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Bethel Independent Methodist Chapel

To the casual passerby on the busy main road between Bradford and Halifax, Bethel Chapel, may signify nothing more than a large sombre building with a very large well kept graveyard.

Shelf, Yorkshire

Opening times

Access to the chapel can be made arranged by contacting us.


Carr House Road

The chapel is a two storey square hammer-dressed stone building with a small rear wing. The front wall, is four bay facade has doorways with flat pilasters and cornice to outer bays. Between are two semi circular arched sash windows retaining original glazing on the first floor are four similar windows. The return walls have four similar bays of windows.

The pyramidal slate roof has moulded cornice with gutter brackets. The upper floor was originally a horse shoe shaped gallery with box pews. The plaster ceiling has a central floral motif with a dove in the centre.

Records show the chapel was built in 1853 in 139 days, unfortunately no details of the original builder or architect are known. In 1995 the Chapel was altered to provide space for the Sunday School and community groups in the same building. These alterations included installing an upper floor to replace the gallery (however a number of the original tiered box pews remain) and the installation a kitchen and new toilet facilities in the rear wing of the building.

When it opened Bethel was connected with the Wesleyan Reform movement but in 1873 it joined the United Methodist Free Church and has remained independent ever since.

In the chapel’s large graveyard as well as number of Commonwealth War graves there is the grave of the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. Joseph Hobson Jagger was an engineer at the local mill and in the 1870s he went to the Casino in Monte Carlo. He is the only person who has legally broken the Bank at Monte Carlo.

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Dog friendly

  • Car park at church

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Weekly Sunday Morning Service 10.45am. The first part of the service includes everyone and halfway through the children go out to Sunday School.

  • Methodist Church

  • Gateway Grant, £9,900, 2020

  • Our Gateway Grants fund churches developing building projects and also urgent maintenance and repair projects to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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