Gunnerside Chapel is now the only Methodist Church in Swaledale. Like many places of worship in the Dales, its future is by no means secure.
The Chapel is the most prominent building in the village. It is basically sound and it is worth investing in repairs and maintenance to keep it this way. Residents of Gunnerside, and others whose family history lies in the village, are determined to keep it going as long as possible. It is a great asset to the village, offering fortnightly Sunday worship as well as services for the traditional festivals of Midsummer, Shortest Day, Harvest Festival and Easter. It is also an important venue for funerals and weddings and for public concerts.
The FoGC group was set up in early 2015, following a very well attended public meeting, when it looked as if the Chapel might have to close. More than twenty individual donors are now contributing monthly, or have made one-off gifts. Gunnerside Estate has made a substantial donation. Several fund raising events (concerts, plays and an art exhibition) have been held and more are planned. The FoGC is a registered charity and qualifies for gift aid refunds on individual donations.
FoGC aims to tap into additional sources of funding, over and above those normally available to the Church Council. All money raised is solely for the benefit of this Chapel. Should it ever close, any money remaining would be returned to donors or given to other agreed local charities, rather than reverting to the central Methodist Church. This is a point on which many local families feel strongly as it was their ancestors who funded the building of the Chapel in the 19th century.
So far, the FoGC has contributed over £5000, for: heating oil; external painting; organ repairs; upgrading the electrics; new flooring; treatment of woodworm; and materials for redecorating the vestry and kitchen (done by voluntary labour). Work is currently underway to modernise the cloakroom and to install new kitchen units (the materials for which have been donated).
If you would like any further information on how you might contribute to the FoGC, please contact David Crapper on 01748 886325 or by email at email@example.com.
Shelagh Thomlinson, Jackie McCartney, David Crapper (Trustees of FoGC)
The accompanying files contain lists of all the people who are recorded as having been buried in the graveyard in Gunnerside. A total of 848 names has been identified, from four sources:
This produced 505 names, the earliest burial date being 1816. Some names appear in only one source, others in two or more. Every effort was made to cross check information and to remove any duplications (but some may still remain).
We hope this survey has been of interest. If you have any comments or would like to suggest any corrections or additions, please contact:
David Crapper, Greenacres, Gunnerside, DL11 6LE
01748 886325 firstname.lastname@example.org
* Footnote: the numbers are in two parts, which define the grave number and the
person — thus, number 151.3 refers to the third person buried in grave 151.