Blog > Save Oxford House’s ‘Secret’ Chapel

Save Oxford House’s ‘Secret’ Chapel

Who is Oxford House?
1Oxford House is a registered charity established in 1884 to support community work in East London, including providing practical solutions to the growing poverty that affected life there. In 2017, in our beautiful Victorian building, we are still at the heart of the community.

Today, Oxford House is an independent community and arts centre.  We run a daily programme of activities and classes in our theatre, gallery and dance studio for everyone from under-2s to over-80s, from all of East London’s diverse social and cultural groups.

1,500 people visit us weekly; to take a class, see an exhibition or show , work for one of the 30 charities based here or volunteer for Oxford House. We are a not for profit organisation and do not receive any central government support.

The chapel is key to our future  

Oxford House is a lovely old building, but is starting to show its age. The chapel is the space 2most affected by a failing roof, which leaks directly into it. You can see the countless buckets and plastic sheeting we have used in the picture below. We have made some temporary repairs but they are a stop-gap measure.

We need to do more.  We want to see the chapel fully restored and open for community use, as part of a larger heritage project Oxford House is undertaking from 2017.

What will we do?  

The ‘secret’ chapel is located on the 3rd  floor of Oxford House and has been largely hidden for 130 years. We want to change that. We will sensitively repair and restore the chapel and reopen it for community use. It will be at the heart of our plans for Oxford House; hiring  the chapel will generate vital income that enables us to run Oxford House on behalf of the community.

With your help the chapel will become a unique place for everything from small gigs and theatrical performances to talks, dinners and even weddings. We will register the chapel so we can provide a beautiful and intimate space for your marriage or civil ceremony. The Chapel can also be a place for contemplation or reflection away from the busy hubub of Bethnal Green.  You may even want to hire it for your own event such as a family reunion or special celebration.

3Tell me more!

With your help we will carry out a sensitive and careful restoration to:
•    Carefully dry out the hidden timber joists and panels and prevent further damage
•    Complete specialist carpentry repairs
•    Conserve the original panelling, including the carved tribute to those associated with Oxford House who were killed in World War One
•    Fit sympathetic new lighting that highlights the historic features
•    Install new audio-visual equipment and power supply suitable to enable community events

What happens next?

We need to raise £25,000 to help save, restore and open up the chapel.  Help us bring one of East London’s most beautiful lost spaces in the 21st century for the use of everyone.









Oxford House in a Changing World Workers and Welfare: Living Conditions of the 1800’s East End On This Day... 30th November 1891 WANTED: Archivist for heritage project Fascism in the East End The Blitz The Original Oxford House Conscientious objectors The Welsh Schools The Excelsior The Effects of World War I in Oxford House War Memorial The Inauguration of the Oxford House Building 1892 From Oxford House to Local and International Stardom In the Spotlight: the Repton Boxing Club and Oxford House Hensley Henson, Oxford House leader The Kray Twins Alfred Soord, The Crucifixion. Oxford House Chapel Women and Oxford House Oxford House and its Clubs Why you should donate to save our secret chapel The Bethnal Green Tube Tragedy The Webbe Boys’ Club Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Super Kid (a.k.a. Eddie Marsan) Save Oxford House's 'Secret' Chapel Oxford House and Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram Our resolution? Raise all the funds to start our major heritage project Post War Regeneration of Bethnal Green Weavers’ Fields and the Huguenots Guy Clutton-Brock: from Oxford House to hero of Zimbabwe WWI: Zeppelins or ‘Take me back to dear old Blighty’ The Hidden Gem: Oxford House Chapel History in the making Oxford House and Ben Uri Gallery The Chapel Oxford House Musical and Dramatic Association 1903 Oxford House Arms: Dominus Illuminatio Mea Why is Oxford House listed as Grade II Heritage? Heritage Lottery Fund - 'Oh! ‘wins’ the lottery' Who designed Oxford House? The Boys and Men’s Clubs in the 19th and early 20th century Why a new building in 1891? Rise under Rev. Winnington-Ingram How it all begun. Clubs and activities at Oxford House 1884 Who created Oxford House? What is a settlement? 130 Not out! Our pre-history: The Oxford Movement From Victorian Gap Year to Community Hub
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Oxford House
Derbyshire Street,
Bethnal Green,
London E2 6HG
020 7739 9001

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