To restore this piece of hidden heritage in Whitby for more people to discover and to use it as a community resource.
by Margaret Kirk in Whitby, England, United Kingdom
Here's some more detail about the chapel and why it needs saving:
Social Justice Activism
We want to tell the story of the chapel's dissenting history - especially its most famous Minister, Francis Haydn Williams, who was a social justice activist in the town between 1888 - 1910. Haydn Williams went to prison on numerous occasions for upsetting the local gentry in order to reclaim common land and open footpaths. He was passionate in his defence of the rights of ordinary people.
We think his story needs to be better known and we want to set up a Permanent Exhibition to celebrate his activism. We can`t do that until the building is in better shape so any money we raise will go towards the £300,000 needed for its restoration. Above all we are working to build community involvement and community use of our space.
Inclusivity, Tolerance & Rational Dissent
Unitarianism strikes a powerful chord in today's secular but polarised world. Unitarians have no set belief system and value "respect for integrity" over "pressure to conform", combining "insights from all faiths, science, the arts, the natural world, and everyday living". Throughout history, Unitarians have stood for "inclusivity, reason, and social justice". (https://www.unitarian.org.uk/pages/unitarianism-explained)
Flowergate Old Chapel is a very special place. It was first built around 1720 when the law changed and allowed rational dissenters to gather together in worship. Before that they could only meet secretly in each others` homes in groups of no more than five or six otherwise they faced imprisonment.