Grant for new Friends group

The new Friends of Heptonstall Chapel and Sunday School has received a grant of £3,000 towards a feasibility study of conversion of the Sunday School from Calderdale Council, plus a further £1,000 from Heptonstall Parish Council.

Although this is not sufficient for a full feasibility study, it is a very good starting point towards the kind of level of detail that would be required for a large Heritage Lottery Grant application. A full study would cost about £6,000, and the group is looking at additional sources of funding.

The Friends group will be spending part of this money on financial projections for a holiday let on the lower floor and public hall upstairs in the Sunday School, and on architect’s sketches for creating this with disabled access to both floors. When these are available they will be made public for comment.

The Friends group is also looking at ways of forging stronger links between the Chapel and community. To this end, with the Church Council’s support, three local textile artists will display their work as part of the Hebden Bridge Open Studios event in July.If the Chapel renovations are not completed by then, they will use the Sunday School.

The group is also hoping to organise a Gala production of an unusual version of Handel’s Messiah to be performed in the Chapel in Spring 2018.  This will incorporate Easter sections of the piece not often performed and use young local soloists for a brighter sound than the traditional Christmas version.

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Music and fair trade at St Thomas

Two choirs will sing music including Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor at a concert at St Thomas Church, Heptonstall during the annual Fair Trade weekend.

The Halifax Chamber Choir and Leeds Guild of Singers will also perform music by Ravel, Mauersberger and others on Saturday, November 15 at 8pm. Tickets will cost £8 on the door (concessions £6).

The Fair Trade event will open on Friday, November 14, and run until Sunday, November 16. A wide variety of Traidcraft goods will be available including toys, food, Christmas cards and much more.

Gospel choir at St Thomas Church

Presenting!!!!

The 3 valleys gospel choir

Allow us to take you through a journey of soulful heartfelt songs from traditional to pop!

At St Thomas The Apostle Church, Heptonstall, Saturday 19 July at 7.30pm

Tickets £7.50 or £5 concessions. Pay on the door. For more info call Dawn: 01422 843856

http://www.3valleysgospelchoir.

The event is to raise funds for Heptonstall Festival . Other planned events include:

A Jazz brunch – a late lazy brunch to ease your way into a relaxing day – Saturday / Sunday in August – exact date tbc.

Pre-festival disco – Heptonstall Bowling Club – Saturday 6 September – from 8pm

Chapel Exhibition

inside chapel for headerA new exhibition celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Heptonstall Methodist chapel is now on show in the chapel off Northgate, which is open every day.

It includes Victorian photographs of the chapel and its celebrations, as well as pictures from the many popular pantomimes held in the Sunday School until the 1990s.

A new website featuring more pictures and videos has also been launched as part of the celebrations. If you have more pictures or memories you would like to contribute, please get in touch through the website.

Sunday School

St Thomas’ Church has a new Sunday School run by retired teacher Val Perry, who organised a successful crib service before Christmas.

Children aged four to 11 are welcome to attend the class, which starts at 9.15am. They hear stories and take part in activities at the back of the church, before joining the rest of the congregation for a blessing at the end of the service.

This week, the children heard about Jesus healing the lepers, then drew pictures about being thankful for our blessings.

The class will be held every Sunday except the first Sunday in each month, which is an all-age service suitable for children.

If anyone would like to get involved in helping to run the class, they are welcome to get in touch with vicar Howard Pask.

Heptonstall Old Church in song

Ted Hughes’ poem “Heptonstall Old Church” has been set to music by acclaimed acoustic folk singer-songwriter Milly Hirst.

You can hear this lovely, haunting track here. Perhaps Heptonstall’s festival committee might like to consider her?

Heptonstall.org’s correspondent is musically illiterate, but this is what alphabetbands has to say about it:

“We’ve spoken before about the divine sounds of Milly Hirst and the bewitchingly delicate songs she sings. Such is the level of elegant beauty that she exudes, it’s worth talking about her some more, especially as she recently released a new song, “Heptonsall Old Church” which is as heavenly and soothing as anything she has done so far.

“Based on the Ted Hughes poem of the same name, “Heptonstall…” is like a countryside walk at dusk. It’s as tranquil and beautiful as dwindling light flickering amongst the woodland while the noise of the city is a distant, forgotten sensation replaced instead with gentle guitar picks, graceful strings and backing vocals (courtesy of Jessica Wilson). Serenity abounds as the majestic sights of rolling fields and farmland unfurls before you, a line of trees on the horizon silhouetted by the faint amber glow of the sunset behind (making the artwork choice particularly apt). A warm fire and steaming mugs of tea or chocolate await but, like when listening to Milly sing, you can’t leave; you must stay and take in the beauty of the view one more time.

“She remains the only person we have ever seen literally silence a room when singing, to hold a man so drunk he can’t stand in raptures as he listens, understandably muted by the mesmerising beauty of the sounds filling the room. Just like everyone else who hears her play then.”

The poem reads:

A great bird landed here.

Its song drew men out of rock,

Living men out of bog and heather

Its song put a light in the valley

And harness on the long moors.

Its song brought a crystal from space

And set it in men’s heads.

Then the bird died.

Its giant bones

Blackened and became a mystery.

The crystal in men’s heads

Blackened and fell to pieces.

The valleys went out

The moorlands broke loose.