Open Day 2023 Success

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.

"Fabulous community event and organisation! Keep it up!" "I enjoyed my visit tremendously"
"The event and the venue worked perfectly together. It was one of the most engaging things I have been"



Hundreds of you came to discover beautiful architecture and learn more about the history, Nonconformist church, and charitable work of Union Chapel. The multi-generational crowd flowed freely around the space, rested from the hot day on the pews, and took advantage of the different activities available (with more than a few comments giving love to our carved timber ceiling!)

The sold out guided tours delivered by Friends of Union Chapel and the information pack gave a deeper dive into where we've been, what we've achieved, and what lies ahead. We're investigating opportunities to bring more guided tours in the future. If you want to be kept in the know of other similar events coming up at Union Chapel, you can sign up to our mailing list here.

"Thanks to the staff and volunteers (especially the tour guide) who were very friendly and shared their knowledge, making the visit very enjoyable"
"Excellent walking tour, Richard was very knowledgable, enjoyed the small details."
"George the guide was incredibly passionate and informed. I can't decide if he was the highlight or seeing the organ."
"A thorough description of the history and architecture of the building." "All very friendly and informal."


If you want to learn more about our architecture, history, and work, please see video playlist here.



We loved sharing everything pipe organ with you at our free Open Day! Our unique and historic instrument, built into the chapel in 1877, is still used to inspire and educate to this day.

So many of you came to or extended your stay to witness the excellent organ recital from the young people studying as part of our organ education and composition programme that provides free and subsidised lessons, workshops, and more. The majority of those who filled out our feedback form quote the recital as the highlight of the Open Day, proving the excellent skills of the students and their tutor and acclaimed concert organist Jeremiah Stephenson, but also how important and innovative organ music is in our culture.

"I came for a tour of the chapel - but actually enjoyed the enthusiasm of the organist most."
"The talent and courage of the young performers." "The organ music and the calm atmosphere."


Learn more about our education programme, and acclaimed genre and boundary pushing festival Organ Reframed, here.
Please consider donating to this work and our organ maintenance here. Your donation can fund...

  • £10 One primary school student place at an organ workshop. 
  • £15 One subsidised ticket for an organ recital or concert for someone who would otherwise miss out. 
  • £30 One free organ lesson for a local young person with a Royal College of Organists Accredited Teacher. 
  • £150 One month of organ maintenance and routine repairs. 
  • £250 One educational organ-building workshop for young people. 
  • £500 One organ masterclass for student composers. 



We're thrilled that many young and inquistive minds came to learn about science, culture, engineering, and pipe organs as part of the WOOFYT workshops generously supported by the Institute of Physics who gave away free activity packs and science fun for people to continue their educational journey at home. Children and their adults got to manually pump bellows and play wooden keys to bring organ music into our bar.

"Both my daughter and I enjoyed it all - learning about physics too - but she very much enjoyed getting to ‘play’ the organ."

The finale of our Open Day was a screening of the brilliant film 'Organ Stops - Saving the King of Instruments' about the crisis facing Britain's pipe organs and the enthusiasts fighting to save them. This was followed by a Q&A with the documentary's maker James Dawson and restorer of historic organs Martin Renshaw. The passion of the audience engaging was a delight, further proving the need to protect our historic organs for all our communities. Watch the trailer for the film below.

ON TO 2024...

We'll be opening our doors again for an even bigger and better Open Day in September 2024. Sign up to our emails here for future announcements.

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