Hall Green Chapel

I was admiring Hall Green Baptist Chapel this autumn. Baptists, like Congregationalists, are a mixed bag, but this is a church which seems agreeable. The congregation benefit from a far grander building than Salem and enjoys a superb location within the village of Haworth, while commanding fine views of the Worth Valley. Although there is some similarity between the chapel’s frontage and ours, with its double doors and windows either side, it has five bays above and a pediment. Its datestone gives 1824, rather helpfully. It appears to have the use of several floors, as well a flight of steps leading to the front entrance. Although there will be other entrances and exits available, those steps must prove daunting to the elderly and the disabled. To nineteenth-century folk, they epitomised grandeur and elegance; today, they may remind us of the needless barriers and obstacles we erect between people and Christ.

Churches need to retain standards of godliness, holiness and separation, yet they should remove all that would make the gospel unappealing. Hall Green Chapel cannot remove its steps, but we may still remove several features from our own lives and churches that make our beautiful Saviour appear unattractive.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in".

Matthew 23:13, NKJV