News & Views

Bringing Antique Furniture Back To Life | Sunday School Stories Heritage Workshop

4 June 2024

At Sunday School Stories, we're inviting you to learn heritage building skills to help sustainability, give new purpose to beautiful objects of the past, and bring together like-minded people as part of our community hub.

In May, under the guidance of facilitator Ethan Gallesio, our fantastic volunteers learnt all about wooden furniture restoration, breathing new life into antique cabinets that will be part of our Sunday School Stories activities for all next year. Learn more about the skill-building and community spirit below alongside photos of the hard work plus beautiful sketches of the atmosphere captured by illustrator Florrie Ann Thomas.

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'Be The Change' free applied theatre & creative arts sessions

28 May 2024

Following the huge success of last year's weekly sessions for adults navigating homelessness, recovery from substance abuse, and mental health services, 'Be The Change' innovative applied theatre and creative arts project returns to The Margins Project Hall here at Union Chapel for a full year!

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Margins met with Emily Thornberry to discuss rise in homelessness

10 May 2024

Read about the meeting highlighting refugee homelessness and hear from E sharing his own lived experience.

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Donations Doubled during Big Give Arts For Impact Week

15 March 2024

"Union Chapel is a very special and unique venue where I have performed 2 of the greatest shows of my career. The fact that they also impact and inspire the local community and through art, music and education is something that I happily give my complete support to." - OKIEM, award-winning pianist/composer

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Guided Tours return to Union Chapel

31 January 2024

On the first Wednesday of every month of 2024, we open our doors for Guided Tours to fit into your lunchbreak, starting this March.

Discover how Union Chapel began, the people behind its conception and growth, and what we do in the beautiful Victorian Gothic chapel; home to an inclusive church, an award-winning live venue, one of the UK's finest organs, and The Margins Project for those in crisis in London.

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National Lottery Open Week | Tour & Gifts

26 January 2024

Every week, National Lottery players raise over £30 million for good cause projects like ours. On Wednesday 13 March, we're saying #ThanksToYou by inviting them to a free tour to discover our Grade I Victorian Gothic chapel, which is home to a radical church, award-winning venue, one of the UK's finest organs, and The Margins Project for those in crisis.

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SundaySchoolStories | Heritage Workshop | Victorian Stage

25 January 2024

Last week, our creative community came together to help us build a Victorian Stage recently rediscovered in our archive of hidden gems.

Read on to see the beautiful photos and artwork, find out about the week of bustling activity, learn more about the development of our exciting Sunday School Stories Project and how you can get involved in future engaging and skill-building workshops and events.

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Margins Winter Appeal

17 January 2024

In these cold months of rising costs, demand for our services continues to grow as more find themselves in critical living crisis.

Help us improve lives with our immediate and long-term services, needed now more than ever, of food, support, community, engagement, training, and hope.

Thanks to all who have donated and shared. This season, you've helped us raise £3089 to support our work and community. Donations are open year round.


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The Margins Project | Winter 2023 Update

14 December 2023
In a year that saw new and deeper challenges for so many, we thank you for your continued support of our vital work - now helping even more community members in crisis.
Read on for our final update of the year and we hope you stay connected with our fight for a better 2024 and beyond.
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Festive Gifts & New Year's Resolutions

7 December 2023

Treat a loved one - or yourself - to the best in live music, comedy, and deep dive discussions with these Winter shows for the perfect last minute gift.

Maybe you feel like giving back and starting fresh this season and kick start 2024 for a better tomorrow.

Or join our free Christmas events for that extra bit of cheer.

Here's some hints, tips and holiday highlights...

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Open Day 2023 Success

28 September 2023

Thank you so much for coming to our Heritage Open Days and Open House London Festival event on Saturday 9 September 2023. It means a lot for us to share our world with our community. Read our round-up; complete with your feedback and glorious photos by Nicola and Len Morcombe.

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Union Chapel Open Day 2023

28 July 2023

Walk within our walls on Saturday 9 September to discover our Grade I & II* buildings, unique organ, 200+ year legacy, and plans for the future in this unique day for all.

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The Margins Project Re-Launches Its Empowering Supported Employment Programme

23 May 2023

Our Supported Employment Programme provides those with experience of homelessness and other crisis with paid catering training and support to improve their chances of employability. Discover photos and quotes from those involved

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Union Chapel Memberships Launched

12 May 2023

Become a Union Chapel Member by 31 May to get exclusive benefits + local deals for just £40 for a year (normal price £45)

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The Margins Project at Union Chapel | Supporting those facing homelessness and crisis

5 May 2023

Watch our new film, created by volunteer and broadcaster Archie Powell, to discover our essential work, our community, and for information on how you can help

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Union Chapel Project's 2021-2022 Report

10 March 2023

Union Chapel Project presents its 21-22 report outlining our aims and achievements

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New Voices Championed the Voices of Young Womxn

8 March 2023

This International Women's Day, we reflect on a first in Union Chapel's history back in 2021, and how the ripples from this wonderful project went on to do even more good for a fairer tomorrow.

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Local MP, the Rt Hon Emily Thornberry, visits The Margins Project

3 March 2023

This week, Islington South and Finsbury MP, the Rt Hon Emily Thornberry visited The Margins Project drop-in service that offers nutritious hot meals for over 70 people experiencing homelessness or living in precarious housing conditions as well as training and advice & engagement services

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Join Us at LHC London Walk 2023

17 February 2023

Walk 10km with the Margins Project on Friday 10th March 2023 to fight homelessness in London

The LHC London Walk 2023 brings London-based homeless charities and supporters together to walk as one. Register by 1st March

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Go Behind the Scenes with Ed Sheeran

12 January 2023

Watch the highlights video of one of the biggest moments of our 30th year as a live music venue was Ed Sheeran's unforgettable acoustic performance at the first Wellstock x For One Night Only event in aid of mental health charity Shout in October 2022.

