End of an era could lead to new venture

Lumbutts Methodist Chapel
Lumbutts Methodist Chapel

A group will be formed to explore ways of turning a village chapel into a community hub when worship ends next month.

The final act of worship will be held at Lumbutts Methodist Chapel on Sunday, December 15, and unless another option is found to fund upkeep of the building and the adjoining graveyard, it could be sold.

A meeting was held last week to discuss the future of the chapel, which is also currently used for a variety of functions including a parent and toddler group, afternoon teas, a polling station and a meeting place for community groups.

More meetings will be held to develop ideas to save the building for community use.

Alistair Newton, minister in charge of the local Methodist circuit, said: “We are delighted that there is such interest in community use of the building.

“We are just waiting to see what can be done and if the interest group can find a way forward.”

Members of the church have expressed concerns about what would happen to the graveyard if the chapel was sold, with some fearing they would not be able to visit the graves of their loved ones.

But Rev Newton moved to ease those fears.

“Graveyards are regulated by Acts of Parliament which have to be adhered to,” he said.

The final act of worship in the chapel on December 15 will be a candlelit service at 3pm.

“We are hoping for a good congregation on the day to say a fitting farewell to worship at the chapel,” he said.

Church steward Leslie Webster said more than a dozen members have put their names down to help find a way forward to save the building for community use.

“If we could get the idea off the ground, the chapel would make a fantastic venue for community groups,” he said.

The interest group would wish to discuss continued use of the building and graveyard with Calderdale Council.

Anybody with ideas is invited to attend a meeting at the chapel on December 9 at 7pm.