History of St Matthew's

St. Matthew's, Wilsden, must be unusual 
in having occupied four sites within 150 years.

 The first St. Matthew's Church (see photo) stood in Lane Side, where the graveyard can still be seen. It was a 'Waterloo' church, one of many provided from a fund raised in thanksgiving for victory.Photo of original St Matthews Church

Architect John Oates designed several 'Waterloo' churches including the identical    St. Paul's, Shipley.

St. Matthew's was consecrated in1826, originally to serve Wilsden, Allerton and Denholme. (St. Paul's Denholme opened 1846, St. Peter's Allerton 1879)

After World War II, a small congregation found it impossible to heat and maintain and in 1957 the Sunday School building on the other side of the road was dedicated for use as a church.

In 1960, the parishes of Wilsden and Harden were officially united, and the first vicar of the United Benefice, Dr, Stanley Bennett, appointed in 1961.The Sunday School soon proved too small for a growing congregation, and Dr. Bennett negotiated the purchase of St. Matthew's third home. Lobley's printers were on the point of buying the old Salvation Army premises in Royd Street when Dr. Bennett persuaded them to buy the Sunday School building instead and in 1962 St. Matthew's took up residence in Royd Street, on the site of the present Co-op.

The old church was demolished in 1962.

In December 1975 the present, purpose-built church was opened, paid for by funds already held by the parish, a grant from Bradford Diocese, donations from individuals and an intensive programme of local fund-raising.

On 16th July 2013 the parish of Wilsden was established again, this time within a newly created Benefice of Cullingworth, Denholme, Harden and Wilsden served by a Team Ministry known as the Hewenden Team Ministry.