York Unitarian Chapel

York Unitarian Chapel is a building on St. Saviourgate, York, England. It is a member of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, the umbrella organisation for British Unitarians.[1]

Unitarian Chapel

It is in the form of a Greek cross and was built in 1692 or earlier. It is a Grade II* listed building.[2] It is thought to be the first brick building of any size in York with load-bearing brick walls.

A major benefactor was Lady Sarah Hewley, a Protestant dissenter and widow of Sir John Hewley, MP. Lady Hewley also founded almshouses in Tanner Row in York, which were moved by the railway in 1839 to be the present Lady Hewley Almshouses in St Saviourgate.[3] There are also twelve almshouses known as Colton's Hospital in Shipton Street.

The most famous minister of the Chapel was Charles Wellbeloved, who was at first assistant to the Rev. Newcome Cappe and then minister until his death in 1858. He was involved in saving the York city walls from being used to provide building materials, ended malpractices at York County Lunatic Asylum, founded the York Mechanics' Institute, wrote a guide to York Minster and initiated an appeal after a fire destroyed a Minster screen. He was Principal of Manchester College, one of the dissenting academies for training ministers and the higher education of lay students.[4]


  1. ^ "Find a Congregation: York". The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (Great Britain). Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  2. ^ Historic England. "St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel (1256710)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  3. ^ Tillott, P. M., ed. (1961). "Charities". A History of the County of York: the City of York. London. pp. 420–440. Retrieved 22 July 2021 – via British History Online.
  4. ^ Schulman, Frank. "Charles Wellbeloved". Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2009.

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Coordinates: 53°57′37″N 1°04′39″W / 53.960300°N 1.077620°W / 53.960300; -1.077620