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Who looks after the Chapel today?

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Church Members

The church members are responsible for looking after Union Chapel. They make decisions about all aspects of the chapel's life through the monthly church meeting. They elect the Deacons and appoint the Minister. They are also members of Union Chapel Project, the charity which runs the venue hires, events, and Margins project within the building. The church members elect the directors of the Union Chapel Project.

Union Chapel Congregational Church has a growing number of members. Below are some of those you will see most often.

Minister - Karen Stallard

Karen Stallard

The minister is appointed by the church meeting and is responsible for ensuring that the spiritual life within Union Chapel continues. Karen helps the church to maintain the values of what it means to be a congregational church, and the unique values of Union Chapel itself. Union Chapel currently has one minister who works 4 days a week.

Karen writes, "We are committed to reading the bible with eyes and ears that are open, we value good theological practice that listens to many voices, not just the ones which make us feel comfortable. We are committed to exploring the life and teaching of Jesus through scripture and we recognise that prayer can happen in many different ways. We want to be a church which thinks and allows people to think."

Deacons

These people are specially chosen by the church members to lead and serve the church in different ways. Union Chapel currently has four deacons. The deacons and minister also serve as trustees for the church and its building. 

Treasurer - Sharon Foye

Church secretary - MG Jones  

Fabric Deacon - Liz Walker

Union Chapel is used by many people throughout the week, but as trustees of the building, the church bears ultimate responsibility for its upkeep. The Fabric Deacon represents the interests of the church in regard to its premises. 

Regular meetings are held with representatives from UC Project staff, Margins, and UC Friends to discuss and plan maintenance, development and restoration of the chapel buildings.

Liz writes, "I have been a church member for over 20 years and so know most corners of the building (wherever hidden!). As a conservator by profession, there are plenty of jobs that attract my attention. I always enjoy joining the camaraderie of the UC Friends work days, and hope to finish gilding the front doors of the chapel one day!"

Trustee - Graham White 

Heritage and Outreach - Andrew Gardner

 Andy 

Andy works on average 8 hours a week, normally on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, though he is often to be found speaking to outside groups and individuals. He is also a church member, and participates in and contributes to Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday services and study groups. He is a trained historian, offering archaeological and historical tours of the chapel buildings and environs, when not assisting the Minister and Deacons. His theological interests include Second Temple Judaism, texts and traditions in the inter-Testamental period.

Andy writes, "Outside church, I chair Islington Archaeology and History Society, where we produce a quarterly journal and host ten guest lectures a year. I've met people with an extraordinary depth and width of knowledge. Within church, I have the freedom to explore faith and question texts and tenets.

I've an especial interest in the work of George Orwell, who was a local resident during his most productive time. He'd have liked my ability to question authority."

Andy loves welcoming visitors to the chapel, to date from as far apart as Warsaw, Moscow, Budapest; from Sacramento and from Toronto; from Cape Town; from Sydney and from Wellington.

Congregational Federation

Cong Fed Union Chapel receives outside support from the Congregational Federation, an organisation set up to help independent congregational churches with training, advice and networking with other similar churches. The Congregational Federation also acts as an independent trustee body for the Union Chapel building.