Hope Baptist Chapel reopens its doors
Monday, 11 September 2017
"One of the few remaining non-conformist Pennine chapels that was largely intact and still in use for its original purpose."
After an investment of nearly £1m and several years of phased repairs and development, Hope Baptist Chapel has reopened its doors.
Discussions about the future of this town centre building started 10 years ago. At the time, the building was in a poor state of repair but English Heritage recognised its importance as one of the few remaining non-conformist Pennine chapels that was largely intact and still in use for its original purpose.
Grants from Heritage Lottery Fund have paid for major work on the chapel roof, stonework and interior. Other generous support has been provided to enable refurbishment of the adjacent community rooms.
Floods and litigation
Completing the repair work was not plain sailing. Not only was the building flooded on Boxing Day 2015, like many other businesses and homes, but serious problems with past repairs resulted in a litigation case and rectification work. The story is described in this 10-minute audio-visual presentation.
The church has been camping out in the community rooms, space under the rear gallery and, at one stage, the top room of The White Lion pub. But now the congregation is determined to ensure the chapel space becomes a valuable sanctuary open and relevant to everyone in the town – both residents and visitors.
Apart from Sunday services, the chapel will be open each Tuesday, starting with Morning Meditation and ending with a ‘Still Point’ reflection. The church is working with local partners on a programme that will make best use of the building’s ambience and acoustics, including activities this month about the heritage of Rev John Fawcett and a spoken word event with Holly McNeish as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.
More information about Hope Baptist Burch can be found on the website.