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Brief History

Wesley Road Chapel came into being in 1987 following the merger of three local churches.

Armley Central Methodist Church, Wesley Rd,

Armley URC Church, Hall Lane

and Zion Baptist Church, Hall Rd

The tradition here is individual in that the three denominational churches each have contributed towards today’s resulting Christian community in Armley. We are called a Local Ecumenical Partnership and work closely with the other churches in this area.

The present Wesley Road Chapel opened in 1987 but worship on the site goes back to 1784 with the building of the Methodist Wesleyan Chapel, in which the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, preached.

A spiritual revival increased the size of the congregation leading to the building of a larger chapel which opened on Easter Monday in 1813. In October of the same year the inaugural sermon for the Wesleyan Missionary Society was preached in Wesley Road. The third chapel was opened in September 1907. This faced on to Wesley Road whereas entry to the previous buildings was from The Gang.

In the middle of the 20th century the decreasing population in Armley left small congregations struggling to cope with the large, if beautiful, sanctuary so the decision was taken to downsize. The Baptists in Armley joined the scheme and with the sale of their premises and part of the Wesley Road site (for housing), we were able to build a new comfortable, easy to maintain and attractive set of premises. In January 1989 the Armley United Reform Church joined us, so we are now a Local Ecumenical Partnership embracing three denominations and enriched by each other’s long traditions and histories. 

We can look back on our time together with thankfulness and joy. We have been blessed with professional ministry from all three denominations. We have received many folk into membership. Our baptismal pool has been used on three inspiring occasions. We have tried new ventures, seeking to serve the local community, and there is a buzz about the place and a friendly atmosphere which many visitors have remarked on.

Our worship is warm and meaningful and our intention is to continue to ”Serve the Present Age” as the plaque in our porch proclaims. Whilst we praise God for all that is past we also thank Him for all that’s to come.

The Methodist Circuit office is now situated in the chapel and we have now created a Resource centre upstairs that has a theological library for ministers, preachers in training and anyone who wants to read or borrow any books on religious subjects. The room is also available to hire for conferences or meetings with access to free wifi.


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Last modified: 26/01/2018