The Oat Street Unitarian Chapel in Evesham, Worcestershire, has been in continuous use as a place of religious worship since it was built in 1737. Since 1990 the building has been substantially renovated and refurbished at a cost of £36,000, thanks to the support received from public bodies such as English Heritage and the Historic Churches Preservation Trust; also from charitable organisations such as the John Martin Charity, the Midland Union of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Unitarian New Meeting Church Birmingham and other generous donations from Trusts and individuals.
In 1998, the Chapel Committee, with the support of the Chapel Trustees, turned its attention to our eighteenth century Gatehouse as part of the plan to continue restoring and improving the state of the building. The toilets were modernised and in the downstairs room used by the playgroup and known as the Piper Room, damp proofing treatment was undertaken and the room renovated and redecorated.
An appeal launched in February 1999 raised over £17000 including grants from John Martin’s Charity, Evesons Trust and Gregson Trust and from Wychavon District and Evesham Town Councils. There were also donations from churches and chapels throughout the Denomination. This has enabled the Trustees and the Congregation to undertake an extension to a gatehouse staircase, installation of a stairlift, new electric heaters and redecoration of the upstairs schoolroom.
In the Chapel the minor repairs and redecoration have been completed and also the tonal improvements to the organ. The stone path to the Chapel has also been relaid.
A further bequest made it possible to install in the Chapel a sound amplification system, including an Induction Loop. The bequest also enabled the Trustees to carry out repairs to the chapel fabric and to the Gatehouse and the redecoration of the chapel interior. In 2004 the toilet facilities were altered to provide access for the disabled.
The continuing improvements to the Chapel and Gatehouse are enabling the congregation to arrange organ and other musical concerts and a range of social activities.
Though the appeal was successful in achieving its objectives, any further grants and donations towards the buildings which house our communal life will be warmly received and gratefully acknowledged.
Please make cheques payable to “Oat Street Chapel” and send them to the Secretary of the Trustees:
Dr. Peter Forder
38, Shannon Way