UNTIL 1956, Methodism could claim three places of worship in Silsden. The oldest Methodist community was that of the Wesleyans who, in 1813, had opened the village’s first purpose-built chapel in Highfield Lane.

Their numbers so increased that in 1871 the Wesleyans moved into a much grander building on land now called Wesley Place. This provided not only a very active church and community hall but, with further annexes attached, a day school for village children over the age of nine.

This photograph, from around 1905, shows members of the Wesley Guild, a social group for young female members at a time when few such opportunities existed outside the home for women.

Silsden’s Methodist Churches – the Wesleyans, the Primitives and the Bethesda – amalgamated in 1956, with three congregations moving into the Primitive church building in Kirkgate.

A few years later, the abandoned church in Wesley Place became home to the Roman Catholic community and was given the name of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It remains an active place of worship today, although several of the additional features were demolished long ago.