About Us > Our Chapel
Rosslyn Hill Chapel
The Chapel is independent, self-governing and self-financing. We are a friendly community and pride ourselves on giving a warm welcome to all those members and visitors who join us at Sunday services. Many appreciate this ‘time out’ in a busy week. After the service in our beautiful Chapel, we have a time of fellowship over refreshments. Members and friends help with the services and come together for other activities. Opportunities to participate include stewarding, lending a hand with refreshments, singing with the choir, supporting some aspect of social action such as our Cold Weather Shelter, arranging flowers, or participating in a group exploring spirituality/ethics. Our Minister is involved with all aspects of Chapel life. Spending time together, we find new ways to connect and support one another.
"I found a vibrant and welcoming spiritual community at Rosslyn Hill Chapel and I am passionate about helping others do the same."
Rev Kate Dean, Minister
Rev Kate Dean is our settled Minister. She conducts Sunday services and facilitates activities including spiritual development programmes. She is available to registered Chapel Members for pastoral support. Rev Kate has an MA in Abrahamic Religions and past careers in nonprofits and the creative industries. Prior to being called to serve Rosslyn Hill Chapel, she worked with the Unitarian social action centre Simple Gifts in Bethnal Green and Lewisham Unitarians.
Want to know more? Watch a service online.
Rosslyn Hill Chapel is a quiet centre in the heart of Hampstead. Approaching from the High Street or from Kemplay Road, you find the Chapel, surrounded by flowers, trees and wide paths. In addition, we have a community Hall, a terrace of three cottages, the Manse and a car park accessed from Kemplay Road. The first Meeting house of the congregation was amongst farm buildings and this is where Rosslyn Hall stands today. A fine new Chapel, originally approached from Pilgrim’s Lane, was built in 1862. Come in, whether for a service, a Chapel activity or an event and you will find yourself in a special space. The Chapel is happily situated amongst the lively mix of shops, cafés and pubs of Hampstead and just minutes from the green open spaces of the Heath. For details of Chapel services and activities, see What’s On or look up Venue Hire.
A congregation has gathered on this site since 1692. They were among the Protestant Dissenters or Non-Conformist people who, seeking religious liberty, were excluded from the Church of England. By 1813 they could be identified as Unitarians.
The first gatherings were in the home of Isaac Honywood who then built a simple Meeting House. In time, this was called the Red Lion Hill Chapel but the name of the road was changed and it became Rosslyn Hill Chapel. The old building, refurbished, is now our Hall and the Manse.
The new Chapel was built in 1862 and expanded in 1885. It was built in the Gothic style with vaulted ceiling and stone arches. It contains a number of beautiful stained-glass windows by artists such as William Morris, Sir Edward Burne-‐Jones and Henry Holiday. There are sculptures, furnishings and plaques of historical significance including one to Helen Allingham. The atmosphere is one of peace and reverence.
Today’s attractive entrance path was created in 1898 when the Chapel bought and demolished two derelict shops, giving access to Rosslyn Hill.
The current Chapel, built in 1862 by architect John Johnson, is a Grade Two Listed building. The Gothic Revival style evokes a sense of strength and stability as well as mystery and awe. It incorporates buttresses, a vaulted ceiling, mysterious angles and corners, jigsaw stonework, and small sculptures of heads and flowers. The exterior is Kentish rag stone, Bath stone with a slate roof. Architect Thomas Worthington made additions in 1884. Renovations, including pew removal, were made in 1966. The organ was relocated to the gallery and toilets added in the 1990s.
Our spiritual community is a registered charity where the Chapel Members make important decisions about its future. Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel is affiliated to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and the LDPA which supports congregations in London and South East. Like all Unitarian congregations, the Chapel governs itself. Read more...