Union Chapel in the 1850s & 60s

When he arrived at the Chapel Allon described the services as ‘musically at zero”. He would go on to put music at the heart of the Chapel. The whole congregation, not just the choir was expected to sing. They even tackled the Hallelujah Chorus.

Union Chapel Singers are today’s version of the choir – they are a secular choir very much open to new members with any kind of experience or ability!

The membership of the Chapel A young H. H. Asquith was a regular member of the congregation at this time – he went on to become prime minister from 1908-1916.

The changes in Islington during this period were profound.  By 1870 the population had risen to nearly 300,000 (from just 10,000 at the beginning of the century). Between 1800 and 1840, 24 new Anglican and Nonconformist churches were built in Islington to minister to this expanding population. By 1866 The Chapel had been enlarged to accommodate 800 and an ornate classical façade had been added but this still wasn’t enough.