Like every other live entertainment hub in London, Islington's beloved Union Chapel has suspended its events programme for the foreseeable future. But there's still lots going on behind the scenes at this architectural gem which — as a working church and a charity drop-in centre — has a long history of supporting the local community.
As part of its community aid plan, Union Chapel has become the host venue for the Homeless COVID-19 Task Force, which was set up in response to a plea from Homeless Link to help support rough sleepers affected by coronavirus. The venue is acting as a donation drop-off point and campaign in partnership with other charitable organisations like the Museum of Homelessness and Street Kitchen, plus Islington Council.
Union Chapel is also working with Help On Your Doorstep to provide telephone advice and deliver goods to vulnerable residents and those who are self-isolating. The venue is additionally looking to help plug any gaps left by food banks that are currently unable to operate.
As well as these new initiatives, Union Chapel has pledged to keep its existing community outreach work going. The Margins Project — a secular charity based in the chapel — will continue to provide a night shelter, hot meals, and a place to wash clothes, alongside advice and other support services to people facing homelessness in Islington. Similarly, those who participate in Union Chapel's culture cafe, a free weekly meet-up for easing loneliness and exploring new ideas, will continue to get support, albeit via telephone.
If you'd like to do your bit to support Union Chapel and its work in the local community, you can make a donation here. All unclaimed ticket refunds will also go towards the venue's social and charitable endeavours.