History of Upper Chapel

Upper Chapel (1700) Unitarian

The congregation was founded by James Fisher who was the Vicar of Sheffield Parish Church (now Sheffield Cathedral) during the Commonwealth of England. Rev. Fisher was expelled from the Parish Church on 24th August 1662 in the Great Ejection, during the Restoration of the monarchy, for refusing to sign the (4th) Act of Uniformity.

The present brick-built building, the first purpose-built non-conformist place of worship in Sheffield (originally called ‘New Chapel’), was erected in 1700 under the ministry of the Rev. Timothy Jollie and faced onto Fargate. In the 1840’s the chapel was turned around to face across Alsopp Fields.

It was faced with stone and a tetrastyle portico was added.  In 1847 the roof was raised and the interior reconstructed, to include a gallery. Alterations by John Frith, were completed in1848.

From1890 onwards, 16 stained glass windows were installed (including one re-installation in 2001 of a window found in storage under stairs). Nine of them, all on the ground floor, were designed by Henry Holiday.

Originally, the Chapel had a congregation of 1000, which was one sixth of the population of Sheffield.

Channing Hall, Surrey Street.

William Ellery ChanningThe Chapel’s Channing Hall, in Surrey Street, the interior of which is in the italianate style, is named after the 19th Century American Unitarian minister Dr. William Ellery Channing. The hall was designed by Flockton and Gibbs and built in 1881 for ‘religious, educational and social purposes’.

A Trust Deed, dated 1704, established Upper Chapel as simply “a Public Meeting House for the worship and service of Almighty God”.  So it remains.

No compulsory doctrine or creed is required for members or ministers. We affirm our commitment to religious freedom and our tolerance and respect for all faiths.

Membership of Upper Chapel is open to all who find themselves in sympathy with our manner of worship and spirit of fellowship. Members can, and sometimes do, belong to other denominations.

Upcoming Events

  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 14th August 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Games Evening (NEW!): Weds 14th August 7pm More events
  • Service: Sun 18th August 11am ONLY 'Do you hear them cry? Reflections on Empathy'' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening/Organ Recital (by Madge Woollard): Weds 21st August 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Discussion Group: Weds 21st August 7pm 'When should we prophesy?' More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 23rd August 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Service: Sun 25th August 6.30pm ONLY 'When it all comes down' More events
  • Music Together: Weds 28th August 7pm for 7.15pm 'Music for a Time of Day' More events