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Ben Rhydding is a very pleasant residential community situated at the eastern fringe of the town of Ilkley, between the moors and the A65. Ilkley itself is a small resort town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales with a good range of local amenities.
At the 2011 census, the parish population was 3,900. It is a settled community with a large proportion of professional people. Ben Rhydding has a Post Office, butcher, hairdresssers,tailors cafe, florist and various other trade premises. Ben Rhydding now has a public house/hotel which was lost a few years ago but after much community spirit was shown in trying to reinstate it, with many church members involved in the campaign this came to fruition with its opening as the Wheatley in May/June 2009.
Ben Rhydding is popular with young families as well as being within easy commuting distance of the cities of Leeds and Bradford. 80% of homes in Ben Rhydding are owner occupied. Ben Rhydding does not share the ethnic diversity of local towns such as Bradford and Leeds.
In June 2006, Ben Rhydding held its first ever Community Fete, which was masterminded by a member of St Johns, with significant contributions to the day being made by many other members of the church. This has now become an annual event and the 12th Community Fete was held on 17th June 2017 from 2pm to 4pm on Wheatley Fields Recreation Ground. Entrance is free. If you would like to become involved in the organisation of a future event more details can be found on www.benrhyddingfete.co.uk. The 2018 fete will be held on Saturday 18th June 2018.
There are two primary schools within the parish – Ben Rhydding Primary and Moorfield Preparatory School for Girls and Boys. St John's does not have official links with either school as neither of them are Church Schools, however, a great many informal links have been developed over the years and both schools use the church for their own Harvest, Christmas and Easter services. More details of the schools can be found at http://www.benrhydding.ngfl.ac.uk/index.htm and http://www.moorfieldschool.co.uk/
Ilkley itself is a thriving spa town, set in the Wharfe valley and with the stunning backdrop of Ilkley Moor and the famous Cow and Calf rocks. There are a number of excellent primary schools in Ilkley and Ben Rhydding and the older children have the benefit of Ilkley Grammar School which continues to achieve excellent exam results. Ilkley is culturally rich, hosting the Ilkley Literature Festival once a year, which draws in many famous speakers. The 2017 Festival runs from Friday 29th September to Sunday 15th October. Visit www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk for more details. There is also the Moor Music festival, Ilkley Summer Festival, May Day Carnival and many other special events. Ilkley boasts a thriving theatre, live concert venue, cinema, a number of choirs and many other performing arts related activities. There are a wide range of restaurants, cafes and places to drink too. For more details on the Ilkley area see the local website at www.ilkley.org.
Do visit our photo gallery to see some views of the wonderful countryside in this area of Yorkshire.