Bethel Wesleyan Reform Church, Bierley


William Stamp’s ‘Historical Notices of Wesleyan Methodism in Bradford’ mentions Wesleyan Methodists meeting at Bierley Lane in 1835. The Census of Religious Worship in 1851 states that there was a Wesleyan Methodist School Room on Bierley Lane which opened on the 15th September 1850. There was also a Wesleyan Methodist Congregation that met in a dwelling house near Bierley Ironworks.

The school is shown on the first Ordnance Survey Map for the area (1852) and was later owned by St. John’s Church in Bierley. The building has been re-built but an older date stone survives and states that it was “erected by Frances Mary Richardson Currer A.D. 1819.” This datestone may have been moved from another building and in 1851 we are told that the St. John’s Church Sunday Schools were on Sticker Lane. More research is needed here.

We are told that the twenty two members of a Wesleyan Methodist class which met at Bierley Lane became Wesleyan Reformers, and in 1855 they built Bethel Wesleyan Reform Chapel at the junction of Shetcliffe Lane and Spen View Lane in the outskirts of Bierley. The congregation joined the Wesleyan Reform Union which was founded in 1859.

A schoolroom was added to the Chapel in 1873, and we are told that after the enlargement the Chapel and Sunday school were divided with a wooden partition. Bethel is still a part of the Wesleyan Reform Union and in 2013 it became known as Bethel Community Church.

The Baptism register commences in 1859 and is still at the Church. We want to thank Mrs Margaret Dennison and the Church Council for allowing us to photograph and transcribe them.