Union Chapel is an amazing, award-winning cultural venue doing genuine social good. As Covid cases continue to rise, we need your help to survive as an inspiring venue and as a vital charity helping the hardest hit in our communities during these times of crisis.
For over 3 decades, we have supported the homeless and most vulnerable in society, transforming the lives of thousands of people. The demand for Union Chapel’s support services have increased by 66% since the pandemic and the longer-term impact of Covid and the economic situation on those already facing disadvantage and inequality is becoming more acute.
Whilst our support services have remained open for this vital face-to-face support throughout the pandemic, repeated lockdowns have meant the doors of our venue have remained largely closed for much of the past 18 months and income to support these much-needed services has been vastly reduced.
As an independent venue, Union Chapel receives very little funding, and the revenue from our venue sustains our charitable work and helps us maintain our beautiful building. The rise of the new Covid-19 variant and the introduction of new restrictions is having a catastrophic effect on our venue.
Since the start of December 2021, Union Chapel has seen:
- A number of December events cancelled at short notice due to Covid cases.
- The cancellation and rescheduling of the vast majority of January events and 50% of February shows so far.
- A substantial drop in audiences, of up to 50% for some events.
This year was going to be a vital year for our recovery, after the enormously challenging year we had in 2020. After a brief period of stability, the last few weeks have thrown us and the live music sector back into financial crisis, and there is now huge concern for the months to come. This has a major impact on us as a charity and our vital work for the community, now and into the future. Michael Chandler, CEO of Union Chapel Project
We need your help. Whatever you can give won’t just help us as a world-loved venue, it will help the struggling communities we are supporting across North London. Donations of all sizes will provide a vital lifeline as we continue to navigate the financial impacts of Covid-19.
MORE INFO ON WHAT WE’LL DO WITH DONATIONS
1. Help us survive as a venue and inspiring space
Union Chapel is best known and well-loved as an astounding space and an award-winning music venue – home to landmark gigs by Amy Winehouse, Adele, Michael Kiwanuka, and most recently Celeste and Damon Albarn and voted London’s Greatest Live Music Venue (Time Out). We have a global reputation for international cultural events – hosting unique and innovative performances that inspire and inform diverse audiences from London and the world. From music and comedy, to films, dance, spoken word, and social justice – in 2019 our programme attracted over 100,000 visitors through 250 unique events.
But we are more than a well-loved venue. We are a 200-year-old Victorian Gothic architectural jewel, with an amazing history of social justice, music and culture. Our mission statement is “Inspiring Space – Inspiring Lives”. We are a progressive Church and an organisation which has supported the homeless and most vulnerable in society for decades. The funds will go towards all the work here that keeps Union Chapel going and help us survive this period of closure. This includes core operating costs, our homeless and community emergency response work, our building maintenance and our digital programme.
2. Help us bring our Sunday School Hall back into use to support our communities to reconnect and overcome the challenges we've faced.
Our Sunday School Hall programme was seriously impacted by the pandemic and nearly drew to a halt. It is now not only severely delayed but the need for a community hub and programme of activity for those most in need has increased two-fold as we see the longer-term impact of Covid and our economic situation on those already facing disadvantage and inequality. Funds raised through our campaign will go towards repairing and refurbishing this forgotten Grade 2* wonderful listed space and turning it into a much-needed genuine community asset fit for modern users, and towards life-changing training, employment and empowerment programmes.
Last year Historic England funded a heritage programme and the making of a film to tell the story of the Sunday School hall - you can watch the film here.