A Brief History of Silsden Methodist Church
September 2020 will see us celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the present building
The Methodist Church in Silsden can trace its roots back to 1820 when John Flesher led the first service outside his house, on St John Street, overlooking Silsden Beck. The second service was held inside the house and as numbers grew, regular services were held in a barn at the back!
The church continued to grow and at Easter 1871, celebrated the opening of a new chapel on Kirkgate; this was the last time an ailing John Flesher was seen in public. In 1880 a Sunday school and caretaker’s house were added, creating a much admired home for church activities. The church has continued to adapt to change and in 1974 the chapel was demolished and activities moved into the Sunday school. Sadly these buildings also became old and too expensive to maintain.
The Chapel 1871 (demolished 1974)
The Chapel 1974 (demolished 2009)
In 2003 the church trustees commissioned a Feasibility Study to look at future options for the church, having regard to the needs of its user groups and the findings of the 2001 Silsden town survey. The study concluded that a new building, accessible to people of all abilities would be the preferred way forward.
Various schemes were considered and in 2007 a planning application was submitted to build a new church on the site of the original 1871 chapel. Planning permission was granted in November 2008 and construction started in October 2009. The new building, costing over £800,000 was completed in August 2010.
The 2010 Building
The new building is fully accessible to people with a disability. The entrance lobby leads into a large and comfortable foyer with tables, chairs and a kitchen servery.
The worship area is situated at the front of the building to the right of the entrance lobby and Silsden Methodist Church 2010 incorporates a glazed cross, illuminated from within and visible from Kirkgate. Two specially designed rooftop light boxes create an external feature and along with rooflights, ensure plentiful natural light enters the building.