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Silsden Methodists new church and community centre

pictures of the old / the new

Impression of the new church building

The scheme, which will mean the demolition of the current Wesley Place building, will be paid for by the church and from the sale of eight new homes on the site.

Superintendent minister the Rev Jacky Hale said it was not economic for the church to improve its current buildings, which suffered from structural defects and poor design.

The church moved into its current premises in the late 1970s following the demolition of a church in Kirkgate.

"The need for Silsden Methodist Church to find new premises has been clear for some years and we have been exploring redevelopment options since 2003," said Mrs Hale.

The church buildings are well used by many groups because of the level access to a large hall and stage.

Mrs Hale said: "As well as bookings for parties, we welcome regular users such as a play group, scouts, art and dance classes. We also have a stage and this has been used for concerts and other productions."

She said the new building, which has been designed by Carleton architect John Wharton, would be better suited to the needs of the current users and others.

It will feature a large hall and stage area, flexible seating, meeting rooms and a glazed foyer where an exhibition of the history of Silsden is planned. Mrs Hale said: "We are keen to continue to welcome these groups throughout the redevelopment process."

"Central to the plans is a flexible area in which the church and community activities can be accommodated.

"We want the church to continue to play a key role in the community of Silsden and we are asking the people of Silsden to support our plans," said Mrs Hale.

When the church revealed its plans to replace its building, some were concerned at the loss of the building and that it would be further forward than the original.

But Tim Sharp, a member of the project working group, said he hoped the people of Silsden would appreciate what the church was trying to do.

The cost of the project will be met by the church and from the sale of eight new homes which will front the beck. The church will also have to carry out some fundraising.

Mr Sharp said: "Silsden has enjoyed the benefit of these church owned buildings for many years at very little cost.

"We are fortunate that the church council is keen to create a large building for use by all the people of Silsden".

>> Silsden Methodist website

click for pictures of the (old) building Oct 2009
click for Oct 2009 pictures



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