Despite unremitting rain 24 friends enjoyed an interesting, and atmospheric, visit to some West Yorkshire churches on 19 September. First we were welcomed to Halifax Minster and given a most informative tour of this extremely large parish church by David Glover. Dating from the 15 th century, and still retaining its 17 th century box pews and windows, there have been notable additions and alterations right through until the present day.
We then transferred to the hillside village of Heptonstall to experience the serene interior of the simple and pleasing Methodist Chapel. Built in 1764 it is one of the oldest in the country and is basically octagonal, maybe so that there is nowhere for the devil to hide! We were treated to an organ recital of music by Charles Wesley, and even able to join in a couple of hymns. Dr John Hargreaves gave an address on the early history of Methodism and non conformity in the upper Calderdale area. David Cant followed on the history of Heptonstall, a settlement rooted in farming and textile working, before guiding us around the village to point out key features of the historic sturdy stone buildings. We finished by viewing the large, now ruinous, church of St Thomas and its impressive replacement of 1842. Thanks to Clive Lloyd for enabling and coordinating this excellent visit.
Friend of the YHCT
Heptonstall Methodist Church(c) Samuel Townsend