About us

The Fitzrovia Chapel Foundation looks after the chapel on behalf of the local community, our visitors, other organisations and the wider public. We’re responsible for promoting its place in local history, heritage and culture.

We are also entrusted with the conservation, restoration, maintenance and preservation of the building and its contents. The chapel has never been consecrated, or dedicated, nor was it ever registered as a religious building under English law. We have a licence so that marriages and civil partnerships may be conducted here. We also hold baby naming ceremonies. 

Open Days

The chapel’s original purpose was to provide a place for reflection and quiet contemplation for the staff and patients of the former Middlesex Hospital. We continue this tradition, opening the chapel on Wednesdays to the public. Between 11:00 and 16:00, visitors are welcome to learn more of the chapel’s history, appreciate its breathtaking architecture or ‘just be’ in the calm and serene surroundings.

Meditation & Mindfulness

In these busy times, there is great value in giving ourselves permission to be still and look around us, to reflect and to engage only in the wealth of colour, soft light and sense of history that the chapel brings.  Increasingly, research tells us that practices such as mindfulness and meditation help ease anxiety, depression and social isolation. We offer the chapel to you as just such a space. Somewhere you can step out of the concerns of city life and feel you are in another world. A place to stop and wonder, but most definitely to stop.

There is no charge for our open days and you do not need to book. Please come as often as you would like. We value our community and love greeting familiar faces as well as new visitors. The chapel is wheelchair accessible.

’In societies right now, we are quick to respond immediately. We talk openly but sometimes without consideration. The speed of life often forces us to process things quickly but this is often unhelpful. Quiet contemplation allows us a moment to think things through and not be unnecessarily reactive.’

Faye Hughes, Artistic Director, the Fitzrovia Chapel

Lineage

What is Lineage?

Lineage is a programme of heritage events run by the chapel. Each is different but all root us in our strong sense of history within the Fitzrovia community. They allow us to explore cultural, sociological and historical influences while looking to the future.

Whether it’s the unmistakable voice of Dylan Thomas at Christmas, the poetry of Rimbaud, the luminous images of AIDS patients at the former Middlesex Hospital or discussions of counterculture, our Lineage events all anchor us to our past and give us direction.

Leading up to World Aids Day on 1 December 2017, we presented our first photographic exhibition as part of our Lineage programme. Called The Ward, it chronicled the lives of four patients on the Broderip and Charles Bell wards in the former Middlesex Hospital. The Broderip was the first AIDS ward in London and was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1987. In 2018, we present our exhibition Dwelling.

What is Wireless Contemplation?

Wireless Contemplation is part of our Lineage programme. Each month we offer an audio presentation linked to culturally significant themes which are important to the heritage of our community.  Past events have included a celebration of LGBT writers in Fitzrovia, and notable women who have a connection to the area. Wireless Contemplation events in 2018 cover Black History Month, Doris Lessing, Laurence Olivier and George Orwell’s 1984.

With each Wireless Contemplation event, we are building our community who, like us, care deeply for the chapel and our historical roots. Visitors come to hear stories, meet like-minded friends, gaze at the chapel and take time out of the everyday. For an hour each month — usually a lunch hour — it is a chance to sit in gorgeous surroundings and really listen. There is no distraction as the audio presentation, including voices such as those of Laurence Oliver, Doris Lessing or Oscar Wilde, rings out  around the walls.

DAY TO DAY

Caring for the Chapel

As well as looking after the day-to-day care of this treasured space, the Fitzrovia Chapel team greets visitors, recounts its stories, cherishes its history, passes on the wonder. Whether you are seeking peace and calm on our open days, enquiring about getting married, studying our unique architecture or holding a fashion show or shoot, we can help guide you to the right place. And if you’d like to join the team, let us know your skills and how you’d like to share them with the chapel.

The Team

“What inspires us about the chapel?”

Faye

Faye

Artistic Director

I’m inspired by working with an organisation that has a culture of kindness. Personally, I have come to value a gentle approach to culture and the arts and the healing and restorative benefits they offer. I’m glad we can promote it at the chapel.

Contact: Faye at faye.hughes@fitzroviachapel.org and for hires, weddings and events, please email Faye at info@fitzroviachapel.org

Kate

Kate

Programme Curator

‘What inspires me? Community history. Coming in each morning, I can see it in all the plaques and the beauty of the place. It’s such an unusual building. I’ve never seen anything like it. It inspires me that we can offer people the time to visit. It’s always nice seeing their reactions. We have people who used to work at the hospital and who are now returning after 40 years of not seeing it. The chapel gets people talking. They have a strong memory of it and want to share that.’

Contact: Kate at kate.thorogood@fitzroviachapel.org

Jane

Jane

Fundraiser

‘The beauty of the chapel draws you in. But there’s something about the tiny details that humanises the space. It’s about the plaques that commemorate nursing staff, and I’m particularly fond of one plaque that honours a maintenance person. I love the focus on the diversity of contributions to the chapel. We sometimes forget about the people who fix radiators. I also love that I can be in a place of complete beauty which has a religious flavour but it’s actually a safe, secular space. I’m not required to take part in a religious ceremony to be here.

Contact Jane at jane.bell@fitzroviachapel.org

Madeleine

Madeleine

MARKETING

Initially, I’d have to say that the luminous beauty of architecture and design pulled me in to the chapel. How could you not be under its spell? However, having worked here for a while, it’s the culture of the Foundation that keeps me here. Its focus on kindness, on rational thought and discussion, on the value of silent reflection are unlike any other place. It informs a programme of events which will provide a huge contribution to the artistic life of the Fitzrovia community and beyond.

Contact: Madeleine at media@fitzroviachapel.org

The Trustees

Edward Turner

Edward Turner

Chair

I am a Chartered Accountant and, after qualifying as an auditor, I worked across the advisory field in recovery and reorganisation, corporate finance, due diligence, valuations and forensic services, before specialising in international risk and quality management.

My other interests include the development of stable communities through economic empowerment, access to the arts, and promoting a secular society.

Hannah Watson

Hannah Watson

Hannah Watson is the Director of TJ Boulting Gallery and publisher Trolley Books. The gallery has been based in Fitzrovia on Riding House Street since 2011 and takes its name from the Grade II* listed Arts and Craft building it inhabits. Recent exhibitions include rising art star Juno Calypso’s solo exhibition and a group show curated by Katy Hessel of The Great Women Artists, linking historic and contemporary women artists.

Daniel Bates

Daniel Bates

Daniel Bates (MA CANTAB, FRSM, FTCL, ARAM, AGSMD) is principal oboe with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia and co-principal oboe of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Previously, he also held the principal oboe position with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage, Gateshead. Daniel is the founder and Artistic Director of FitzFest, a community chamber music festival, based in Fitzrovia, central London.

John Aubusson

John Aubusson

John is an independent management consultant who has called Fitzrovia home for more than twenty years. He first visited the chapel in 2005 while recuperating at the hospital shortly before it closed, and so was delighted to accept the invitation to become Treasurer of the beautifully restored chapel as it reopened to the public in March 2016, allowing him to help shape the chapel’s growing role in the community and the arts.  In addition to overseeing the development of the chapel’s finance function and reporting, and his wider board responsibilities, John chairs the finance committee which meets quarterly in preparation for the board meetings. John now splits his time between Fitzrovia and El Gòtic in Barcelona, loving both dearly.