sunday 6th July Anniversary and Reunion.

Click here see the pictures

Photo Credit: Anthony Greenwood

June 28th 2008

Wesley Historical Society Annual Meeting and Lecture

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 century Yorkshire.’

Thanks were given to members of Mount Zion who provided refreshments throughout the day.

See the pictures

Hear the singing!

July 2nd 2006

Anniversary and Reunion Service

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 the congregation.

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.

Photo of congregation outside Mount Zion

More Pictures

June 2006

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!

Photo of mended wall   Photo of mended wall


September 2005

28th/29th Septebmer, 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.

Photo of memorial repair team


September 2005.

Sunday 11th September 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.

July 2005

3rd July The Anniversary 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 hymns.

The Anniversary 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'.

Photo of congregation outside Mount Zion


2001 Stone Seat

Seat photo


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!

Grave cleanup team


Here is what happens when it is not looked after

© Mount Zion Heritage Chapel
Page updated: March 31 2024
Support us