Chapel calls on villagers to make it a community hub

Rev Christine Perry, new Methodist minister with responsibility for Lumbutts, Todmorden, Heptonstall, Blackshaw Head, Luddenden Foot and Mount Tabor
Rev Christine Perry, new Methodist minister with responsibility for Lumbutts, Todmorden, Heptonstall, Blackshaw Head, Luddenden Foot and Mount Tabor

A church which faces closure later this year is encouraging villagers to show their support and help to save the building for community use.

Lumbutts Methodist Chapel, in Lumbutts village above Todmorden, will host its final act of worship on December 15 after serving the community since 1837.

But parishioners are looking to save the building and turn it into a community hub.

Rev Christine Perry, who has taken over as minister at the chapel this month, said: “We don’t want the building to close so it’s not available to the community.

“And the community doesn’t want to lose it. But if they want to keep it, they are going to have to use it.”

Parishioners have written to people in the village calling on them to support the chapel and suggest possible future uses for the building.

“It’s not that people don’t want to come, it’s just that we need to make people aware that we are here,” Christine said.

“Where we are here, there’s so much potential but we need the community to take responsibility for it.

“If you don’t want to meet in the pub, this is the only community space in the village.

“At the moment we are exploring possibilities.

“It’s not expensive to hire - £40 for the day, which includes use of the kitchen.

“It’s a very versatile building. The facilities are very good.

“I was at Blackshaw Head Fete last weekend. The church there is right at the heart of the community.

“I would like to see this place become the same.”

Possible uses of the building being explored include a meeting place for the numerous cyclists, walkers and horse riders who pass through the village.

Other options include developing it as a venue for functions.

“The spectacular views make it a lovely place for weddings,” Christine said.

Church secretary Leslie Webster said: “I have lived up here all my life and I have seen a lot of changes.

“I would like to see more people involved, then we would have a better chance of survival.”

In an attempt to secure the building’s future, parishioners are inviting people to become Friends of Lumbutts Chapel by offering their time and making a donation towards running costs.

Anybody who would like to get involved in the Friends scheme is asked to contact Christine by emailing revcperry@ntlworld.com