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#HeritageTreasures 2023 | Roses of Union Chapel

11 January 2023

We're bringing our roses to celebrate this Heritage treasures day - a design that is weaved throughout our Grade I & II* listed Victorian Gothic buildings, from the tiles that wrap our rooms to the iconic window that towers over gigs and services alike

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Favourite Live Union Chapel Moments of 2022

6 January 2023

Huge thanks to everyone who has come to our events and supported our work last year, our 30th year of being a live venue and charity. We ended the year reaching our Crowdfunder target and sharing our favourite gigs together with you, including Orchestra Baobab's sold-out show that ranked Time Out London's 2nd best gig of 2022 

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National Churches Trust grants us £25,000

5 January 2023

We're thrilled to announce we'll be receiving a £25k National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant for urgent repairs to our Sunday School roof and brickwork, and to enable the installation of new accessible toilets.

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December Crowdfunder | Change lives with your donations matched

1 December 2022

Throughout December, AVIVA Community Fund will match your donation (up to £250) to help us change the lives of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, crisis and disadvantage in our community

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Nominate us in a Christmas Bid

10 November 2022

12 Days of Giving is the last phase of Benefact Group's Movement for Good programme for 2022. For 12 days in December, they will draw 10 charities per working day to receive £1,000.

Your nomination really counts. £1000 could make a real difference to the work we do with and for our community. The more nominations we get, the greater our chance of winning, so please nominate us by end of November 2022 and help us spread the word!

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An Autumn Week to Shout About

19 October 2022

From raising funds and awareness of homelessness hosting St Mungo's comedy night and the London Homelessness Awards, to Ed Sheeran's powerful, unique performance raising tons for mental health charity Shout, next Union Chapel Church kicked off the Black History Month programme, then we announced our Sunday School Stories grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund that made national broadcast news, wrapping up our week with an intergalactic event of live music, reading, Q&A, and signing of Tom Fletcher's new children's book SPACE BAND. And October has much more to come...

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Sunday School Stories Project

13 October 2022

We are delighted to announce that Union Chapel has been awarded a grant of £1,054,500 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for our Sunday School Stories project.

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The Margins Project | Autumn 2022 Updates

28 September 2022

The Margins Project, based at Union Chapel, offers a range of services supporting people facing homelessness, risk of homelessness and crisis in Islington. These services aim to help people in their hour of need and with their long-term support needs. In our Autumn update, meet the team, learn how their work has helped others, and how you can support

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Vote for us as the Best Loved building at SPAB Heritage Awards 2022

21 September 2022

We're thrilled to announce that we've been shortlisted for Best Loved public building in the SPAB Heritage Awards 2022. Learn more about the awards and vote for your favourite here by 31st October

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Free Open Days | 18 & 21 September 2022

8 September 2022

We’re opening the Union Chapel doors to all in our free open days coming this 18th & 21st of September. Come see what’s happening In Union 

Discover what we do in the beautiful Gothic Victorian architecture of our Grade I and II* building, which is home to an inclusive church, an award winning live music, comedy, and screening venue, a unique organ, and The Margins Project for those in crisis in London.  

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Re-Opening Union Chapel

15 July 2022

This last week has been a very important - and emotional - week for us at Union Chapel. 

We were overjoyed to be open to re-open as a venue to audiences for the first time properly since 19th March 2020 – 16 months ago.

And we couldn’t have wished for a better artist to re-open our venue than Celeste, with great support from Hak Baker. As the reviews came in, Celeste at Union Chapel quickly became the hottest ticket in the UK (well, maybe aside from tickets to Wembley!)

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Co-Creating Change

6 March 2022

This time the legislative debate and policy section focused on what arts organisations could implement to improve situations for staff and communities from different backgrounds.

Here, Community Leader Charlotte Watts shares her thoughts on the event and the outcomes.

What was most exciting moment from the event, and why? 

The process of having those in attendance contribute their ideas for policy change and participate in the process of deconstructing the often carefully concealed inequalities in the Arts sector was very exciting, especially as most there were working in that sector and willing to critique it. 

Another important moment was that in which an audience member highlighted during the policy making process, the fact that physical access needs are often still hugely forgotten in arts institutions and events programming. They felt it was the most neglected area of equality, diversity and inclusion considerations and I can see why from my own observations. I have witnessed only a tiny number of truly physically accessible institutions, events and festivals. This was then taken on board by the policy makers. 

I did feel however that it would have been great to see more people at the event who were not from already within arts organisations, but perhaps the local community or previous beneficiaries or participants within socially engaged or cocreated arts projects. 


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Race to Save the World | Inspired Conversations

22 April 2021

Made over five years, The Race to Save the World is a feature documentary that follows the inspiring stories of everyday people, aged 15 to 72, who are devoting their lives to fighting climate change. Encompassing protests and arrests, courtroom drama and family turmoil, the film offers an intimate portrait of the lives of these individuals as they push to create a more sustainable world, often risking their relationships, careers – and freedoms

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One Year On….

23 March 2021

A Year of the Pandemic at Union Chapel


By Michael Chandler


Prior to the pandemic, Union Chapel had been developing a strategy to become a leading ethical arts centre for all - bringing together our reputation as a well-loved venue, our services for people experiencing crisis and our community programmes. As a result of the coronavirus, however, we are moving towards that goal at substantially greater speed – both out of desire, demand and out of necessity.

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