GreaterLondonISLINGTONUnionChapel(JamesBridlePERMISSIONBYEMAIL)3 JamesBridle

Union Chapel

Our history is inexorably entwined with some of the most radical and progressive developments of the modern age, and yet the core principles at the centre of our congregation remain as true today as they were when the church began.

Islington, Greater London

Opening times

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9am to 5pm; Sundays 10.30am to 1pm (with a service starting at 11am).


Compton Terrace
Greater London
N1 2UN

Union Chapel is a fantastic Victorian architectural gem built in 1875-1877 in the heart of London, designed by leading nonconformist Christian architect James Cubitt. Often compared to a small cathedral in its scale with an original capacity of 1,700, the complex comprises the Grade I Listed chapel, with outstanding acoustics, and its Grade II* ancillary buildings: the Sunday School, Lecture Halls, Committee Room, Vestry and Caretaker House.

The congregation was founded by a union of Anglicans and nonconformist Christians in 1799, hence the name Union Chapel. This new congregation numbered just 26 members. They chose to depart from the traditional hierarchical structures and language of the established church. Their founding principle was to make Union Chapel a ‘Friend for All’.

This architectural treasure is home to a working church, an award winning arts and cultural venue, a unique organ and frontline services for those homeless and in crisis. It’s a rich community where people come to revel, to worship, to listen to and watch wonderful performances, to volunteer and to find help when they need it most.

Over the past thirty years the Chapel has gone from facing demolition to, thanks to the rallying and determination of the local community, being Grade I and II* listed and from being virtually abandoned to becoming a vibrant hub of activity welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors a year:

  • Live and live-streamed/filmed events –each year hosting a programme of 155 high-calibre arts and cultural performances, with 108,500 audiences from local communities to international audiences
  • The Margins Project, our subsidiary charity, which provides a range of essential services for 385 people facing or at risk of homelessness each year, including weekly drop-ins, a housing and benefits advice service, training/employment through an intensive professional catering training in our renowned Café, run by people with lived experience
  • Community Engagement & Empowerment - community creative programmes and social change activities, including the Community Leaders programme and The Organ Project, making our unique 1877 organ, one of the few organs left in the UK with a fully working original hydraulic blowing system, accessible through a range of recitals, workshops and events
  • Union Chapel church - Supporting the church who host a range of social justice and cultural events, screenings and talks in addition to its family church services
  • Space hire to arts and community organisations – supporting theatre productions, filming and community organisations working with local communities
  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café in church

  • Café within 500m

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Train station within 250m

  • Wifi

  • Arts & Music performances, Community Engagement and Social Justice programme throughout the year, Weekly Margins drop-ins Mondays and Wednesdays 11am to 1pm.

  • Non-denominational Christian

  • Community Grant, £14,000, 2012

  • Our Community Grants helped churches to install essential facilities such as toilets and kitchens.

Contact information

GreaterLondonISLINGTONUnionChapel(JamesBridlePERMISSIONBYEMAIL)3 JamesBridle

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