Latest News

Our Chapel open for Heritage Open Days Weekend, 9-10 September

As usual, Oat Street Unitarian Chapel, along with many other places in Evesham,  will be open to all this year on Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September  as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days scheme.  Everyone is very welcome to come and visit our 18th Century Grade II* listed chapel as well as our beautiful peaceful burial ground/garden and our Gatehouse with its “hidden” Victorian scullery.

We will be open from 10am – 4.30pm  on Saturday and from noon until 4.30pm on Sunday after our usual 11am Sunday service, which you would also be very welcome to attend.   Refreshments will be available.   See you there!


Rev Spurr, Vicar of Evesham, to lead service at Oat Street on 16 July

On Sunday 16 July we are delighted to be welcoming Rev Andrew Spurr, Vicar of Evesham, to lead our 11am service here at Oat Street Unitarian Chapel.   As far as we can recall, this is the first time a Vicar of Evesham has led a service here in our chapel’s very long history.   We  hope that as many of the chapel’s members and friends as possible will be able to join us for this special occasion.

Our chapel open for tea and coffee, 10am – 1pm Saturday 27 May

Oat Street Unitarian Chapel will be open and serving tea, coffee and biscuits from 10am to 1pm this coming Saturday 27 May.    Either cool off in our historic Chapel interior, or take a seat in the town centre oasis that is our garden.  We can offer both a  welcome refuge from the heat and bustle and also a peaceful place for quiet contemplation.

There will be no charge for the refreshments but any donations would be very much welcomed.   Do come and pay us a visit.


Statement by the President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches about the attack in Manchester

Statement by Rev Charles VanDen Broeder, President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and former Minister of Monton Church, Eccles, Greater Manchester.

“The tragic events in Manchester are shocking and incomprehensible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost loved ones and to those injured in the attack. The response of the Manchester community at this time of great pain reassures us that the values of love and hope will triumph over those who wish to terrorise and divide.

There is no excuse for the taking of innocent life; especially of children and young people enjoying a night out. Unitarians and Free Christians stand with our fellow citizens in Manchester at this time. The City has shown the strength to renew its self after the IRA bombing of 1996 and I am sure it will do so again.”


Free live folk and poetry event at the chapel, Tuesday 6 June

Following the success of the poetry event we hosted for Evesham Festival of Words last year and the folk concerts we’ve held over the past couple of years we have decided to combine the two for 2017!  At 7.30pm on Tuesday 6 June all are welcome to join us for “Down The Old Asum Road,” a fringe event for 2017 Festival of Words. It will feature both music from Oat Street concert regulars Mike Weaver and Colin Pitt and new poems from Sue Johnson and Bob Woodroofe.    Admission is free, and you can bring your own drinks.  Books and CDs will be on sale.


Our annual Asparagus Lunch, Wednesday 10 May 2017

Every year, Oat Street Unitarian Chapel’s congregation hosts the Asparagus Lunch on behalf of “The Ministers’ Meeting” which is funded by the Midland Unitarian Association and meets four times a year, allowing all ministers from the Midlands district to get together, share experiences and support one anther.    Those attending  will have a service at noon led by Rev Ant Howe from Kingswood congregation, followed by the all-important lunch!

The Asparagus Lunch has a long, long history, however and was originally something a lot more covert!    As this article by Maureen Butler explains, it started life 225 years ago as a smokescreen for an illegal meeting by dissenting ministers back when non-conformists such as the Unitarians were a lot less free to practise than they are today….



Cotswold Group Winter Walk at Nailsworth, Sunday 29 January

On 29 January Cheltenham and Gloucester Unitarians are organising a Winter Walk from 2.30pm – 4.00pm following on from their Cafe Church event at Bayshill Unitarian Church.  Lifts will be available from the Church.   It will start at Ruskin Mill near Nailsworth and will be organised by Stephen Gutteridge, from whom more details are available on 07511 343606.  All other Cotswold Group congregation members and their families and friends are very welcome to join in with this.  After the walk, it’s probable that the Ruskin Mill will be closed, so we will probably go to Egypt Mill in Nailsworth instead for a well-deserved cuppa!

Special service on the theme of mental health, 22 January 2017

For Oat Street Unitarian Chapel’s 22 January 11am service we are delighted to have as our guest Sally Earley from Evesham and District Mental Health Support Services .  Sally will be giving the service’s Address in place of Rev Rob Whiteman and will be  talking about EDMHSS’s work, and mental health issues more generally.   Oat Street have a long relationship with EDMHSS; among other things, they were our chosen group to benefit from the annual 2014 Musyck Anon Christmas charity concert at the Chapel.  All are, as ever, very welcome.

Change of time for our Christmas Day Service – now at 10am

The timing of the Christmas Day Service at Oat Street Unitarian Chapel, led by our Minister Rev Rob Whiteman, has been changed from the previously advertised 11am to 10am.  We hope in particular that this will give our friends and visitors who are organising  Christmas meals a bit more time to prepare as well as the servicing giving you a festive spring in your step to make these go more smoothly.   Everyone very welcome.

Festive season events in the Cotswold Group’s congregations

As usual, the coming festive season will bring a whole host of varied activities for all the family across the Cotswold Group of Unitarian and Free Christian congregations. Here’s a run through some of the things that are on offer;  we very much hope you’ll be able to join us on some of them.

On the evening of Friday 16 December, here at Oat Street Unitarian Chapel we are holding our annual ever-popular charity concert by the Musyck Anon madrigal group – more details here.

On  Sunday 18 December, the 11am services at Oat Street and Cheltenham and 3pm service at Swindon will all be Christmas-themed with Cheltenham’s service, led by Rev  Rob Whiteman,  being a Unitarian take on the traditional “nine lessons and carols” format.

Heading outside Cotswold Group territory briefly, on the evening of the 18th, Kidderminster Unitarians  will be holding their annual Carols by Candelight at 6.30pm and all are very welcome; from past experience it’s well worth the slight detour to north Worcestershire and plenty of Cotswold Group regulars usually go.

On Friday 23 December,  Oat Street’s regular weekly 6.30pm Friday Light meeting will be a group activity on the subject of Christmas; please bring music, words or pictures that inspire you.

Oat Street will be holding an 10am service on Christmas Day itself, led by Rev Rob Whiteman. At the same time at Cheltenham, members will be holding a Christmas gathering, led by Cressida Pryor and Stephen Gutteridge, with carols, readings, prayers, poems and festive music.

From 28th-31st December, Cheltenham (Bayshill Unitarian Chapel) will be hosting a Christmas puppet show with showings each day of a magical marionette production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, with proceeds going to Children In Need. Shows are at 2.30pm on 28th, 11am and 2.30pm on 29th and 30th, and 11am on 31st. Tickets (£3.50 adult, £2.50 child, £10 family ticket) are available from the Tourist Information Centre at The Wilson, or by calling 01242 263283 / 07940 430094.

Finally, Cheltenham and Evesham will both be holding New Year’s Day services at 11am. Kath Forder will lead at Evesham and Rob Whiteman at Cheltenham, where the service will be followed by a congregational (bring your own) lunch.